Yorkshire have issued an apology to former player Azeem Rafiq following an independent investigation into allegations of institutional racism found he was a ‘victim of inappropriate behaviour’, the club said on Thursday (August 19). The investigation was initiated in September last year to look into allegations made by the off-spinner stretching back to 2008.
Rafiq, a player of Pakistani descent and a former captain of the England Under-19 side, last year said that he was made to feel like an ‘outsider’ at Yorkshire and even contemplated taking his own life.
“Many of the allegations were not upheld… 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,” Yorkshire said in a statement. “This is clearly unacceptable. We would like to express our profound apologies for this.”
Rafiq, however, took to Twitter to express his disappointment at the findings, calling for Yorkshire to clearly spell out that he was the subject of racist abuse. “Inappropriate behaviour, are you sure about that @YorkshireCCC? You carry on playing with your words & fudging this best way possible… It’s not going away,” wrote the 30-year-old.
Spoke to Azeem Rafiq earlier after Yorkshire called him a victim of “inappropriate behaviour”.
Azeem accused the county of downplaying racism.
Full story below https://t.co/N1vGmM6uCs pic.twitter.com/igChZHXIkG
— Ankur Desai (@AnkurDesai_) August 19, 2021
In an interview to Sky Sports News later on Thursday, Rafiq added: “It hurts, it seriously hurts. I think at the end of it, there’s some sort of apology, but I think it gets spoiled by the words that are used to try and minimise what actually my allegations were.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) released a statement commending the player’s ‘bravery’ and said it “recognised both the pain and the distress of participating in an investigation into these matters”.
“It is critical that Azeem, and others who gave evidence, receive appropriate support and we are seeking assurances that this is the case,” said Cindy Butts, chair of the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, which was set up by the ECB in March to look into issues relating to race and equity.
Rafiq played for Yorkshire from 2008 to 2018 and became their youngest-ever captain after he led the county in a T20 game against Durham in 2012.
(With Reuters inputs)
(THIS STORY HAS NOT BEEN EDITED BY INDIA07 TEAM AND IS AUTO-GENERATED FROM A SYNDICATED FEED.)