Azeem Rafiq scandal: Why did Yorkshire CCC players and staff not defend themselves - YP Letters

As a long-standing member of YCCC for 57 years, I am deeply saddened by the racism allegations made by Azeem Rafiq, writes David Tunbridge of Sheffield.

Andrew Gale and Martyn Moxon left Yorkshire CCC last week (Picture: SWPix.com)
Andrew Gale and Martyn Moxon left Yorkshire CCC last week (Picture: SWPix.com)

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Whilst I fundamentally believe that the club is not institutionally racist, it is clear that the club did not deal with these allegations in a professional manner, and that failure to do so, has resulted in this current debacle.

The fact that no-one appeared to challenge Rafiq’s allegations by absenting themselves from the DCMS inquiry, meant that Rafiq had a clear ride to tell his story without reply.

Azeem Rafiq playing for Yorkshire in 2016. (Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Regarding the inquiry, I am disgusted at the comments made by Julian Knight MP, who made his views clear prior to the hearing before he had heard any evidence and should not have been allowed to chair the inquiry.

The latest communication from Headingley relating to the departures of Moxon, Gale and 14 others from the coaching and medical staff is a total over-reaction by Lord Patel and I feel that his action will inevitably lead to claims for unfair dismissal which the club can ill afford.

I appreciate that Lord Patel wants to introduce a new culture into the club which is inclusive and open to ensure equal opportunities for everyone, but to sack 16 members of staff is grossly unfair without giving them a fair hearing to defend any allegations of racism brought against the club.

The playing staff has, so far, not gone public with their views, but it is inevitable that strong emotions will be running through the dressing room and sadly, I fear, this will lead to some wishing to leave the club in protest.

The whole saga is desperately sad for Yorkshire County Cricket Club and I fear for what further action the ECB will take against the club especially as they got such a bad press from the DCMS and will therefore, be looking to punish the club further with sanctions such as relegation to Division Two and a points deduction.

David Tunbridge

Sheffield