LiveYorkshire CCC racism crisis: Live updates as Tom Harrison gives evidence to MPs after Azeem Rafiq's testimony

Follow live coverage of today's Parliamentary select committee hearing into the Yorkshire CCC racism crisis.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison arriving for the hearing.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport committee hearing is due to begin at 9.30am with evidence from former player Azeem Rafiq. Other witnesses include former Yorkshire CCC chairman Roger Hutton and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.

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Azeem Rafiq gave evidence for almost two hours this morning.
Former Yorkshire CCC chairman Roger Hutton gave evidence.

Yorkshire CCC: Live updates as Tom Harrison gives evidence to MPs after Azeem Rafiq’s testimony

Last updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2021, 13:15

  • ECB chief executive Tom Harrison giving evidence
  • Follows evidence by ex-Yorkshire CCC chair Roger Hutton
  • Two hours of powerful testimony given by Azeem Rafiq

ECB executives now giving evidence

The testimony from Roger Hutton and Lord Patel has now finished.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison and other officials from the governing body are now giving evidence.

ECB ‘should have stepped in'

Hutton said in his view the ECB could and should have led the investigation into Rafiq’s allegations, rather than leave it to Yorkshire.

“In my view the ECB did have the discretion to investigate,” he added.

“Any member of the ECB could have started that complaint, as they have just done with Essex at the moment. I think the investigation would have been far more satisfactory.”

Roger Hutton suggests Yorkshire CCC is institutionally racist

Roger Hutton is asked whether Yorkshire CCC is institutionally racist.

“I think the question remains unanswered,” he said.

But when pressed, he added: “I fear it falls within that definition.”

Change to scope of investigation ‘down to panel'

Roger Hutton asked about why scope of report were changed to avoid investigation team from law firm looking into the wider allegation of institutional racism at Yorkshire CCC before handing their findings over to an independent panel.

He said it was not done with his knowledge and “the panel must have concluded it wanted to make the finding about whether the club was institutionally racist or not”.

He said he has “no answer” as to why the change happened.

Legal advice ‘prevented report being published'

Roger Hutton said he recognised there were “limitations” in only publishing a summary of the report, rather than the full report.

He said the “strong advice” from barristers was that it could not be published.

Kamlesh Patel ‘prepared to take whatever decisions necessary'

New chair Lord Kamlesh Patel had been in the audience watching the hearing but has been called forward by MPs and is now giving evidence.

He said: “You see a lot of denial, you see a lot of sadness.

“This is an organisation that’s been hammered left, right and centre, maybe for the right reasons.

“Changes are going to have to be met and it’s not going to be overnight, but we have got to move on it, really quickly and really hard.

“I’m prepared to take whatever decisions I need to take.”

Reaction to Azeem Rafiq’s evidence

Nick Lowles, CEO of HOPE not hate, the UK’s leading antifascism and antiracism campaign group, said: “Watching Azeem Rafiq talk about the racism he has experienced has been heartbreaking.

“When racism is not taken seriously, or dismissed as ‘good natured banter’, there are real consequences. People get hurt.

“But what is most troubling is that what Azeem Rafiq has experienced is not an isolated incident, in cricket or across sport more generally.

“Over the years, we have heard countless accounts of people being racially abused in sport, and despite many campaigns to tackle the problem head on, the same issues crop up time and time again. We must now stand together and say ‘enough is enough’.

“Azeem Rafiq’s bravery in speaking out against those who abused him needs to be a turning point – this is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with Azeem and run racism out of sport, once and for all”.

Graves Trust ‘blocked removal of CEO and director of cricket'

Former chair Roger Hutton is now giving evidence.

He said he had been blocked from removing chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon from the board because the Colin Graves Trust vetoed it.

Graves was Hutton’s predecessor as chair and served as ECB chair from 2015 to 2020.

Hutton said he wanted to remove them “as a consequence of the failure to understand the gravity of the situation (regarding Rafiq) and failing to apologise, and particularly for their failings and to move on the recommendations”.

He said it was “wrong” that a major creditor like the Trust should have the power to veto board decisions.

Read more here about the background to the Graves Trust, which is owed almost £15m by Yorkshire CCC:

Graves Family trustees owed £15m by Yorkshire CCC give 'unequivocal' backing to Lord Kamlesh Patel appointment

Trustees owed almost £15m by Yorkshire County Cricket Club have given their “full and unequivocal” support to the appointment of Lord Kamlesh Patel as the new Yorkshire chairman in response to the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.

Azeem Rafiq says he lost his career to racism

Azeem Rafiq says he has lost his career to racism

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