The chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club (Yorkshire CCC) has been summoned to the UK Parliament to answer questions over the club’s handling of allegations of “institutional” and “endemic” racism.
Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq made allegations of racism at the Yorkshire CCC in 2020, after which the club apologized to Rafiq in August and said that he was the “victim of inappropriate behaviour.”
At least one player admitted to regularly using the term ‘P**i’ when talking to Rafiq, according to a report seen by ESPNcricinfo and detailed this week.
The word is widely seen as a slur and used against people of South Asian and Middle Eastern origin in Britain.
An independent panel looked into the claims on behalf of the club, and while the Yorkshire CCC issued an apology to Rafiq, nobody was disciplined.
Lawmaker Julian Knight called the situation “one of the most repellent and disturbing episodes in modern cricket history.”
“Given the endemic racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, I struggle to think of any reason why … the board should remain in post,” Knight, chair of the DCMS select committee, said on Twitter.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in a tweet that “heads should roll at Yorkshire CCC,” adding that the term used “is not banter.”
“If @ECB_cricket doesn’t take action it’s not fit for purpose,” Javid said.
A leaked report said that the player accused of racism was exonerated because it was seen that this was friendly, good-natured “banter” between the two players, ESPN reported.
Rafiq has accused the club of institutional racism and said that the investigation into his allegations of racism “lacked transparency and due process.”
In a statement released in August, Yorkshire said: “There were many allegations made against the Club, most of which relate to a period more than 10 years ago. Many of the allegations were not upheld and for others there was insufficient evidence for the Panel to make a determination.”
“It is right, however, to acknowledge from the outset that several of the allegations made by Azeem were upheld and that sadly, historically, Azeem was the victim of inappropriate behaviour. This is clearly unacceptable. We would like to express our profound apologies for this.”
CNN has reached out for further comment from Yorkshire CCC.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said they had received Yorkshire CCC’s report into the racism and bullying allegations Azeem Rafiq made against the club.
“We are conscious about the length of time that Azeem has waited for resolution and the toll that must be taking on his well-being and that of his family. We are sorry that, as a sport, this has not yet been resolved,” they said in a statement.
“We will conduct a full regulatory process that is fair to all parties, but also ensure this happens as quickly as possible. To achieve this, we have secured the services of a QC, along with other external investigatory support to upweight resource around our process. The ECB Board has also reaffirmed its commitment to further additional resource, should the investigation require it,” they added.
“We are aware that The Select Committee have called Yorkshire’s Chair, Roger Hutton, to give evidence. In the meantime, we will press ahead with our investigation,” they said.