ECB suspends Yorkshire from hosting international matches over handling of Rafiq racism case

By Sports Desk November 04, 2021

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has suspended Yorkshire from hosting international and major matches in response to the club's "wholly unacceptable" handling of Azeem Rafiq's racism allegations.

Gary Ballance has also been indefinitely suspended from international selection after the former England batsman admitted he was responsible for some of the offensive and inappropriate language Rafiq was subjected to when they were Yorkshire team-mates.

An independent report into Rafiq's allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire upheld that the spinner had been victim of "racial harassment and bullying".

It also emerged the independent panel had deemed repeated use of the "P***" word against Rafiq was "in the spirit of friendly banter", according to ESPNcricinfo.

Yorkshire last week stated that the club had carried out their own internal investigation following the findings of the report and concluded no conduct or action taken by any of its employees, players or executives that warranted disciplinary action.

The ECB board met on Thursday and has vowed to hold Yorkshire to account, ordering the club to deal with the matter "robustly", stating it is clear there are "serious questions" regarding the governance and management of the club.

The governing body stated Yorkshire's "failure in relation to actions and responses to their own report represent a significant breach of its obligations to the game."

England are scheduled to face New Zealand in a Test and an ODI against South Africa at Headingley next year, while the Leeds venue is also due to host an Ashes Test in 2023, but may lose all three.

An ECB statement said: "It is clear to the Board that YCCC's handling of the issues raised by Azeem Rafiq is wholly unacceptable and is causing serious damage to the reputation of the game. The ECB find this matter abhorrent and against the spirit of cricket and its values.

"There is no place for racism or any form of discrimination in cricket and where it is found, swift action must be taken. This matter must be dealt with robustly if the sport is to demonstrate its commitment to truly being a game for everyone.

"As a governing body with duties to act for all in cricket, the ECB Board reaffirmed its commitment to taking decisions in the best interests of the whole game."

The statement continued "It [the board] also agreed that sanctions including, but not limited to, financial and future major match allocations may be considered at the conclusion of our investigations.

"In the meantime, YCCC are suspended from hosting international or major matches until it has clearly demonstrated that it can meet the standards expected of an international venue, ECB member and First Class County.

"The ECB Board has asked the ECB Executive to commission a review of Yorkshire CCC's governance to consider whether the existing arrangements are fit for purpose.

"The regulatory processes already underway into the allegations brought by Azeem Rafiq will ultimately be determined by an independent tribunal (The Cricket Disciplinary Committee).

"Before any regulatory investigation is complete, the Board wishes to take immediate action in relation to Gary Ballance. While Mr Ballance has not been selected to play for England since 2017, he will be suspended indefinitely from selection. This position will be reviewed following the ECB regulatory investigation into his conduct."

Rafiq stated earlier on Thursday that cricket desperately needs "reform and cultural change".

"I'm not intending to say very much until the [Department for Culture, Media and Sport's] select committee hearing later this month. However, I wanted to stress this is not really about the words of certain individuals," he tweeted.

"This is about institutional racism and abject failures to act by numerous leaders at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and in the wider game. The sport I love and my club desperately need reform and cultural change."

Rafiq and Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton are due to appear in front of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's select committee to give evidence on November 16.

Publishing company Emerald and Nike are among the sponsors Yorkshire have lost due to their handling of the Rafiq case.

Related items

  • 'He is understanding his role better' - WI coach Simmons satisfied Pooran starting to blossom in no. 3 role 'He is understanding his role better' - WI coach Simmons satisfied Pooran starting to blossom in no. 3 role

    West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is pleased to see vice-captain Nicholas Pooran slotting comfortably into the number three role in the team’s recent T20 win against England.

    Partnered with man-of-the-match Rovman Powell, Pooran put on a near-perfect display, a combination of power-hitting, game management, and finesse.  The batsman put together a crucial 70 from 43 deliveries, which formed part of a match-winning 122 partnership for the third wicket.

    Simmons admits the knock was a good illustration of the type of role the team envisions the batsman is capable of playing.

    “It’s been a plan since World Cup.  As we saw, he is understanding his role better and better and yesterday (Wednesday) just showed exactly how we see him controlling the innings,” Simmons told members of the media on Wednesday.

    “His communication and control with Rovman was a big plus yesterday,” he added.

    Pooran came to the crease following the departure of Brandon King and was part of a 37-run partnership with Shai Hope before joining forces with Powell.

    In total, Pooran has played 14 matches batting at the number three position, scoring a total of 356 runs, and has averaged 32.36 so far.

     

     

     

  • West Indies Under-19s suffer 83-run loss to UAE Under-19s in Plate semi-final, will now play 11th place playoff West Indies Under-19s suffer 83-run loss to UAE Under-19s in Plate semi-final, will now play 11th place playoff

    West Indies Under-19s will now compete in the 11th place playoff at the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup after an embarrassing 83 run loss to UAE Under-19s in their Plate semi-final in Port of Spain today.

    UAE won the toss and elected to bat first, reaching 224-9 off their 50 overs thanks to half-centuries from Aayan Khan (93) and Shival Bawa (51).

    Shiva Sankar led the way for the Windies bowlers with 3-31 off nine overs while Nathan Edward and Matthew Nandu took two wickets each.

    Jash Giyanani and Dhruv Parashar then combined to take seven wickets between them to restrict the West Indians to a modest 142 all out in reply.

    Nathan Edward (51), Kevin Wickham (22), and Isai Thorne (17) were the only batsmen to score double figures against Giyanani’s 3-21 off 10 overs and Parashar’s 4-30 off nine.

    The West Indies will now play the loser of the Plate semi-final between Ireland and Zimbabwe in the 11th place playoff while UAE will play the winner in the ninth-place playoff.

     

  • First Women's ODI between South Africa and the West Indies ends in no result First Women's ODI between South Africa and the West Indies ends in no result

    The First Women’s ODI between the West Indies and South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg ended in a no result today.

    South Africa won the toss and put the West Indies in to bat and at the time of the first rain delay, West Indies women were 234-3 from 45.3 overs.

    Deandra Dottin was not out on a mammoth 150 off 158 balls, with 18 fours and four sixes, and Shemaine Campbelle was the other not-out batter with 7.

    Earlier, Hayley Matthews made 51 from 63 balls.

    Dottin’s 150 is her third ODI hundred and the second-highest individual score by a West Indian, in Women’s ODIs, after Stafanie Taylor’s 171 off 137 balls against Sri Lanka Women in Mumbai in 2013.

    Due to lack of time, the West Indies innings was declared at the same score meaning South Africa had a target of 204 off 29 overs based on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.

    The South Africans got to 87-5 off 17.4 overs before the skies opened up once again and caused the match to be abandoned before 20 overs could be completed.

    Tazmin Brits got 32 off 37 balls to top score for the South Africans.

    The second ODI takes place on Monday.

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.