Yorkshire Cricket Club and 'a number of individuals' charged by ECB following Azeem Rafiq racism scandal

The charges come after former player Rafiq made allegations of racism and bullying during his time at the club

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The England and Wales Cricket Board has charged Yorkshire and ‘a number of individuals’ following its investigation into how racism allegations made by Azeem Rafiq were handled by the club.

The ECB did not name any of the individuals who have been charged.

The body said the charges arose from alleged breaches of ECB directive 3.3 – conduct which is improper or which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any cricketer into disrepute – and of its anti-discrimination code.

Yorkshire Cricket Club
Yorkshire Cricket Club
Former player Azeem Rafiq
Former player Azeem Rafiq

The governing body said that an independent panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission would now hear the cases in due course, with the expectation that these would take place in September and October.

The ECB said it was standard practice for the CDC panel to publish its decisions and written reasons in full. The governing body said it would be making no further comment.

Rafiq first raised allegations of racism and bullying in September 2020, related to his two spells at Yorkshire from 2008-2014 and 2016-2018.

Yorkshire were criticised for the length of time it took to even publish a summary of their investigation into those allegations. In September 2021 the club finally released a statement saying Rafiq had been the victim of “racial harassment and bullying” and upheld seven of his 43 allegations.

But the following month the club confirmed nobody would be disciplined.

Political pressure on Yorkshire and the ECB mounted last November when it was reported that a player had admitted to investigators that he had used racial slurs towards Rafiq but that the investigation concluded this was in the context of “banter” between the pair.

The ECB launched its own inquiry and on Wednesday said the investigation had been “thorough and complex”.

In a statement, Rafiq said: “I welcome today’s announcement by the ECB and hope we can move to the hearing quickly.

“This has been another gruelling but unfortunately necessary process. It has been a long two years since I went public about my experiences, but I hope this all means that no young player ever goes through such pain and alienation again.

“My preference would be for this hearing to take place publicly, but I am hopeful that we are at least nearing a point where there will be some sense of closure for my family and me.”