Yorkshire County Cricket Club to take no disciplinary action in race row
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Yorkshire County Cricket Club says it will not be taking disciplinary action against any of its employees, players or executives in the wake of a report which concluded one of its players had suffered racial harassment at the club.
Last year, former player Azeem Rafiq, said he had been the victim of “institutional racism” at the club. Seven of the 43 allegations made by the player were subsequently upheld by an independent panel.
But a statement released by the club this afternoon, says that while it carried out its own internal investigation into Rafiq’s allegations, it has concluded: “there is no conduct or action taken by any of its employees, players or executives that warrants disciplinary action.”
The statement adds: “Ultimately the issues raised by Azeem Rafiq are going to be considered not only by the Panel but also the Employment Tribunal and the England and Wales Cricket Board. (ECB)
“None of this diminishes the importance of the findings or that fact that there is much the club can learn from the report.
“It was important for Azeem to raise the issues and without him doing so we would not have the Panel’s recommendations which are an important part of the club’s continuing journey.
“Club Chair Roger Hutton believes the club and everyone connected to it should be proud of the work the club has done to improve diversity and inclusion prior to his involvement, but equally acknowledges there remains much to be done going forward.”
Rafiq has responded on Twitter to the club’s latest statement, commenting: “Hold on a minute here, so you accept I was the victim of racial harassment and bullying but no one warrants disciplinary action? Sometimes you just want to scream!
“@ECB_cricket come on now, sort this before I do!”
The cricket club has already faced criticism for only publishing a redacted version of the independent panel’s findings.
The club has also said today: “The club has previously provided a summary of that report in the press but for legal reasons has been unable to publish the report in its entirety.”The club is pleased to have disclosed a redacted version of the report as part of the ongoing Employment Tribunal proceedings on 8 October.
“Following this disclosure the club has also been able to provide a copy of the report to the ECB and is working with them on their investigation into the issues raised.
“The club is also keen to work with the ECB on issues of diversity and have offered their help to the ECB on what is such an important issue for the game as a whole.”
A spokesperson for Rafiq said: “It is inconceivable that there are no current employees who should have been disciplined for their conduct.
“Yorkshire’s failures continue to mount up and it is time that board members – for once – do the decent thing and resign.”
The player also noted that he had yet to receive a copy of the full report, apparently having receiving a heavily redacted version earlier this month.
The ECB has confirmed it has received a copy of the report and said: “This is a matter with many serious allegations at its heart and the ECB’s regulatory team will now consider the report as part of its investigation. We anticipate that it will take time for the regulatory process to reach its conclusion, but it is imperative that this is completed thoroughly and with fairness to all involved.”
The governing body added that it has been assured by club it will “cooperate fully with the ongoing regulatory process”.