Azeem Rafiq does not want his children to play cricket and “hurt” because of racism

On Tuesday, Rafiq testified before a parliamentary panel of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and shared his experiences of being subjected to racism while playing for Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC).

An investigation into the allegations found that Rafiq was subjected to racial harassment and harassment in his time at YCCC.

During the hearing, Rafiq described cricket’s racism problem as “worse than society” and says he would not trust the sport to take care of his children.

“I don’t want my son or daughter to suffer,” he told CNN Sport’s Darren Lewis. “As a parent, there’s nothing worse than watching your kids suffer in any way, and professional sport over the last few years has shown that these people come into play as kids and the institutions mold them into these characters.

“I wouldn’t give my kids to adults who don’t know how to treat kids.”

Despite Rafiq’s hours-long testimony and the acknowledgment of former YCCC president Roger Hutton that the club is institutionally racist, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison has refused to label YCCC as such.

While being questioned by lawmakers, Harrison only said English cricket “might” have let Rafiq down.

“I would say please understand that we really regret the experiences you may have had while trying to experience cricket in this country,” Harrison said.

“We know we might have left you. We’ll fix it quickly. We know the survival of our sport depends on it. We’re going to transform this game very quickly.”

Rafiq told CNN that he was “disappointed to hear how that was answered.”

Roger Hutton described Yorkshire [CCC] as “institutionally racist” and I think there was an opportunity for the leaders in the game to actually show that they get it, ”Rafiq added.

“But I think [again] the ECB showed yesterday that they simply do not get it. “

Yorkshire County Cricket Club has been described as

In response, an ECB spokesman told CNN in a statement: “Azeem has shown incredible courage to speak up, and we are appalled by what he has experienced. His evidence has been appalling, and this must be a turning point for our game.

“We completely condemn racism or discrimination of any kind and there is no place for it in our game. We thoroughly research these events, do the necessary actions and have to learn lessons like a game.

“Azeem’s witness forms an important part of our investigations,” he added. “On Friday, we will also come together as a whole game to address these issues and find a way forward to improve our sport.”

Speaking to CNN after Rafiq’s testimony Tuesday, former England cricketer Monty Panesar said the former Yorkshire cricketer was “really brave, determined and showed great courage” to talk about the racism he faced in the sport.

“In the coming years, we will see this as an important moment of change in cricket and society,” Panesar told Alex Thomas of CNN Sport. “And Azeem Rafiq should be applauded for his courageous comments.”


Leave a Comment