Azeem Rafiq’s long battle to expose racism at Yorkshire cricket club | News

When Azeem Rafiq first went on the record in August final yr along with his claims that he had been subjected to racist remedy at Yorkshire cricket club, the broader world paid little consideration. As a promising younger participant whose profession had ended early, few outdoors of the game knew who he was – and the club initially supplied no remark, after which launched an impartial investigation that took virtually a yr to report again.

Since then, the story has blown up – partially due to the club’s refusal to launch the report’s findings. Whereas Yorkshire supplied him “profound apologies” in August this yr, Rafiq mentioned he believed its assertion that he was the “sufferer of inappropriate behaviour” and refusal to self-discipline any member of employees was insufficient.

Then it emerged that the report mentioned Rafiq was the sufferer of “racial harassment and bullying” – however the club nonetheless failed to ship him the complete textual content regardless of being ordered to achieve this by a choose. Extra particulars emerged – from the truth that using the P-word had been described within the report as “banter” to an apology from the Yorkshire participant Gary Ballance, who admitted he had used that time period however added that he “by no means mentioned something with any meant malice”.

Then the previous England captain Michael Vaughan wrote in his Every day Telegraph column that he had been accused of creating racist remarks to Rafiq and a gaggle of different gamers, however strongly denied the claims – just for two others who had been current to corroborate Rafiq’s model of occasions. On Monday, Vaughan reiterated his denial.

In spite of everything that, and with the resignation of senior employees at the club and the appointment of a brand new chairman, Kamlesh Patel, the story has moved firmly to the highest of the agenda – and on Tuesday, Rafiq will give proof to a committee of MPs analyzing the disaster that has engulfed Yorkshire. And now, all people’s listening.

On this episode, Nosheen Iqbal speaks to Taha Hashim, the Wisden journalist whose interview with Rafiq began the chain of occasions that led to this level. And we hear from Tony Bowry, a stalwart of Yorkshire group cricket and former cultural variety officer with the county, who alleges that racism – each refined and specific – was part of life for gamers from ethnic-minority backgrounds at the club.

Azeem Rafiq

{Photograph}: Gareth Copley/Getty Photographs

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