Lord Kamlesh Patel stressed that Azeem Rafiq, who is speaking, must “bring about a real change” in cricket after the Yorkshire informant revealed his experience of racism in the sport in front of MPs.
Rafiq’s powerful testimony to the special commission of the Government Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) saw him offer a damaging, and damaging, account of his life in the English game when he issued a raft of previously unheard claims, prior to publication of a written statement escalated things even further.
During the day, ex-England players Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan, Alex Hales and Gary Ballance were all subjected to recent allegations of racial discrimination.
New York Chairman Lord Patel gave testimony to the DCMS committee after Rafiq’s testimony, and said: “The emotion of Azeem Rafiq’s convincing testimony at the special committee today was clearly visible, and his experiences are heartbreaking and heartbreaking.
“Azeem’s courage in speaking should be praised, and no one should underestimate how difficult it would be to relive all this in public. His desire to bring “voice to the voiceless” should be an inspiration to bring about real change in the sport.
“I repeat our apology to Azeem for what he has experienced, it should never happen and that is something the club needs to recognize. There is no quick fix to the clear problems that have been identified, and the problems are complex, not least the an accusation of institutional racism that must be dealt with directly. “
Rafiq’s attempts to file allegations internally at Yorkshire fell on deaf ears more than three years ago, but an independent panel was later commissioned in 2020. Its report was roughly criticized by those who saw it and led to Yorkshire’s controversial conclusion that no staff member. should face disciplinary action.
In his published testimony from a now-appointed employment tribunal with the county, Rafiq said Bresnan’s treatment of him led to “suicidal thoughts” in 2017, with a later apology from Bresnan described by Rafiq as a “lip service”.
Elsewhere, Rafiq reiterated an existing allegation against former England captain Michael Vaughan and also issued a long list of complaints against Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon and head coach Andrew Gale.
Rafiq claimed that Ballance’s contemptuous use of the term “Kevin” as a general term for all people of color was “an open secret in the England dressing room”, and further claimed that Hales named his dog Kevin because it was black.
Ballance is accused of repeatedly calling Rafiq “P ***”, an accusation that is also leveled individually at Hoggard and Gale.
Bresnan on Twitter unreservedly apologized for “every role I played in contributing to Azeem Rafiq’s experience of being bullied,” but stressed that Rafiq’s accusation that he “often made racist comments” was “absolutely untrue.”
On England Captain Joe Root’s recent claim that he could not recall any examples of racism at Yorkshire, Rafiq said: “Rooty is a good man. He has never engaged in racist language.
“I found it painful because Rooty was Gary’s housemate and was involved in a lot of socializing where I was called‘ P *** ’. It shows how normal it was that even a good man like him doesn’t see it the way it was. “
Former England coach and veteran commentator David Lloyd issued an apology on Twitter after Rafiq indicated he had exchanged derogatory messages about him privately.
Lloyd, whose employers Sky said were investigating the comments, wrote: “I deeply regret my actions, and I most sincerely apologize to Azeem and the Asian cricket community for doing this, and for any offense caused.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board has appointed an independent commission for equality in cricket (ICEC), chaired by Cindy Butts, charged with examining the issue of race in the game. Its call for evidence is now open, but Rafiq said: “Action is needed and necessary now. To be honest, we are sick and tired of these equality commissions and investigations.”
He added: “Do I think I lost my career because of racism? Yes I do. I hope in five years we will see a big change that I have done something much bigger than any races or wickets I have received.”
The news agency PA tried to contact those involved for comment.
Michael Vaughan released a statement on Monday categorically denying allegations he told four Asian teammates “there are too many of your fate, we need to do something about it”.