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News

Lord Patel welcomes DCMS committee hearing into 'flawed' Yorkshire racism report

Yorkshire chairman welcomes 'courage' of Adil Rashid as he speaks out on claims

An anti-racism banner hangs outside Yorkshire's Headingley Stadium in Leeds, Headingley, November 5, 2021

An anti-racism banner hangs outside Yorkshire's Headingley Stadium in Leeds  •  AFP/Getty Images

Lord Patel, Yorkshire's chairman, says that he welcomes the opportunity for the club to be held to account in a parliamentary select committee hearing this week, after acknowledging that the investigation into Azeem Rafiq's claims of institutional racism was "flawed".
The hearings are due to take place in Westminster on Tuesday from 9am, and though Patel himself will not be giving evidence, his precedessor Roger Hutton will be one of three past or present club administrators to do so - along with Mark Arthur, the former chief executive, and Wayne Morton, the Director of Medical Services, standing in for Martyn Moxon, the Director of Cricket, who has been signed off work due to a stress-related illness.
Rafiq himself is also due to make his first in-person comments on the case, having last week been awarded substantial damages, and offered an apology from Patel on behalf of Yorkshire, at the conclusion of his long-running employment tribunal.
"We welcome the formal meeting of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on sport governance," Patel said in a statement issued by Yorkshire. "I will be listening to the session with great interest to help us understand the past and address the many challenges which have come to light.
"It is right that the issues which were initially brought up by Azeem Rafiq, and the way in which they were handled, are properly examined by the Committee. We have provided the Committee with a copy of the full report, given its legal interest in the case.
"It is clear that we have handled this issue badly and the investigation was flawed. Azeem giving evidence is an important moment and, as a whistleblower, he should be praised for speaking up. I have said from the outset that we need to listen and to learn in order to create urgent change at Yorkshire Country Cricket Club".
The DCMS hearings come in the wake of a significant intervention from Adil Rashid, the Yorkshire and England legspinner, who acknowledged in a statement released to ESPNcricinfo that he too had overheard Michael Vaughan's alleged remarks about the Asian players in the team: "There are too many of you lot; we need to do something about it." Vaughan continues to deny the claim, which was cited in the report into the investigation's findings.
Rashid's statement called for the "cancer" of racism to be "stamped out", adding that he was "encouraged" by the prospect of further scrutiny in the parliamentary hearings.
"I am aware of the recent statement from Adil Rashid, and I welcome his courage in speaking up at what is a difficult and distressing time for all those who love this Club and the sport of cricket," Patel added.
"It is essential that those who have experienced or witnessed racism, discrimination and abuse are able to come forward to share their experiences.
"I have been in touch with Adil personally today so that we can talk through the issues as soon as he is ready and able."