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Yorkshire admit four charges after investigation into racism claims

The scandal rocked English cricket and led to numerous changes in coaching and administrative personnel at Yorkshire

FILE PHOTO: Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford, director and new chair of Yorkshire County Cricket Club attends a press conference at Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds, northern England on November 8, 2021.(Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

Yorkshire County Cricket Club has admitted liability to four amended charges including a failure to address and take adequate action against racist and discriminatory language, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Tuesday (7).

Yorkshire and a number of individuals were charged by the ECB in June after an investigation into racism claims made by former player Azeem Rafiq, who alleged in 2021 that he had been a victim of institutional racism at the club.

The scandal rocked English cricket and led to numerous changes in coaching and administrative personnel at Yorkshire.

“Yorkshire CCC has admitted liability in response to four amended charges, including a failure to address systemic use of racist and/or discriminatory language over a prolonged period and a failure to take adequate action in respect of allegations of racist and/or discriminatory behaviour,” the ECB said.

Rafiq’s former team mate Gary Ballance, who played 23 tests for England before switching allegiance to Zimbabwe, also admitted liability for his use of racially discriminatory language, the ECB added.

Rafiq, a former England Under-19s captain of Pakistani descent, told a British parliamentary committee in 2021 of “inhuman” treatment at Yorkshire and described the sport in England as riddled with racism.

Ballance has previously apologised to Rafiq in person for using racist language.

Both Yorkshire and Ballance will not be required to attend a hearing in London following the acceptance of the charges.

An independent panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission, the body that handles disciplinary matters in the English domestic game, will hear the cases from March 1 to March 9.

Ex-Yorkshire players Tim Bresnan, John Blain, Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah have all withdrawn from the hearing.

“Today’s announcement is an important step forward for Yorkshire County Cricket Club as part of its journey to learn from the past,” Yorkshire chairman Kamlesh Patel said in a statement.

“Since becoming chair it has been clear that we needed to accept and take accountability as a Club for the cultural issues which allowed racist and discriminatory behaviour to go unchallenged.”

(Reuters)

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