Yorkshire have said there "must be no repercussions" for any witnesses giving evidence in the investigation of "institutional racism" at the club made by former captain, Azeem Rafiq.

Responding to Rafiq's call for witness anonymity on Thursday, the club released a statement on Friday stating that they "completely agree with Azeem".

And while the statement stops short of promising anonymity, it does accept the need for "impartially".

"We completely agree with Azeem that there must be no repercussions for any witnesses who give evidence to the investigation," the statement sent to ESPNcricinfo reads. "We must address these allegations impartially and with urgency so we can understand how the club and cricket as a whole move forward."

The club has also announced the addition of two people to the investigation panel. Rehana Azib, a barrister and employment law specialist, and Helen Hyde, the former Personnel Director at Waitrose, will join a group chaired by Dr. Samir Pathak, who is a surgeon and was previously an England Universities wicketkeeper.

Hanif Malik will no longer appear as part of that panel. As reported by ESPNcricinfo previously, Malik had been the subject of complaints from Rafiq, who claimed he had previously outlined his concerns to him but that no action had been taken.

While no firm deadline has been given for the panel to report its conclusions, the expectation is they will do so before the end of the year.

"The investigation is now underway and will address directly the specific complaints made by Azeem Rafiq," the club said in a statement. "In addition, and at the request of the Board, the investigation will also conduct a review of the club's internal policies and culture with regards to discriminatory conduct.

"The Board of Yorkshire County Cricket Club has committed to sharing the findings of the investigation and the recommendations of the panel. The investigation has now begun and the Board have been clear that these matters are to be investigated thoroughly and with urgency. It is expected that the investigation will be completed within three months."