Yorkshire CCC racism probe was ‘badly handled’ claims Rich Pyrah

Former Yorkshire bowling coach Richard Pyrah delivered a withering assessment of the “badly handled” investigation into Azeem Rafiq’s racism allegations.

Pyrah, a former seamer at the White Rose who joined the backroom staff following the end of his playing career, was charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board in relation to his ex-team-mate’s claims. However, Pyrah this week joined Andrew Gale, Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan and John Blain in refusing to engage with the process ahead of the Cricket Discipline Commission panel’s public hearing next month.

While the charges will still be heard in the quintet’s absence, only Michael Vaughan is scheduled to defend himself in person, with Gary Ballance and Yorkshire accepting charges against them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pyrah, one of 16 members of Yorkshire staff sacked in December 2021 as incoming chair Lord Patel began dealing with the fallout of institutional racism claims, said in a statement: “I can confirm that I have withdrawn from the CDC hearing. To this point I have fully cooperated with both YCCC and the ECB investigation despite feeling that the processes involved have not been open, fair or transparent.

Rich Pyrah.Rich Pyrah.
Rich Pyrah.

“I feel that the allegations of racism made by Azeem Rafiq have been badly handled.

"They have not been appropriately challenged and appear to me to have been taken at face value by Lord Patel and the ECB. Everyone at Yorkshire was treated as culpable without the allegations being properly investigated.

“When Azeem Rafiq initially made his allegations not one was made against me personally,” he added.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“During the ECB investigation I was never once accused of, or asked about, any specific racism point against me.

"Then I found out I have been charged by the ECB on racism points that I had never heard of, or questioned on, before.”

Yorkshire agreed a settlement with Pyrah, 40, last September after accepting his sacking was “procedurally unfair”.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire declined to comment, but told the PA news agency that Lord Patel had met Pyrah on 8 and 12 November 2021.