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Yorkshire fined £400,000, handed points deductions following racism charges

Club accept sanctions but express disappointment at being docked 48 points in County Championship

The Yorkshire CCC logo, painted on the side of the roller at Headingley, LV= Championship, May 1, 2022

The Yorkshire CCC logo, painted on the side of the roller at Headingley  •  Getty Images

Yorkshire have been fined a total of £400,000, and handed points deductions in both this year's County Championship and Vitality Blast competitions, following the announcement of long-awaited sanctions from the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC).
The punishments relate to Yorkshire's handling of Azeem Rafiq's revelations of institutional racism at the club, for which they admitted to four amended charges at the original CDC hearing in February. In those, they accepted that their conduct between 2004 and 2021 had been prejudicial to the interests of cricket and had brought the game of cricket into disrepute.
On Friday, the CDC panel - comprising Tim O'Gorman (chair), Professor Seema Patel and Mark Milliken-Smith KC - issued the club with an official reprimand, in addition to a £400,000 fine, an immediate 48-point deduction in the 2023 County Championship, and a four-point deduction from the 2023 T20 Blast.
Neither points deduction is likely to make any material difference to Yorkshire's on-field ambitions this season. They finished fifth in the North Group standings in the Blast, and so missed out on a quarter-final berth of a competition that concluded earlier this month, while they are off the pace for promotion in Division Two of the Championship, after managing one win in their first ten fixtures.
The official breakdown of the fine is as follows:
  • £80,000 in respect of Charge 1 (the mishandling of Rafiq's case);
  • £50,000 in respect of Charge 2 (the deletion and destruction of data);
  • £135,000 in respect of Charge 3 (not taking action relating to racist behaviour); and
  • £135,000 in respect of Charge 4 (the systemic use of racist language over a prolonged period)
  • Of this sum, £300,000 is to be suspended for a period of two years.
    Responding to the CDC's decision, Yorkshire issued a statement acknowledging that they accepted the sanction, but added that they were disappointed at the points deductions, echoing the concerns of their head coach, Ottis Gibson, who believed the club's new regime should not be punished for past failings.
    "Following representations by the board at last month's hearing, the CDC and ECB have today acknowledged the vast amount of work done by YCCC to overcome the cultural issues that existed within the club, which allowed racist and discriminatory behaviour to go unchallenged," the statement added.
    "We are accountable for these issues, and we accepted four amended charges as part of a continued commitment to ensure we are able to move forward.
    "We are disappointed to receive the points deductions which affects players and staff at the club, who were not responsible for the situation. They have worked tirelessly on and off the field to rebuild Yorkshire into an inclusive and welcoming club that reflects the communities it serves. Greater clarity over our situation will allow us all now to look ahead.
    "There remains much to do, but we have made significant investments to put in place best practice processes and procedures, as well as driving equity, diversity and inclusion through a new framework and taking important steps to improve the matchday experience to encourage greater inclusivity and tackle discrimination. This is in addition to the real progress we have seen on our Performance Pathway, ensuring young cricketers from all backgrounds can take part regardless of their economic circumstances.
    "We look forward to continued dialogue with the ECB to ensure the financial penalty does not hinder our ongoing commitment to build on the strong foundations that have been laid. We remain focused on efforts to secure YCCC's sustainability, ensuring the stability required to create a brighter future for all associated with Yorkshire Cricket."
    Speaking after Yorkshire's fixture against Division Two leaders Durham at Scarborough ended in a draw, with bad weather washing out days three and four, Gibson said: "At least next year we know where we stand. We have four games left in the Championship this season, and that's 96 points that we can play for. We'll try and win the next four games. That's all we're trying to do - win every game we play."