Criticism of Yorkshire over Azeem Rafiq racism scandal is misguided – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Robin Smith, former president and chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and chairman of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.

General view inside the ground during day four of the cinch Third Test match at the Emerald Headingley, Leeds. Picture date: Saturday August 28, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story CRICKET England. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use without prior written consent of the ECB. Still image use only. No moving images to emulate broadcast. No removing or obscuring of sponsor logos.

IN your leader (The Yorkshire Post, September 11) you hinted at the removal of Test matches from Emerald Headingley.

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On what evidence? Simply a finding by an independent panel that seven out of 43 historical allegations of racism by Azeem Rafiq should be upheld.

Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq.

All of these related to exchanges between individuals in the dressing room or during coaching. The club has condemned them all. None of them involved senior club management.

Azeem Rafiq had also alleged that the club was institutionally racist, an allegation which the panel did not uphold.

Your call for the removal of Test matches was conditional on the ECB being assured “that the club has become a beacon of integration” and, in that regard, could I ask that you expeditiously commence a review of where Yorkshire CCC now stands in this area and, to help the process, may I give you a bare statistic – 12,696?

That is the number of meals served by the club’s charitable arm this summer to disadvantaged children under its CrikEat scheme with Morrisons. Under this scheme, children are taught cricketing skills and then given a good meal.

When you have reviewed the CrikEat scheme and met the committed and energetic people involved, you might care to look at other Yorkshire Cricket Club/Foundation initiatives directed at inclusion, namely the re-launch of Bradford Park Avenue as a home for largely Muslim local cricketers, the installation of a multi-faith prayer room at Headingley and the Wiketz and Pop-Up cricket programmes.

Please then talk to the club’s managers and acquire an understanding of their commitment to their jobs and to the people from all sectors of Yorkshire society.

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