Azeem Rafiq will be asked to give evidence to MPs over Yorkshire racism scandal

Azeem Rafiq will be asked to give evidence to MPs this month about the racism he suffered while playing for Yorkshire.

Azeem Rafiq playing for Yorkshire in 2017.
Azeem Rafiq playing for Yorkshire in 2017.

Mr Rafiq is expected to be called to speak to members on the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee - with the legal immunity of Parliamentary privilege giving him the ability to discuss the full detail of his experiences for the first time.

Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton, chief executive Mark Arthur and Martyn Moxon, the club's director of cricket, will also reportedly be called to provide evidence.

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No date or witness list has yet been confirmed for the hearing but it is expected to take place this month.

Speaking on the Today programme this morning, DCMS committee chair Julian Knight said he had been "dumbfounded" by Yorkshire's announcement that it had decided no disciplinary action was necessary against any of its employee despite a panel commissioned by the club finding Mr Rafiq had been subject to racial harassment and bullying.

Seven of 43 allegations made by Mr Rafiq were upheld by the panel, whose report has not been made public by Yorkshire.

But political pressure has been growing on the club after ESPNcricinfo reported Mr Rafiq had repeatedly being called a 'P***' by a current player as "banter".

Despite that the panel did not uphold that allegation, with ESPN reporting the panel found Rafiq used the word “Zimbo” when referring to a player of Zimbabwean heritage.

In the section of the report summary, published by Yorkshire on September 10, which concerned this allegation, it stated: “The panel did not find Azeem Rafiq’s evidence wholly credible and did not uphold these allegations concluding that both Azeem and the player engaged in friendly verbal attack towards each other, and no malice was intended by either to the other.

“The panel concluded Azeem Rafiq and his team-mate’s language towards each other was unacceptable and was racist and derogatory.

“The panel found that this highlighted the importance of YCCC monitoring the use of such language and taking appropriate action against those individuals who engage in such comments, even if it is in the context of ‘banter’ or ‘friendly’.”

Mr Knight, a Conservative MP, said he struggled to understand why Yorkshire had failed to act so far.

"We are reading a report which frankly is almost jawdropping in the way it takes no responsibility for gross and repellent racism," he said.

"If anyone in my office had used the P word in any context but particularly that context, their feet wouldn't have touched the floor as they left the office."

He said the committee intends to find out why there appears to have been a lack of action from Yorkshire.

"What we want to do as a committee is to get the lead people at Yorkshire CCC in front of us and ask them how they can justify not having taken action and why it is that they think somehow those that have used this language in their club are fit to still remain in their club."

He added the committee would also be seeking to establish what the club are going to do "in order to ensure Yorkshire gets a handle on this racism problem".

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is conducting its own regulatory process having been sent a copy of Yorkshire’s report, which it hopes to conclude “as quickly as possible”.

Yorkshire was contacted for comment.

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