Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - If ECB doesn't take action, "it's not fit for purpose" - UK Health Secretary. An independent report commissioned by the club concluded that Rafiq had been subject to "racial harassment and bullying".
An independent report commissioned by the club concluded that Rafiq had been subject to "racial harassment and bullying".
Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary of the UK, has said “heads should roll” at Yorkshire following the allegations of racism, bullying and harassment made by their former player Azeem Rafiq. Javid also said that if the ECB did not take action “it's not fit for purpose”.
Rafiq first made allegations of racism against Yorkshire in August 2020 and an independent report commissioned by the club concluded that he had been subject to “racial harassment and bullying”. However, Yorkshire also said that their own internal investigation, initiated in response to the independent report's conclusions, had “come to the conclusion that there is no conduct or action taken by any of its employees, players or executives that warrants disciplinary action.”
Javid's intervention on Tuesday (November 2) was one of a number from government ministers after ESPN Cricinfo published alleged details of the independent report on Monday (November 2). The report allegedly included the admission from a senior player that he had called Rafiq “a P***” on numerous occasions but that it had been deemed to been said in the spirit of “friendly banter”.
Javid, a senior member of the Conservative Cabinet, posted on Twitter: “P***” is not banter. Heads should roll at Yorkshire CCC. If @ECB_cricket doesn't take action it's not fit for purpose.”
Nadine Dories, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, also tweeted, saying: “Azeem Rafiq's treatment after the racism he faced was disgusting and the investigation that followed only makes it even worse. The @ECB_Cricket investigation must be swift and fully transparent. Racism must be confronted and NEVER written off as just ‘banter'”.
The ECB launched its own regulatory process last week having finally been sent the full, unredacted report by Yorkshire. The governing body initially said that regulatory process “will take time…to reach its conclusion” but in response to the comments from Javid and Dories, the ECB released a statement on Tuesday (November 2) saying they will “ensure this happens as quickly as possible”.
“We are conscious about the length of time that Azeem has waited for resolution and the toll that must be taking on his wellbeing and that of his family,” the statement read. “We are sorry that, as a sport, this has not yet been resolved.
“We will conduct a full regulatory process that is fair to all parties, but also ensure this happens as quickly as possible. To achieve this, we have secured the services of a QC, along with other external investigatory support to upweight resource around our process. The ECB Board has also reaffirmed its commitment to further additional resource, should the investigation require it.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has called Yorkshire chair, Roger Hutton, to give evidence. The chair of that parliamentary committee, Julian Knight, tweeted on Tuesday evening: “Given the endemic racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, I struggle to think of any reason why that the board should remain in post. This is one of the most repellent and disturbing episodes in modern cricket history.”