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Updated 16-Nov-2021 • Published 16-Nov-2021

Live Blog - Parliamentary inquiry into Yorkshire racism investigation

Overview

  • Full coverage from Westminster of the DCMS committee hearing into the Yorkshire racism investigation. Follow the live stream here.
  • Azeem Rafiq made allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire to a number of outlets, including ESPNcricinfo, in 2020.
  • Many of Rafiq's complaints were upheld in an internal investigation, and a number of senior officials at Yorkshire have since resigned.
  • Rafiq will be giving evidence alongside Roger Hutton, former YCCC chair, and Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive, among others.
  Timeline
Showing newest first
  • The major moments from the Yorkshire hearings

  • Four hours of remarkable testimony conclude

  • We trusted Yorkshire and were let down - Harrison

  • Is the game failing?

  • Is the ECB fit for purpose?

  • I believe I lost my career to racism - Rafiq

  • Tom Harrison's opening remarks

  • Institutional racism at Yorkshire

  • Yorkshire's response to Black Lives Matter

  • Hutton on inquiry's findings

  • Lack of Asian players in Yorkshire team

  • Hutton asked why players were not sacked

  • Hutton on Colin Graves

  • Roger Hutton's opening remarks

  • 'Do I believe I lost my career to racism? Yes, I do.'

  • Rafiq on Lord Patel's appointment

  • Equity in cricket

  • Other players from other counties on racism

  • Rafiq on acceptance

  • Rafiq cites ESPNcricinfo as moment ECB took notice

  • On Yorkshire's delaying of the report

  • Rafiq on Joe Root

  • Rafiq resumes testimony

  • Rafiq breaks down during testimony

  • On South Asian Yorkshire representation

  • Rafiq on alcohol use

  • Rafiq on the Yorkshire racism report

  • Rafiq on Ballance and Bresnan

  • Azeem Rafiq addresses dressing room culture

  • Can Yorkshire work through their stages of grief?

  • Rafiq arrives for the hearings

  • Rafiq's lawyer speaks to BBC Today programme

  • Timetable of witnesses

Four hours of remarkable testimony conclude

Some extraordinary testimony came forward in the course of that hearing, most notably of course from Azeem Rafiq, who stated in black-and-white terms that he felt he had been robbed of his career by racism.
But there were some damning moments from both Roger Hutton, Yorkshire's former chairman, who declared his former employees as institutionally racist. And from Tom Harrison, who endured a serious grilling from the MPs, but declared that Yorkshire had betrayed the ECB's trust in failing to share the findings of its investigation.
And looming over the whole issue, it seems, is the awkward spectre of the Graves Trust - the family investment that essentially saved Yorkshire from bankruptcy some 15 years ago, but which now seems to stand squarely in the way of essential reforms at the club. More will follow on all that, no doubt.
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The Graves Trust issue

Hutton called the Graves Trust a roadblock, due to the trustees' influence on the board at Yorkshire.
Harrison: "The ECB's executive has been asked by the ECB board to commission a governance review, which we will make available to this committee."
And that concludes a torrid four hours of testimony.
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A watershed moment for the sport?

"Absolutely," says Harrison. "It comes down to results and accountability. The ECB would welcome the accountability to achieve the results this committee wants. There are times, frankly, the ECB needs to lead, and have a degree of control. It may not be popular within the county network, but it is fundamental to our ability to stay relevant in our changing environment. Is cricket a game for everyone, and are we serious about driving policy towards accessibility, transparency? Inspiring Generations is an inspiring document, it is the right plan, I have heard an element of hope that we can use this to bring people together. All of the measures we talked about today are opportunities to bring the game together, and move forward."
In response to people's disappointment with cricket, Harrison says: "We know we've let you down, we are going to fix this quickly, and throughout our network we are going to transform this game quickly."
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We trusted Yorkshire and were let down - Harrison

"Until you have eradicated racism from sport, I don't think you can say you've done enough," Harrison states.
It is put to Harrison that the process of Yorkshire investigating and passing to the ECB for sanctioning was flawed because the club then with-held it.
"We trusted Yorkshire, and we were let down," says Harrison. "I agree that the handling of the report indicates issues around institutional racism." Pressed on whether he agrees with Hutton's explicit assessment on that point, Harrison stands his ground and says "I think I've made my position".
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Is the game failing?

"I accept there is an awful lot more work to do here," says Harrison. "But it's not fair to say this is symptomatic of the whole country."
Kate Miller acknowledges that there is "mistrust" of administrators such as ECB. "It's clear we have not gone far or fast enough. There is more for us to learn."
Game-wide anti-discrimination code was instigated this season, adds Miller. "There wasn't an explicit code previously, you would be charged with bringing the game into disrepute."
She also cites the ECB's dedicated South Asian Action Plan, seeing significant percentage increase in pathway participants.
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Is the ECB fit for purpose?

The ECB executives are getting rather bogged down in procedural detail.
Is the ECB fit for purpose, asks Julie Elliott MP? "Yes, we are learning a lesson here," says Harrison. "We have a long way to go to make this game a game for everyone."
Kate Miller, the head of diversity and comms, outlines some of the initiatives that the ECB has undertaken.
"When we were informed about the Yorkshire situation we had an instantaneous board meeting, to take steps to sanction YCCC," adds Harrison, outlining the stripping of the club's major-match status.
"I do feel the ECB have been aware of the importance of this agenda ... if you look at our strategy document, Inspiring Generations, it has EDI at its heart. Where we have struggled is getting the first-class game to wake up to the same extent. If we are not already in an emergency, we are approaching one."
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Differences between Yorkshire and Essex

The ECB are under the pump from the outset, with focus on racist activities at Essex as well as Yorkshire, and the difference in how they've been investigated.
Are they a lore undo themselves, Julian Knight asks of Yorkshire. "Are they too big to [be pulled into line?]"
"The reason why Yorkshire were allowed to undergo this investigation is that up to that point it was normal," says Harrison. "We have learnt lessons through this process, not only that it has been handled incredibly badly, but has taken so long. A litany of issues to deal with which will help us going forward."
Harrison and Botros are focussing on the potential for conflicts within the regulatory process, and the need to keep a separation between the ECB and the independent regulatory committee. Damien Green acknowledges that parliament isn't the best placed to comment on self-scrutiny, but that there's room for improvement.
"In the absence of a better system it works," says Harrison. "It sounds like a system open to abuse," notes Julie Elliott MP.
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Tom Harrison's opening remarks

"We've all been moved by Azeem's testimony, to say the least," says Tom Harrison, ECB chief executive. He wants a short statement to be read, but Julian Knight says "that's not alright, answer the question". No messing about here...
Meena Botros, head of ECB legal, states that Roger Hutton asked the ECB to put a member of the board on the panel in relation to the Yorkshire investigation. Asked if Hutton had asked the ECB to take on the investigation wholesale, Harrison steps in to state that the previous chair, Ian Watmore, may have had discussions.
The committee has asked for all correspondence pertaining to this decision to be shared, to establish the truth of what was asked of the ECB and when.
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Are Yorkshire unlucky to be in the eye of the storm

"If you've conducted acts of racism, you are not unlucky," says Hutton.
There are a series of chairmen who want to work more proactively to deal with this situation, Hutton adds of the game-wide issue of racism.
Finally, do Yorkshire have an opportunity to rise "phoenix-like" from this crisis?
Lord Patel agrees. "This is a watershed moment, he says, likening it to the deaths of Stephen Lawrence, and David "Rocky" Bennett. "Absolutely, I would like this to be the right template going forward."
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Institutional racism at Yorkshire

Asked if Yorkshire is institutionally racist, Hutton states that the panel concluded there was insufficient evidence but adds that he has observed there was a "great deal of thoughtlessness, ignorance, reluctance to apologise, to see Azeem as a victim and a reluctance to put into place the recommendations"
"I think the question remains unanswered."
But pressed on the matter, he adds. "I fear that [the club] falls within that definition."
Adds that the ECB should have recognised the issue and got properly involved, without distancing themselves by stating they are the regulatory body. "In my view they could have investigated, they should have investigated."
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Yorkshire's response to Black Lives Matter

The players wore a logo, Hutton says, but adds that the real opportunity came when Rafiq made his statement, some weeks after George Floyd's death.
Is Yorkshire an outlier among county clubs? "I wouldn't say that." The players wore anti-discrimination logos, and an EDI committee was formed to create change, in response to the BLM movement.
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Hutton on inquiry's findings

"I was shocked and surprised," he says of the allegations within the report. "I recognise there were limitations in only publishing the summary of the report."
"There were a number of complexities in the report, and without the participants agreeing to waive their rights, you can't publish. The [employment] tribunal also complicated the issue, sadly under legal advice we could not publish the report."
On Rafiq's bereavement, "there are mental health policies, I am aware of one player having support".
Lord Patel is asked of his plans to reach out to players.
"My initial progress has been to set up an independent hotline, for people to go to confidentially. I would rather that than they go to the media, for trial by media."
Hutton is asked if he was surprised how the report was written. "I was surprised at differing views from the investigating team and the panel, which was unhelpful." The investigating team, he adds, tried to anonymize issues, whereas the panel made them more explicit, which hindered publication.
Alarmed by refusals to give evidence? "Yes, one of the difficulties with the club commissioning the report is you can't compel people to come forward, it is a voluntary process."
Asked about previous Fletcher report into racism in 2014. "I was not aware of it."
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Lack of Asian players in Yorkshire team

Hutton acknowledges that players in parks are largely South Asian, 'ridiculous' they don't end up playing for Yorkshire.
"The club recruited an inclusion manager in March, everyone understood it needs to develop its accessibility and reach."
Lord Patel is asked about the senior players in the dressing-room, and how they set the culture.
"It's not just about them being players, they are part of the solution. They need to come round the table now, having a say. Do we consult and talk, or do we listen and work with them? Be honest and truthful."
"I struggle with the idea of employing an equality manager, because it then becomes their problem. It sits with the chairman and chief exec, because if we don't believe it, it's on a hiding to nothing."
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Hutton asked why players were not sacked

On Gary Ballance's use of the P-word...
"I didn't have an executive role, but the club took advice from lawyers. A clear educational and training need", but not a disciplinary issue.
Did you talk to Moxon about the issue. "It was hard to get them to do things you wanted them to do. Hosts of emails and calls, to do the following things. They were not done."
Is anyone there capable of grasping nettle, asked Damien Green MP.
Hutton says he started his role during Covid, so had not met several relevant board members. "Non-executives were very supportive of my time as chair. But the culture is at the heart of the issue, the club is stuck in the past."
As chairman, do you have power to make change, Green asks Lord Patel. "I am days into my tenure, but in terms of feeling and talking to people you see denial, and phenomenally hardworking people who've given lives to the club, and people who are scared and stressed... a lot of sadness. We all have to go on a journey, I need to be an active chairman, because this is an organisation that has been hammered left, right and centre, but there are individuals at the heart of it. We've got to move on it quickly, and hard. I am prepared to take whatever decisions I need to take to change it."
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Hutton on Colin Graves

"One of my difficulties as chair is that I cannot remove a director without the consent of the Colin Graves Trust."
Makes it clear that Graves Trust supports Arthur, Moxon and senior management including HR. "I believe there are a number of people in the organisation who impact the culture negatively."
Says he wanted to remove Arthur and Moxon, "not because of the conduct in the report, but their failure to understand the gravity". Also says Head of HR should have gone.
Acknowledges that Colin Graves Trust saved the club from financial strife, but feels it's wrong that a creditor should hold such sway over the club.
Lord Patel is asked to step forward to discuss the veto that the Graves Trust has over the board.
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Roger Hutton's opening remarks

"Incredibly powerful," Hutton, the former Yorkshire chair, says of Rafiq's testimony, and repeats his apology to the player.
Adds that he is "deeply disappointed" that Yorkshire's current representatives chose not to appear.
Asked by the chair, Julian Knight, if Arthur and Moxon are "cowards", Hutton says they have failed to recognise the gravity of the situation and that they have not wanted to apologise.
"There was a moment I was asked if we could abandon the investigation," says it was the "CEO", Arthur, who asked that. "The CEO made it clear that he did not want to apologise to Azeem Rafiq," he says of the failed conclusion to the employment tribunal in June this year. That case was recently settled.
"There was a clear resistance to see Azeem as the victim, and a failure to look at the recommendations of the panel."
There's not one defining moment, he adds, but that resistance grew over time.
"I believe the club's culture is stuck in the past, I felt that my resigning [in August] would not help change that culture."
Asked if he regrets not making a stand earlier, he says not. "I believe that not capitulating to those people that didn't want change to happen... [helped move things forward]."
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'Do I believe I lost my career to racism? Yes, I do.'

"All I want is a nice game for everyone, regardless of race and agenda."
John Nicholson MP refers back to the incident as a 15-year-old when he had wine poured down his throat. Says it took place in a car, and he has witnesses to corroborate it.
"I'm angry at myself for looking the other way, I wasn't strong enough."
Asked if he has any "heroes" standing up for him, he cites Tino Best and Rana Naved, both overseas players.
"The institution was you had people being openly racist, and the bystanders."
Asked if class was an issue, Rafiq says "I'm not sure" but cites a PhD on private-school involvement in cricket, which concludes that being white and privately educated boosts your chances of a professional career.
Why has minority representation in football risen and fallen in cricket. "There's been a shift in football," he says, praising the likes of Marcus Rashford for their efforts on the social front.
Asked about his 'lost career', he chokes up and acknowledges it has been 'horrible'. "Do I believe I lost my career to racism? Yes, I do. Hopefully in five years I'll look back at something bigger than the runs and wickets I got."
Talking about his wife, Rafiq admits his family life has been a struggle. "My kids haven't had a dad because I've been worrying about Yorkshire discrediting me".
And that concludes Azeem Rafiq's testimony.
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Rafiq on Lord Patel's appointment

"Even as close as two weeks ago, Yorkshire genuinely felt they could hide this. I don't think Mark Arthur thinks he's done anything wrong... or Martyn or Andrew. We talked about Michael [Vaughan], he's taking the same stance, deny, deny, deny."
Thanks the sports press, cricket media, 'some top people' who haven't let this rest.
"It is my club, I am a capped player. It hurts me, but I have tried endless times to avoid this ending up in a car-crash."
Says he had a five-six-hour meeting with Lord Patel, who reached out immediately. "I challenged him on a lot of things", says he disagrees with some of what he said, 'but I respected his honesty'. "I don't see this as the end.
Adds that Lord Patel has made some proposals, but would prefer to sit on the outside and hold the club to account, rather than take opportunities within the club and say everything has changed. "I don't want the system to think they can induce me with job offers... I couldn't give two jots. In five years time, no-one wants to give me a job, that's fine, but if the game is a lot nicer, I'll be very proud of what I've done."
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Equity in cricket

Alex Davies-Jones MP asks about the appointment of Cindy Butts as chair of the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket.
"We've seen it all before," says Rafiq. "This [Yorkshire] panel was meant to be independent, but it showed these things are a delaying tactic. We are sick and tired of inquiries, all we are asking for is to be treated fairly. Respect as a human race."
Hopes that people will 'really listen' to the whistleblowing hotline, but also that there is accountability going forward. "We need organic change, if tokenism is the angle the ECB go down, I will call it out."
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Other players from other counties on racism

Steve Brine MP asks about Rafiq's knowledge of other players in his situation.
"I've had messages from Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire ... some are still scared, some ask if it is racism? One recurrence is that P**i is common." Cites one player being called a "bomber" and Maurice Chambers' experience of 'monkey' and 'banana' jibes at Essex.
"I want to help young players coming into the game, but also for counties to change their environments and coaches so that they can achieve their dream."
Says he believes his ability and captaincy skills could have 'taken him right to the top'. But says the PCA has been particularly hurtful - 'thought they would be right in my corner'. Now that I've been 'brave or stupid enough' to stand up to an institution he wants to force the necessary change.
On the talent that's been lost... "missed out on a lot, a better representation of the country...' Says the representation of Black cricketers is also "worrying". ECB need to make tangible changes, rather than PR changes.
Steve Brine asks if other sports have been in touch... not so much, he says. "When I was playing cricket, I didn't know about much else that was going on in the world."
"I can't imagine, as a parent, why I would want my child to go anywhere near the game. It's clear in professional sport, players go from playing to coaching, and they don't know how to handle themselves in front of kids."
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Rafiq on acceptance

Julie Elliott MP says that "I believe you and most of the people in the country will believe you". Asks if anyone has reached out to you.
Says he took a phonecall from Matthew Hoggard after his Sky interview, apologising for the words he had said, and Rafiq says he was grateful for the gesture. "All I've ever wanted is acceptance, an apology..."
"The wider game doesn't want to listen," he says, claiming that counties are making a "quick rush to move forward", including with the setting-up of a whistleblowing hotline. "Until the game starts listening, and hearing it, we cannot move forward".
"My everyday life for as long as I have known has been cricket. Cricket and professional sport is a lot worse than [wider] society. It's a cop-out to say it's a societal problem. Let's sort out where we are every day, and hopefully that will sort out society in the long term."
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Rafiq on Yorkshire's cover-up

"It's been done shoddily," he says of the attempts to get people to give evidence. "Yorkshire have tried to discredit me. Mark Arthur resigned with no remorse, his statement was a CV about how he'd signed a catering company."
"I made it perfectly clear in as much detail as I could what I felt. Other people are still fearful of coming forward. We need to get away from looking for excuses for these individuals."
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Rafiq cites ESPNcricinfo as moment ECB took notice

"I don't think they help but people got sick and tired of not getting opportunities," Rafiq says of the Asian League structure in Yorkshire
Cites the Barnsley league chairman joking that a West Indian player had been "selling him sunglasses in Tenerife".
Cites George Dobell's article on ESPNcricinfo as the moment that Tom Harrison, ECB chairman, took notice and called him via Zoom. "I kept begging the ECB, PCA, that Yorkshire are not doing the right thing... this is going to end up as a car crash."
ESPNcricinfo's subsequent article, outlining details of the use of "p**i" as 'banter' was the moment that sponsors started pulling out of the club, Rafiq adds.
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On Yorkshire's delaying of the report

There's three facets to this, he says. My career, and what happened. The independent investigation, which was far from independent. And the cover-up.
Claims that members of the panel were being entertained during the Headingley Test match while writing their report.
"My family didn't know what I was going through until I did my Sky interview. This is a problem up and down the country." Leicester, he adds, has a massive Asian community and "next to no representation" and believes that the appointment of Wasim Khan as the first British-Asian chief executive exacerbated the problem.
"Good people who are not racist just look the other way."
Julian Knight says that the DCMS committee will not be publishing the report, stating it is "Yorkshire's mess", and they can't rely on parliamentary privilege to avoid being sued. Rafiq's witness statement, however, will be published in full.
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Rafiq on Michael Vaughan

"It's important we don't make it about Michael. He may not remember it because it's not important to him." Says he and Adil Rashid have spoken a lot about it, and criticised the process by which Vaughan was able to "use his platform at the Daily Telegraph" to discredit Rafiq's statement. "It was completely wrong".
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Historic instances of racism in cricket

Asked what "white rose values" are, he says he doesn't share them, citing historic instances of abuse, including from Imran Khan some 30-plus years ago.
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Rafiq on Joe Root

"To be clear Rooty's a good man, he's never engaged in racist language." But he says he was hurt by Root's claims he'd never heard racist abuse, especially as he was Ballance's housemate.
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Rafiq resumes testimony

"I felt like social media was my voice," he says, after interest in his cause died out in the winter months of 2020-21. "I was a voice for the voiceless... I had a responsibility. There's a negative side to social media, my family has been abused, I've been abused, but it's fine, I will take it as it's something I feel passionate about."
If Yorkshire had taken the chance to make the right changes, he adds, we wouldn't be where we are.
Puts on record his thanks to "a lot of people on social media".
Damien Green MP asks why he went back to Yorkshire after leaving in 2014.
"In my first spell, I was in denial, knew something wasn't right but didn't know what." Says he had been training with Derbyshire in 2016, but didn't get a contract. "I had to put food on my family's table," he says.
"When it became evident around the loss of my son, I was like, I can't keep looking the other way. Right at the end, the last year-and-a-half, was when he saw the issue for what it was. Up until 2017, he didn't want to accept he was being bullied because of his race.
Yorkshire, he says, "is still my club". Not interested in just throwing the book at Yorkshire, it's "up and down the game". Calls out the ECB's "T-shirts" (moments of unity), and the fact they stopped taking the knee in support of Black Lives Matter.
"My experience is not just limited to me, and it's something the ECB, PCA, counties have never wanted to deal with it. Is it because they don't want representation from the South Asian community [to match] the talent that comes from there."
Within our community the problem is not at the recreational level because we love the game, we want to play the game. But when we get to 16, 17, 18 and we have to go from academy to the professional game, everything that I've spoken about is a challenge."
"Whenever there's an initiative, whenever there's anything, it goes straight to the grassroots because that box is already ticked, they can tell everyone how great they've been.
He said certain action plans and initiatives are "... box-ticking a lot of tokenism, which is setting us back and it doesn't really deal with the issue which is in the dressing room, on the ground".
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Rafiq breaks down during testimony

"I've got a bit of Karachi and a bit of Barnsley in me... no-one can ever put me through that pain again," he says of the strength he's had to show to get to this point. "I thought there might be some humanity left in these individuals."
"This process over the last 14 months has been difficult, but I've kept putting myself and my wife..." And he breaks out in tears, and Julian Knight calls for a five-minute adjournment.
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On South Asian Yorkshire representation

"It's actually scary," Rafiq says of the current lack of representation at the club. Adil Rashid is the only Asian on the playing staff at present. "Denial, briefings, cover-up, smearing..."
Claims include phrases such as 'clubhouses are the lifeblood of club cricket, but Asian players never go in there ... 'getting subs out of Asian players is like blood from a stone.' Calls out David Lloyd, Sky pundit and former England coach for encouraging such beliefs.
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Rafiq on alcohol use

Aged 15, Rafiq claims he was pinned down and had red wine poured down his throat. "I didn't touch alcohol until 2012 but felt I had to to fit in." He also relates his alcohol use to the death of his son.
On harrassment over Muslim faith, a fellow player was blamed for mistakes when fasting.
On fellow Asian players, he references the treatment of Cheteshwar Pujara, who was known as "Steve", despite requesting not to be called that way. And "Kevin" is a derogatory phrase used by Gary Ballance to signify a player of colour.
There is an England player nicknamed "Black Dog", he adds. Claims that Alex Hales, a close friend of Ballance in his England days, named his dog Kevin for that reason.
"This is a problem up and down the country," he adds. Hope that people are not going to be discredited and smeared about.
British Asian representation since 2010, he states, has had a drop of nearly 40 percent, and there's 4 percent represention at professional level. "Going from academy to professional level, there's a problem," he adds.
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Rafiq on the Yorkshire racism report

"My aim was to try and see if I can help others," he says of his intentions in this whole saga. Says the lawyers were "respectful at first" but as soon as the evidence was in they moved away from institutional issues, and focussed on individuals. "The club, the lawyers, the panel have tried to do that," he says.
"P**i is never banter," he adds, and criticises Mesba Ahmed, one of the panel members, for trying to defend its use in a column for the Telegraph. "It shows the scale of the problem," he adds.
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Rafiq on Ballance and Bresnan

Talking about his relationship with Gary Ballance, a fellow "outsider" as he came from Zimbabwe. Says their relationship deteriorated around 2013. Says he struggled as captain from 2017 onwards in a "toxic dressing room".
Calls out Steve Patterson, the former captain, and 'six or seven players' making complaints about Tim Bresnan.
"I thought everyone would complain about [Bresnan] but the board minutes said I was a troublemaker".
Says on his return to the club after the death of his son, Martyn Moxon the director of cricket "ripped the shreds out of me". Raised his issues with the National Asian Cricket Council, but says his issues were instantly relayed to Mark Arthur, Yorkshire's CEO, prior to their meeting.
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Azeem Rafiq addresses dressing room culture

Julian Knight is giving his opening remarks, and welcomes Azeem Rafiq as his first witness. He adds there have been "widespread refusals" to appear as witnesses.
Rafiq talks of being a young kid from Pakistan, growing up in Barnsley, dreaming of playing for England. Meeting his heroes, including 2005 Ashes winners Michael Vaughan and Matthew Hoggard.
Says he entered a culture of exclusion from the outset, dressing-room comments including "you lot sit there" by the toilets, and "elephant washers".
Talks of leaving the club in 2014, returning a few years later because "they couldn't replace me". The culture changed under Alex Lees the captain, and Jason Gillespie, the former head coach. But the "temperature was turned up" when Gillespie left to be replaced by Andrew Gale, and a "White Rose culture".
Frequent use of the P-word within the dressing room, and comments such as "he's not a Sheikh", "is that your dad".
He adds it was normalised, which may be why he "no-one remembers it".
Breaks down in tears as he discusses the still-birth of his child, and Julian Knight encourages him to take his time. Quite the opening...
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Can Yorkshire work through their stages of grief?

It’s been a humiliating few weeks for Yorkshire already, but as David Hopps - a veteran observer of Headingley infighting - notes, the worst is almost certainly to come. Can the club use this moment to embrace a new beginning? Here’s his considered take on what the saga has thrown up so far…
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Rafiq arrives for the hearings

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Rafiq's lawyer speaks to BBC Today programme

Jen Robinson, Azeem’s lawyer, has been speaking to the Today programme this morning,
“There’s a lot more to be said about the culture of racism at Yorkshire. Azeem was encouraged to speak out after the Black Lives Matter movement, and for the past year all the club has done is try to quieten things up and sweep things under the carpet.
“This is the first part of what he wants to see change, to talk about the problem and break the silence. To make sure that kids coming through cricket don’t go through what he had to go through.
“This has never been about individual players, it is about taking on a culture at Yorkshire where [racial slurs] had become normalised. Changing the way that people are treated within the sport.
On Michael Vaughan’s comments: “Depends what he is asked in parliament, but this is not about individual players. This is about a pattern of behaviour at the club.”
On Monday, Vaughan reiterated his denial that he had claimed there were “too many of you lot”, addressing the four Asian players in Yorkshire’s team in a 2009 T20 fixture.
“I categorically deny saying the words attributed to me by Azeem Rafiq and want to re-state this publicly because the ‘you lot’ comment simply never happened,” said Vaughan in a statement released to the PA news agency.
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Timetable of witnesses

Welcome to ESPNcricinfo's coverage of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's select committee hearing into Yorkshire County Cricket Club's handling of allegations of institutional racism.
A number of witnesses are due to speak throughout the day, although the witness list has been chopping and changing in the past few days. It now seems that none of Mark Arthur, Martyn Moxon or Wayne Morton will be speaking on behalf of Yorkshire, and Barry O'Brien, the ECB's interim chair, also pulled out on Monday.
You can click here to follow the live stream of the sessions, or stay tuned for the pick of the comments and reaction right here.
The anticipated timetable is as follows:
9am Opening remarks
9.30am Azeem Rafiq, former Yorkshire cricketer
10.15am Roger Hutton, former chair, YCCC
11.15am Tom Harrison, CEO, Meena Botros, director of legal, Kate Miller, chief diversity and comms officer, and Alan Dickinson, non-executive director, all ECB.
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