• Saturday, December 02, 2023


Cricket racism: ECB recommends £500,000 fine for Yorkshire

If ever a sinner has repented, it is Yorkshire Cricket Club: club’s lawyer

Azeem Rafiq

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

ENGLAND cricket chiefs have recommended that Yorkshire be fined £500,000 and given hefty points deductions over their handling of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.

Pakistan-born bowler Rafiq, 32, went public with allegations of racism and bullying in September 2020, related to his two spells at the English county.

The sanctioning recommendations were made to an independent Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) panel in London on Tuesday (27).

Yorkshire admitted to four charges in February related to the mishandling of Rafiq’s case.

Six former Yorkshire players were fined last month by the CDC after being found guilty of using racist language.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was cleared of using racist language “on the balance of probabilities”.

Governing body the England and Wales Cricket Board suggested £350,000 should be suspended for three years while the remaining £150,000 should be payable in instalments between January and June 2024.

Yorkshire said last week they were still having “positive conversations” around the long-term financial future of the club.

ECB lawyer Jane Mulcahy said the recommendations took into account the finances of Yorkshire and it would be “wholly unproductive” to put the club out of business, insisting the ECB “is not trying to do such a thing”.

The ECB said the “seriousness of the admissions” required sporting sanctions and proposed a 48 to 72 points deduction in the 2023 County Championship and deductions in white-ball competitions.

Yorkshire’s response to the recommendations were presented by lawyer Daniel Stilitz, who spoke of the “deeply regrettable chapter” in the club’s history, once again offering their apologies to Rafiq.

He said Yorkshire had already “suffered detriment” because of the events, asking for that to be taken into account in any sanctions passed down and saying “If ever a sinner has repented, it is Yorkshire Cricket Club”.

Stilitz said 11 sponsors had withdrawn from the club and that financial issues had to be addressed to prevent the club from going into administration.

He asked for punishments handed down to be suspended and said any sanctions imposed would not penalise those responsible.


Eastern Eye

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