MPs to grill Professional Cricketers' Association over 'inept' support of Azeem Rafiq

Representatives of the Professional Cricketers’ Association are to be grilled by MPs over the “inept” support provided to Yorkshire CCC whistleblower Azeem Rafiq.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which heard evidence from Rafiq in November about his experiences of racial harassment and bullying at Headingley, have arranged a follow-up hearing with the players’ union next week.

The hearing will take place at 10am on Tuesday and involve PCA chair James Harris and vice chair Anuj Dal giving evidence, alongside fellow witnesses Rob Lynch, who is the PCA chief executive, and Julian Metherell, PCA non-executive chair.

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A spokesperson for the committee said: “The Committee is expected to question the PCA on the support they provided Azeem Rafiq when he accused Yorkshire County Cricket Club of racial harassment and bullying - support that he characterised as ‘incredibly inept’.”

Azeem Rafiq gave explosive evidence to MPs in November.

“The union’s involvement in the ECB’s 12-point plan to combat racism in the sport may be explored. This plan followed the Committee’s Racism in cricket report which recommended that funding for cricket must depend on progress on tackling racism.”

The hearing follows committee chair Julian Knight warning Yorkshire CCC’s future is hanging in the balance after new chairman Lord Kamlesh Patel said there were ongoing attempts to derail reform of the club.

A second panel on the same day will address football governance with MPs expected to investigate the policy of the Professional Footballers’ Association towards footballers accused of sexual assault and their attitude towards accused players rejoining teams.

It follows recent controversy around Raith Rovers signing David Goodwillie, who was found by a judge in a civil case in 2017 to have raped a woman.

The fan-led review of football governance, the slowing growth of the women’s game, and the committee’s previous report into concussion in sport are also on the agenda. with PFA chief executive Maheta Molango and chair Geoff Thompson scheduled to give evidence.

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