Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2022

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Azeem Rafiq


AZEEM RAFIQ created quite a storm in English cricket when in September 2020 he alleged racism and bullying at Yorkshire Cricket Club.

An independent inquiry found that a few counts of his accusations were true. It led to many resignations at the club including sponsors pulling out, and becoming subject of further investigations by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in the British parliament.

Upon receiving the report of the independent findings, Yorkshire released a statement saying the former player was “the victim of inappropriate behaviour”, as the club offered “profound apologies”. But due to legal constraints declined to release the finding of the report in full.

Rafiq criticised the statement and in an interview said Yorkshire had downplayed racism by labelling it as “inappropriate behaviour”.

The House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee called for the immediate release of the report. On September 2021, the club released a summary of the report which confirmed that the independent panel had upheld seven of the 43 allegations made by Rafiq. The ECB said it would be investigating the findings of the report.

In November 2021, Rafiq appeared in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and gave his testimonial, which resulted in Roger Hutton stepping down as Yorkshire chairman followed by the resignation of chief executive officer Mark Arthur.

Rafiq played for Yorkshire in two stints between 2008 and 2014 and 2016 and 2018, after making his senior debut at the age of 17. He captained the England under-15 and under-19 sides, and in 2012 became the youngest player to captain a Yorkshire side as well as the first person of Asian origin to do so.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1991, Rafiq moved to England in

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