Comment: Yorkshire CCC’s Martyn Moxon and Andrew Gale had to go - will Gary Ballance be next?

Inevitable. Had to happen. Surprised it took this long.

Shown the door: Andrew Gale, left, and Martyn Moxon, right, have left Yorkshire CCC and Gary Ballance, centre, faces an uncertain future. (Picture: Steve Riding)

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Martyn Moxon and Andrew Gale out at Yorkshire CCC in wake of Azeem Rafiq racism ...

Director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon and first-team coach Andrew Gale simply had to be relieved of their duties by Yorkshire County Cricket Club in the wake of the allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq of racism at the club.

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Not in any conscionable way could Yorkshire purport to move forward as a diverse, inclusive club with these two men remaining in position.

Martyn Moxon and Andrew Gale left the club on December 3 (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Moxon presided over what we now know to be a culture of racism at the club.

Gale, according to Rafiq’s testimony at the DCMS hearing last month, not only presided over it but took part in it.

He had been subsequently suspended for a historic anti-semitic tweet and was under investigation by the club, an investigation that ended on Friday, December 3, with Yorkshire announcing that Gale, Moxon and 14 other members of the coaching staff had been removed from the club.

Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford promised change when taking over as chairman of a club on its knees in late October, and he has been true to his word.

Back in 2016, Andrew Gale (L) is pictured with director of cricket Martyn Moxon (R) as he is announced as the new head coach for Yorkshire CCC. (Picture: SWPix.com)

At every opportunity he has stressed: “We want to make Yorkshire County Cricket Club a place for everyone, from all backgrounds.”

That could not have been possible with Moxon and Gale staying at the club, how could it?

What player of Asian descent would feel comfortable going to play cricket for a Yorkshire team run by two men complicit in a racist culture?

Which brings us on to another guilty party: Gary Ballance.

The batsman and former captain was outed as the team-mate who frequently used the ‘P’ word towards Rafiq a month before the DCMS hearing.

He released a statement saying he ‘regretted’ the incidents took place, but stopped short of apologising.

Ballance is still at the club having signed a new three-year deal at the end of the season just gone.

But again ask yourself, what player of Asian descent, or from any ethnic background or minority, would feel comfortable going to play cricket for a Yorkshire team with Ballance still in the dressing room as a senior figure?

If Lord Patel wants to “move on from the past to become a culture which is progressive and inclusive” then Ballance has to go as well.

That no announcement has been made yet on Ballance’s future, and that it did take 17 days after Rafiq’s explosive testimony to remove Gale and Moxon, suggests Lord Patel is staying true to another promise he made, that he would listen to all parties. Moxon and Gale, one would hope, had the chance to put forward their side of the argument, though neither has spoken publicly about the allegations levelled against them by Rafiq, and they have had 15 months to do so.

What does that say?

Both men enjoyed great success with Yorkshire County Cricket Club; both as players and coaches.

They were director of cricket and captain when Yorkshire won back-to-back County Championship Division One titles in 2014 and 2015.

There is no doubting they poured their heart and soul into making Yorkshire County Cricket Club a success on the pitch. But they did so by harnessing a toxic environment, one that made some players feel isolated, bullied, threatened.

Any good they once did for the club will largely be forgotten, forever tainted by the shame in which they now leave Yorkshire.