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YORKSHIRE CRICKET SMELLS OF RACISM

Azeem Rafiq: Yorkshire urged to publish findings of racism inquiry ‘immediately’ by MPs

Azeem Rafiq
A former England youth captain, Azeem Rafiq captained Yorkshire in a Twenty20 fixture in 2012

MPs have told Yorkshire to publish the findings of an independent report into allegations of racism made by former player Azeem Rafiq “immediately”.

Rafiq had claimed “institutional racism” at the club left him close to taking his own life.

Yorkshire offered its “profound apologies” last month, after “several of the allegations” were upheld in an independent investigation.

It said on 19 August the report would be released “in the coming weeks”.

However, MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee have demanded the “immediate” release of the report.

“We are very surprised that this report has not been published by Yorkshire County Cricket Club, given the seriousness of the allegations of racism which span more than a decade and the fact that it has taken almost three years to reach this point,” said DCMS committee chair Julian Knight.

“Given that YCCC said in its statement that several allegations made against the club had been upheld, and that Azeem Rafiq had been a victim of inappropriate behaviour, it is crucial that the process, the report and its full findings are made public and open to scrutiny. He deserves no less.”

And in a letter to Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur, he added: “The committee calls on you to publish the full report, including all of the recommendations, immediately.”

Last month, Yorkshire admitted their former player was “the victim of inappropriate behaviour”, but the 30-year-old responded to this by accusing the club of downplaying racism.

Speaking to BBC Asian Network’s Ankur Desai, he added. “A year of pain, a year of trying to get people to listen, a year of giving people an opportunity to do the right thing and we end up with a statement that turns racism into inappropriate behaviour.”

Rafiq also stated he had “lost faith” in the process.

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