Joe Root stands by statement claiming he did not witness instances of racism at Yorkshire CCC
Azeem Rafiq said he found Root’s denial of ever hearing racist language “hurtful” when he gave his harrowing testimony to MPs earlier this month concerning the abuse he suffered over two spells at the county.
Rafiq found Root’s comments, issued before the appearance before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, “strange” and said it indicated how normalised such language was at Yorkshire.
Root – who said he had exchanged messages with Rafiq since he gave his evidence – insists he never heard anything untoward.
“I stand by what I said. I don’t recall those incidences and, you know, if there are oversights on my part then that’s an area which we all have to learn from and allow us to learn from,” said Root.
Root, who also said he had dialogue with Yorkshire’s new chair Lord Patel, was praised in 2019 for calling out alleged homophobic language during a match against the West Indies.
“There have been other things that happened on the cricket field where I feel like I have stepped in and called things out, and I think that comes from growth and learning and understanding and education,” he said.
“There’s so much work that has to be done. There’s so much energy that has to be thrown into this.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board unveiled a game-wide, 12-point action plan to combat discrimination in the sport on Friday.
Within that will be a review of dressing-room culture.