Azeem Rafiq: Yorkshire apologizes to former player after several of his complaints were confirmed | Cricket news

Azeem Rafiq: Yorkshire apologizes to former player after several of his complaints were confirmed |  Cricket news

Rafiq made accusations of institutional racism in Yorkshire during his time in the county; The independent report has confirmed some, but not all, of Rafiq’s complaints; Yorkshire says Rafiq was the victim of ‘inappropriate behavior’ that was ‘clearly unacceptable’

Last Updated: 08/19/21 12:35 pm

Yorkshire has issued “deep apologies” to former player Azeem Rafiq after an independent report confirmed some of his allegations about his time in the county.

Yorkshire said in a statement that Rafiq was “the victim of inappropriate behavior”, which they described as “clearly unacceptable”.

An independent investigation, commissioned by Yorkshire last year after Rafiq claimed he felt suicidal after his experiences of institutional racism during his time in the county, has yielded a final report along with a series of recommendations.

Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq called for a report to be released on allegations of racism in his former county after it was first presented a year ago.

Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq called for a report to be released on allegations of racism in his former county after it was first presented a year ago.

Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq called for a report to be released on allegations of racism in his former county after it was first presented a year ago.

Yorkshire said in a statement: “There were many allegations against the club, most of which relate to a period of more than 10 years ago.

“Many of the allegations were unconfirmed and for others there was insufficient evidence for the panel to make a determination.

“However, it is correct to acknowledge from the outset that several of the allegations made by Azeem were confirmed and that, sadly, historically, Azeem was the victim of inappropriate behavior.

“This is clearly unacceptable. We would like to express our deepest apologies for this.

“The Panel also found that the club did not implement its policies and procedures in relation to these serious issues.

“The club understands the importance of the Panel’s findings.”

Yorkshire County Cricket Club President Roger Hutton said: “I would like to acknowledge Azeem’s courage in raising these issues and his involvement in the investigation, which I understand must have been very difficult.

I would also like to express my sincere apology for certain failures of the club, which have been highlighted by the panel.

“Obviously he has been through difficult and harrowing times since 2008 and the club could, and should, have supported him better.

“Since joining the board in 2020, it has become obvious to me that both before and after, he has continually tried to improve his relationship with various communities.

“However, it has not made enough progress, especially as we learn to see the world with new eyes, and I believe this report will be a platform for more important changes at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club.”

Yorkshire acknowledged that Rafiq was 'the victim of inappropriate behavior'

Yorkshire acknowledged that Rafiq was ‘the victim of inappropriate behavior’

Rafiq: Waiting for the report has been ‘heartbreaking’

Azeem Rafiq spoke to Sky Sports on Wednesday, prior to the release of Yorkshire’s statement, and spoke about his disappointment at how long the investigation has taken to complete and the negative effect the experience has had on his mental health.

“I think it’s quite disappointing with the 12-month result,” he said.

“Yesterday was a year from the publication date of Wisden’s article, and to be still here waiting is disappointing.

“It seems like the previous 15 years were one thing, but the last 12 months have been heartbreaking.

“I’m not going to beat around the bush, it has been incredibly difficult.

“Considering that I sat in front of international television and talked about how it affected me mentally, the dark places that it put me in, it put me in those same places, if not worse at times, through this process.”

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