All Yorkshire CCC chiefs must quit over Azeem Rafiq racism scandal – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Chas Stewart, Skipton.

Former player Azeem Rafiq has accused Yorkshire of institutional racism.
Former player Azeem Rafiq has accused Yorkshire of institutional racism.

WELL done Chris Waters for his excellent article on the handling of the Azeem Rafiq affair at Yorkshire County Cricket Club (The Yorkshire Post, November 1).

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Now Parliament is demanding that former chairman Roger Hutton answers MPs’ questions about the handling of an inquiry report, which found Rafiq had been a victim of “racial harassment and bullying”.

Former England cricketer Gary Ballance has admitted using a racial slur against Azeem Rafiq.

That is on top of an England and Wales Cricket Board investigation into what has gone on at Headingley. Your own article highlights the shambolic handling of the affair.

It is alleged Gary Ballance reduced Rafiq to tears by appalling racial attacks; the original inquiry accepted his evidence that he was “offended, degraded or humiliated”. Yet the final report describes this as “banter between friends” incapable of causing offence.

So apparently having rewritten history, the panel that reviewed the “evidence” can now get inside Rafiq’s head to judge whether derogatory remarks upset him.

And what about the leadership of both the club and the playing team? What did the key people know and when?

And, of course, if they did not know such appalling behaviour was going on, why not?

Yorkshire have been refusing to take any action against anyone. Decent Yorkshire supporters should stand with Azeem Rafiq against unacceptable behaviour, which is said to have brought one of our esteemed players to the brink of suicide, and which is now seemingly condoned by the club leadership’s through its lack of action.

All those responsible for racism at Headingley should be held to account and must go – but so should the club leadership that is responsible for bringing our great club to its knees.

From: John Grogan, former Keighley MP, Burley-in-Wharfedale.

YORKSHIRE County Cricket Club is being branded as racist across the world which is not just damaging to the reputation of our beloved club but of our county as a whole.

At the heart of this story is a talented young cricketer who by the club’s own admission suffered from racist behaviour whilst playing for the team.

Yorkshire members want the best players striving hard to win trophies regardless of their background and the club’s board have failed in their basic task to make sure this happens.

Until the report is published in full and the culprits identified, a cloud hangs over all senior players at Yorkshire, some of whom may not have been involved.

The next AGM is not due until March which is too long to let this matter fester. The way things are heading, by then the ECB could have relegated the team to the County Championship’s second tier after withdrawing international matches.

In 10 days time the club will have to account for its actions before Parliament. I think there was little doubt that, as The Yorkshire Post editorial demanded (November 3), that Roger Hutton had to resign and new talent and ideas brought in.

The only question now is can any of the board survive? They should be calling an emergency general meeting rather than waiting for 400 members to organise to request one.

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