‘Rafiq was victim of racial harassment & bullying’ – Yorkshire release summary of report findings

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

Azeem Rafiq was the “victim of racial harassment and bullying,” according to the findings released from a report by his former club Yorkshire.

Seven of the 43 allegations made by the player have been upheld by an independent panel.

Yorkshire chair Roger Hutton offered the club’s “profound and unreserved apologies” to Rafiq and his family.

“There is no question that Azeem Rafiq, during his first spell as a player at YCCC, was the victim of racial harassment,” Hutton said in a statement. “He was also subsequently the victim of bullying.”

Yorkshire have released a summary of the panel’s report and recommendations but said the full report can not be released for legal reasons “in relation to privacy law and defamation”.

According to Hutton, the report said there was “insufficient evidence to conclude that Yorkshire County Cricket Club is institutionally racist.”

What is the background?

In September 2020, Rafiq, who left Headingley in 2018, said in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo he felt he was made to feel like an “outsider” as a Muslim.

The club launched an independent investigation conducted by a law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

Yorkshire, who received the findings on 13 August, released a statement six days later which said Rafiq was “the victim of inappropriate behaviour” and offered him their “profound apologies”.

Rafiq responded by accusing the club of downplaying racism.

The release of the findings on Friday comes after pressure from cricket’s governing body and the MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee.

The England and Wales Cricket Board asked the club for a copy of the findings and on Wednesday MPs urged the club to publish the report “immediately.”

More to follow.