Hearing is not likely until March next year.
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
The trial into the allegations of racism in Yorkshire cricket will be held in public, a key demand from the club’s former player Azeem Rafiq.
Michael Vaughan and Matthew Hoggard and five other former England stars accused of racism had opposed a public hearing of the case, but the Cricket Discipline Commission of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has rejected the appeal, Sportsmail reported.
The ECB last summer charged the former players with racism offences after Rafiq in November 2021 gave evidence about the abuse he faced during his stints at Yorkshire.
The spinner who has since relocated to Pakistan in the face of public backlash following his revelations had threatened not to appear for the trial if held in private, saying the case could collapse as he was the only witness to several incidents.
The hearing is unlikely to take place until March and several defendants may withdraw from the process, while key witness Adil Rashid is unlikely to appear, according to the Sportsmail report.
Yorkshire’s former coach Andrew Gale and former chair Roger Hutton said they would not participate in the process, citing their lack of faith in it.
During his latest appearance before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee earlier this month, Rafiq spoke about how he and his family endured abuse since he blew the whistle.
But he said little changed after he first gave evidence before the committee last year and “it feels like cricket is very much in denial”.
He said he had “a little hope” in the ECB’s new leadership but “it’s very little at the minute.”