Cricket racism: ECB to unveil 12-point action plan following Azeem Rafiq claims
Azeem Rafiq gave evidence to a DCMS committee over systemic racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Cricket’s 12-point action plan to combat racism is set to be unveiled later on Thursday as the sport continues to feel the repercussions of Azeem Rafiq’s explosive testimony.
Officials from the England and Wales Cricket Board met with the 18 first-class counties last week to discuss the plan, which is intended to instigate a radical overhaul of dressing-room and boardroom cultures.
It is understood that counties failing to adhere to the new guidelines, which will include a minimum ethnic minority representation at boardroom level, risk having their ECB funding revoked.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, who was implicated in one of the allegations made by Rafiq, has been left out of the BBC team for the upcoming Ashes tour due to what the corporation described as a potential “conflict of interest”.
The former England captain was stood down from his BBC radio show earlier this month after Rafiq alleged Vaughan said “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” to him and a group of other Asian players before a Yorkshire match in 2009.
A BBC spokesperson said: “While he is involved in a significant story in cricket, for editorial reasons we do not believe that it would be appropriate for Michael Vaughan to have a role in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at the moment.
“We require our contributors to talk about relevant topics and his involvement in the Yorkshire story represents a conflict of interest.”
In a statement issued earlier this month, Vaughan said he “categorically denied” the allegations made against him and described them as “completely false”.
And on Wednesday Vaughan said he was “very disappointed” by the BBC’s decision but confirmed he was still looking forward to heading to Australia as part of the Fox Sports team.
Vaughan wrote on his Instagram account: “Very disappointed not to be commentating for TMS on the Ashes and will miss working with great colleagues & friends, but looking forward to being behind the mic for @foxcricket in Australia.
“The issues facing cricket are bigger than any individual case and I want to be part of the solution, listening, educating myself and helping to make it a more welcoming sport for all.”