Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


Azeem Rafiq


IT IS incredible to think that more than three years ago the world of cricket was rocked by allegations of racism. It was August 2020, and Azeem Rafiq, former Yorkshire and England cricketer, explained how he had been on the brink of suicide from the racist treatment he received. He told GG2 Power List that the fact we are speaking about it in 2024 shows how little the game, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Yorkshire County Cricket Club and others have been able to make progress. Indeed, with the reappointment of Colin Graves as chair of the Yorkshire club, under whose watch Rafiq was so horrendously treated, proves the game has gone backwards, he said. “I think about the repercussions because we don’t know where this could end up,” Rafiq told the Power List. “We really don’t, because this is going to empower a lot of racists out there.

I’ve made this very, very clear to the ECB. If my family or anyone’s harmed at this stage, it’s solely on the heads of the ECB and the game, because this is what decisions like this will create.” An inquiry found that Yorkshire’s former captain was the “victim of racial harassment and bullying”, upholding several of his com plaints. The Pakistani-born cricketer is still facing the consequences of his brave testimony. He has been forced to exile his family from his home in England.

The Power List knows the lo cation but is not revealing it. Rafiq explained why he was forced to leave. “It’s a worrying time in society, Islamophobia is green lighted and encouraged. For people of colour, it’s getting much worse. On a hu man level, it’s difficult to read some of the stuff, and it makes you anxious, makes you fearful. Some of the threats

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