Azeem Rafiq says English cricket is ‘institutionally racist’ during DCMS hearing

Azeem Rafiq has claimed that English cricket is 'institutionally racist' amid giving shocking evidence at the ongoing DCMS committee hearing.

Rafiq has been given evidence at the hearing on Tuesday morning amid the Yorkshire racism storm, which has rocked the county and the wider game.

The hearing comes following a recent report that revealed he was subject to ‘racial harassment and bullying’ while playing for Yorkshire County Cricket Club across two spells.

And at the hearing, Rafiq claimed that the problem of racism is "not just Yorkshire but throughout the country".

Then when asked specifically if English cricket is institutionally racist, the 30-year-old simply replied: "Yes".

Rafiq, who broke down in tears during the hearing, gave alarming evidence to the MPs.

Rafiq had already accused Michael Vaughan of making an alleged racist comment in the past, while Gary Ballance admitted to using the racial slur of 'P***' and Andrew Gale has been suspended amid an investigation into historic tweets where he used an ant-semitic slur.

Former Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton, who resigned in the wake of the scandal, is also set to appear in front of MPs shortly and will be quizzed on the club's handling of the situation.

A report into Rafiq's original allegations revealed that he and some of his Yorkshire teammates were subject to 'institutional racism' throughout their time at Headingley, after he initially raised concerns in August 2020 via an interview with Wisden.

And after a year's wait, an independent report admitted that Rafiq was the subject of 'inappropriate behaviour' and offered their 'profound apologies'. But the 30-year-old accused the club of 'downplaying racism'.

Yorkshire concluded though that following their findings, none of its employees, players or executives would face any disciplinary action.

Rafiq has continued to fight his cause and has given some shocking evidence at the DCMS hearing to MPs.

As well as several sponsors cutting ties with Yorkshire, the ECB revealed at the beginning of the month that they had suspended the county from staging international fixtures and major matches at Headingley.

In the wake of the scandal, ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said that Yorkshire County Cricket Club were 'leading the game into serious disrepute'.

Harrison said: "In this situation we have a dual role. We are the regulator.

"We've launched an investigation following the report from Yorkshire. We've also launched our own regulatory investigation, which is going to take time.

"But we also act as the national governing body and it is in response to Yorkshire's handling of this affair, the board felt that it was time to intervene to address the serious concerns we had on governance and leadership processes at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, which was leading the game into serious disrepute."

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