Yorkshire face charge from ECB over treatment of Azeem Rafiq and handling of case following seven complaints of racism and bullying
- Yorkshire will be charged by the ECB for bringing the sport into disrepute
- The charges concern their handling of the Azeem Rafiq case
- A report upheld seven complaints made by Rafiq regarding racism at Yorkshire
- The ECB could also open their own investigation into the Rafiq affair
Yorkshire are set to be charged by the ECB for bringing the sport into disrepute over their handling of the Azeem Rafiq case.
An independent report last month upheld seven complaints made by Rafiq regarding racism and bullying during two spells at Yorkshire, with the club now facing imminent disciplinary charges from the governing body.
The ECB have handed the matter over to their Cricket Dispute Commission, who it is understood will bring formal charges against Yorkshire for their treatment of Rafiq and the subsequent handling of his complaints.
Yorkshire are set to be charged by the ECB for their handling of the Azeem Rafiq case
An independent report last month upheld seven complaints made by Rafiq regarding racism
The club could also be hit with further charges as there is considerable frustration at the ECB over what they regard as Yorkshire’s obfuscation and delaying tactics.
Yorkshire published an eight-page summary of the 100-page report three weeks ago in which they acknowledged Rafiq had been the victim of racism and bullying, but have yet to hand the full report over to the ECB, despite chairman Ian Watmore publicly asking for them to do so at the start of August.
The ECB’s lawyers are understood to be challenging Yorkshire’s reasons for their refusal to share the report, which has been in the club’s possession for almost two months.
The ECB could also open their own investigation into the Rafiq affair, but would prefer to trust in the findings of the independent report and let their own disciplinary proceedings run their course.
Yorkshire accepted Rafiq had been the victim of racial harassment and bullying at the club
While the ECB launched an anti-discrimination code earlier this year which Yorkshire appear to have breached, Rafiq’s complaints pre-date it by several years so the club will instead be given a disrepute charge. Possible sanctions include a fine, a point deduction and the withholding of ECB funding.
Rafiq joined Yorkshire as an 11-year-old junior in 2002 before having two separate spells as a professional at Headingley, between 2008 and 2014 and 2016 and 2018. The seven complaints upheld by the independent report included three instances of racist language, jokes about his religion and weight that amounted to bullying and a failure by the club to take his complaints seriously.
The report also found that Yorkshire failed to provide Rafiq with halal food at matches and that the club could have done more to make Muslims feel more welcome, particularly in the context of complaints about racism and anti-social behaviour at Headingley.
In a separate development Rafiq’s sister Amna has made a formal complaint against the Yorkshire Cricket Board, as revealed by Sportsmail yesterday.
The 26-year-old has been on sick leave from her role as a clubs and community development manager at the YCB, who run recreational cricket in the county since May, and this week submitted a formal complaint against the board.
The complaint is understood to allegations that she was made to feel ostracised and shunned because of her brother’s allegations.
Yorkshire Cricket Board said: ‘The (YCB) believes that any internal matters concerning its staff should not be discussed publicly due to employee welfare, confidentiality and data protection reasons.’