• Friday, September 17, 2021
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India corona update 
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Today's Fatalities 431
Today's Cases 30,570

CRICKET

Rafiq suggests he will go public with accusations against Yorkshire

Azeem Rafiq had alleged “institutional racism” at Yorkshire. (Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

By: Sattwik Biswal

AZEEM RAFIQ has now suggested that his allegations against Yorkshire will be “told to the world”.

Last Friday Yorkshire released the findings and recommendations of an independent panel report, where the club admitted of the former player being a victim of racial abuse and bullying.

The independent panel had upheld seven of Rafiq’s 43 allegations, but said there was insufficient evidence to prove the club was institutionally racist.

Rafiq and his team has described this handling of the process as “atrocious” and in a Twitter post on Monday (13) wrote: “I always said to the leaders in our game their (sic) will be a point/morning where I wake when I just can’t take it anymore.

“Not taking it anymore won’t mean I will leave it and walk away. It will purely mean everything that has happened to date – from people being dishonest about what took place in return for positions/jobs, to attempts to create evidence – will be told to the world and let them decide whether YCCC is institutionally racist.”

Rafiq, 30, played for Yorkshire between 2008 and 2014 before returning for a two-year spell in 2016, where he was not provided with halal food at matches, something which has now been rectified.

There were three instances of racist language being used prior to 2012, the report found, and that a former coach “regularly used” racist language in 2012.

During Rafiq’s second spell, jokes around religion were made and a reference to the player’s weight and fitness was made, the report said. The club said it should have done more to make Muslims feel more welcome and dealt better with complaints of racist or anti-social behaviour.

“It is a matter of sincere regret that the good work of so many people at the Club – both with Azeem and in our efforts to build an inclusive and welcoming cricket club representing the best of all of Yorkshire – is at risk of being overshadowed by the behaviour and remarks of a few people,” chairman of the club, Roger Hutton had said in a statement.

England Test captain Joe Root had also expressed sympathy for Rafiq and said it “hurts” to see his former teammate.

“I can’t really speculate or comment too much on a report I have not seen. But, as a former teammate and friend, it’s hard to see Azeem hurting as he is,” Root had said.

“More than anything, it just shows that there is a lot of work we have to do in the game… it’s a societal issue in my opinion… as a sport, we have got to keep trying to find ways of making sure this isn’t a conversation that keeps happening.”

In his Twitter post on Monday (13), Rafiq added: “I feel lucky to be alive but I won’t test my resolve any longer.

“For all you people who are victims of racist abuse or any type of discrimination, I have tried my upmost best to give you all a voice but unfortunately the system just wants to choke us and finds allies and money to do that.

“I don’t know if we will ever get the respect we deserve or ever be treated the same as our white counterparts in our lifetime. I just hope everything I have put me and my family through will result in me and my grandkids feeling like cricket is a game for everyone.

“I mention above about a point/morning will come well I think that morning has arrived. I AM DONE!!!!”

Rafiq clarified his position in a later post, saying: “I am no way leaving the fight or walking away from this subject. I am just merely stating I have tried to handle it without it getting as big as it as.

“I am now looking for the right platform to end my pain by speaking out in full with names, dates and every inch of detail.

“I need and deserve CLOSURE and it’s clear that won’t come because the game wants it to stay as it is and not be welcoming to people from all walks of life.”

Eastern Eye

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