Following Rafiq’s testimony the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has put together a 12-point plan to tackle racism in the game.
By: Pramod Thomas
The South Yorkshire police on Thursday (29) issued the CCTV image of a man they want to speak to in connection with a hate crime inquiry launched after a man defecated in cricketer Azeem Rafiq’s garden.
The incident happened in the front garden of an address on Gawber Road in Barnsley on 5 October evening.
“At 6.18pm on October 5, it’s reported that a man defecated in the front garden of an address on Gawber Road, Barnsley,” police said in a statement.
“It is believed that the incident, which is classed as a public order offence, is racially motivated.
“We are looking to speak to this man as we believe he could help us progress our enquiries.”
“Do you recognise him? If you have any information which could assist, please report it to us either online or by calling 101. The incident number to quote is 726 of 12 October 2022. You can submit information online here.”
APPEAL: Police in #Barnsley believe his man could hold important information about a reported hate crime.
📍 Gawber Road, Barnsley
⏰ 6.28pm 5 October 2022
📞 Inc no 726 12/10/22
Read more ⬇️ https://t.co/mXUeWRDYNF pic.twitter.com/hMQ9eFisQI
— South Yorkshire Police (@syptweet) December 29, 2022
Former Yorkshire player Rafiq, a former captain of the England Under-19 side and of Pakistani descent, had told a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee in November 2021 he received sustained racist abuse and had contemplated suicide while at Yorkshire.
His allegations of institutional racism rocked English cricket, leading to sweeping changes at the club and encouraging other victims to come forward.
Earlier this month, the cricketer said he was “driven out” of England after speaking about his experiences last year on the racism he faced at the county club and that he still lacks support from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
“The downside and the difficult bits have been that my family has been the target of abuse, threats and attacks,” Rafiq told MPs this month.
“Recently at my family house there was a bloke in broad daylight who, basically, walked in and out of the garden on the phone before defecating. Bringing a loo roll. And, it looked all very planned.”
He also mentioned about another incident in which a man was seen late at night near his home, circling with what looked like a chain in his hand.
“If I was to look at 13 months on from me opening my heart out, all that’s changed really is that me and my family have been driven out of the country. And that’s a sad element of it.”
Rafiq recently relocated his immediate family to Pakistan and has at times needed round-the-clock security protection since speaking out about the abuse he experienced while playing for Yorkshire between 2008 and 2018.