The cricket world is grieving another loss of an Australian great after former Test star Andrew Symonds was killed on Saturday.

The 46-year-old was involved a single-vehicle accident at Hervey Range, approximately 50km from Townsville in Queensland.

Symonds' death continues a devastating year for Australian cricket, after the passings of legends Rod Marsh and Shane Warne from heart attacks in March.

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor said it was "another tragic day" for cricket.

"Unfortunately, I've been here too often, this year, under these circumstances," he told the Nine Network. "I can't quite believe it, to be honest. Another tragic day for cricket."

"He was an entertainer with the bat when it came to cricket and as you say he was an imposing guy, he was a big lad."

Tributes on social media flowed for the man affectionately known as "Roy", who was an instrumental figure in Australia's cricketing dominance across the Test and short-form versions of the game of the 2000s.

Former Australia teammate Adam Gilchrist wrote on Twitter how Symonds' passing "really hurts", while Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar tweeted how he was "devastated" at the news.

Michael Vaughan also posted on Twitter how it "didn't feel real", while former Australian Test captain and colleague on Fox Cricket, Allan Border, spoke on his distinct style on and off the pitch.

"He hit the ball a long way and just wanted to entertain," Border told the Nine Network. "He was, in a way, a little bit of an old-fashioned cricketer.

"He was an adventurer. Loved his fishing, he loved hiking, camping. People liked his very laid-back style.

"Symo away from the cameras and away from the spotlight, loved, I think, a bit of solitude and that is why he loved his fishing. Loved his own time."

Ben Stokes is the only candidate to replace Joe Root as England's Test captain, according to former skipper Michael Vaughan.

Root's record-breaking stint as captain was ended on Friday when he stepped down after a dismal run of results.

England have lost five consecutive Test series, winning just one of their past 17 matches under Root.

Root, who will remain in the team as one of cricket's elite batsmen, has overseen more Test matches (64), wins (27) and losses (26) than any other England skipper.

Attention is now turning to who might take on the role next, but England's poor performances and inconsistent team selections provide few obvious alternatives.

Superstar all-rounder Stokes is among the favourites, though, and that is who Vaughan would turn to.

"I don't see anyone else who could take the position and be guaranteed of their place in the side," Vaughan told the BBC's Test Match Special podcast.

"In Ben Stokes, you have clearly got someone who has got a smart cricket brain, he's going to give it everything, he is certainly going to have the respect of the players around him."

However, Vaughan added a word of caution: "Stokes is everything in a person and a player that you would want, but he will need a lot of support around him, because when you have got that all-rounder tag and they've got that persona, they think they can do everything.

"You need a senior core around him to give him a few pointers.

"You need to have someone say, 'listen Ben, just concentrate on what you're really good at', and that's out on the field, making decisions and trying to just give us your best performance.

"If he performs like we know he can, he will lead the team by example."

Stokes has captained England in only a single Test match previously, scoring 43 and 46 with the bat while taking 4-49 and 2-39 with the ball in a four-wicket defeat at home to West Indies in July 2020.

Ben Stokes has thanked Joe Root for his "sacrifices" after the England Test captain stepped down from the role.

Root was appointed as the successor to Alastair Cook in 2017 and holds the record for most wins as an England captain in the longest format of the game (27).

However, disappointing returns in recent outings, with England winless in five Test series, brought Root's tenure into question, and the Yorkshireman announced he had stepped down with immediate effect on Friday.

Stokes is among the favourites to replace Root and took to Instagram shortly after the announcement to show his appreciation.

"Been a great ride with you my friend," Stokes wrote. "Watching one of my great mates lead us all out on to the field was a privilege.

"You have given everything to English cricket and we all want to say thank you for your sacrifices and hard work."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan also had words of praise for Root, despite being counted among his critics in recent times.

Following the series defeat to West Indies last month, the 47-year-old told BBC Radio Five Live: "If [Root] rings me in the next week and asks for some advice, I'll be dead honest: I'd tell him to step down."

Vaughan posted on Twitter on Friday: "He gave it everything with very little support for the red ball team under his watch... then he had to deal with COVID times.

"He still is and will [be] the game's best role model for many, many years. Now enjoy being the senior player for many more seasons."

Michael Vaughan believes Joe Root should step down as England captain after another Test series defeat.

England's dismal 10-wicket defeat to West Indies in the third Test in Grenada meant a 1-0 series reverse, coming off the back of a 4-0 Ashes thrashing at the turn of the year.

Those are two of five consecutive Test series defeats for England, who had won four in a row before then. They have not endured a worse such run since six without a win between 1987 and 1990.

England are also winless in nine Test matches, their worst sequence since a barren stretch of 10 between 2013 and 2014.

Alastair Cook survived that spell as skipper, but Root – the only man to captain England in more Tests (64 for Root, 59 for Cook) – is now under intense pressure.

And Vaughan, fourth on the list of matches as England captain (51), suggests the time has come for one of the world's best batsmen to focus solely on his own game.

"He's taken it as far as he possibly can," Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"If he rings me in the next week and asks for some advice, I'll be dead honest: I'd tell him to step down.

"Will England be any worse off not having him as a captain? I don't think they would, because they are going to get his runs and a senior player.

"They'll get a great role model – I don't think there is a better role model in English cricket."

Root has averaged 46.4 with the bat as captain, down from 52.8 up to that point, with all 53 prior matches coming under Cook.

Only in 2013 (34.5) has his batting average been lower across a calendar year than his 35.8 so far in 2022.

Joe Root's tactics against West Indies "fell a long way short", according to Michael Vaughan, who warned England "may go further backwards" before going forwards.

England were held to consecutive draws across Tests in Antigua and Barbados before faltering in the winner-takes-all decider in Grenada.

Root's tourists recovered from 90-8 to 204 in the first innings, but were never ahead in the game as Kraigg Braithwaite's side mustered 297 before again bowling England out for just 120.

That left Brathwaite and opening partner John Campbell to secure a 10-wicket victory as they required just 4.5 overs to chase down 28 on Sunday, condemning England to a fourth consecutive series defeat.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests and are winless in their last nine red-ball outings, their longest such streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

Questions over Root's captaincy remain prominent with the ECB searching for a new managing director and coach, and Vaughan believes his fellow Yorkshireman needs to take some time to consider his future.

"Let Joe Root sleep on it for a week or so," Vaughan said to BT Sport of Root's future at the helm.

"I fear this red-ball team might go further backwards before it goes forward and you're going to have to have a lot of energy as a leader, a captain you're going to have to have a huge amount of energy to wake up every morning to captain this side.

"Generally in English conditions, the Test match team win lots of games, win lots of series – well last summer they lost to New Zealand and they were losing to India, so I don't see this Test match side suddenly becoming a team that consistently wins series after series and that's in English conditions. 

"So Joe is going to have to find a huge amount of energy and he's also going to have to improve, because tactically in this game he was a long way short. The England side fell a long way short.

"I don't see too many players, out of this England Test team, who can suddenly come in and spark England into getting 450 consistently against the better opposition, when the ball is moving about.

"That's why I do think there could be some darker days ahead and it's going to take a leader with a lot of energy to try and get this Test match team right."

 

Paul Collingwood took temporary charge for the series in the Caribbean after Chris Silverwood was dismissed following Ashes disappointment, but the identity of England's next permanent coach remains unclear.

Vaughan would like to see England appoint former Australian coach Justin Langer, who guided his country to T20 World Cup success at the end of last year before lifting the Ashes.

"I would personally go for Justin Langer – he's the sort of leader that England need at the moment," he added.

"Then it is a conversation with Joe Root to see if he's still got the energy to take England forward and even then I'd debate it.

"You could give it to Ben Stokes to the end of next year's Ashes and then hope that a younger player like Zak Crawley is ready."

Joe Root should be asked again if he truly wants to stay on as England captain, according to former skipper Michael Vaughan.

As England toiled in the early stages of day three of the third Test against West Indies, Vaughan said England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chiefs should sit down with Root after the series in the Caribbean.

The ECB is advertising for an England men's team managing director, but Vaughan says a priority should be the captaincy.

England's bowlers struggled to make inroads in the latter stages of West Indies' innings on Saturday, allowing Joshua Da Silva to reach a maiden Test century and the hosts to open a 93-run first-innings lead.

Vaughan questioned the vitality of the England players, a number of whom are still carrying scars from the team's 4-0 Ashes drubbing.

Interim managing director Andrew Strauss said after England's Ashes calamity that Root was "absolutely clear" he wanted to keep the captaincy. However, Vaughan thinks the time has come to ask again.

"I think the biggest meeting first and foremost is to sit with Joe Root, and really look him in the eyes and say, 'Have you got the energy?'," Vaughan said on BT Sport.

"There comes that moment as England captain that the energy is not with you. You're still going out there, you're still trying your best, but you've not got the energy. If he has got the energy, then I would stick with him. But if he's lost that energy and the real drive and that desire… As a captain, you have to wake up every morning and it's got to be your love, captaining the England side.

"If you've lost that ounce of any kind of loving it, you've got to give it up. If he's lost that desire and love to captain England, just be the batter, because he'll score as many runs, and he'll still be a great leader in the side.

"I can see an England captain that looks a little bit drained."

Vaughan said of England's morning performance, as West Indies advanced from 232-8 to 297 all out: "It looked an England side, and England captain, that looked very, very tired."

He praised the home team's efforts in frustrating the tourists, but added: "I'm pretty sure there'll be a lot of England fans out there watching the telly, throwing things at the screen and thinking, 'I could do a lot better than that'.

"It was just a little bit of a lack of imagination. It concerned me a bit about the skipper this morning, I didn't think he tried enough, didn't try himself early enough."

Part-time spinner Root eventually brought himself on to bowl and took the final wicket, having Jayden Seales caught and bowled.

"As a captain in those kinds of situations, you've got to be so energised, you've got to be on your bowlers, you've got to be on your team, you've got to be creating ideas, creating angles," said Vaughan. "I didn't see enough of that this morning."

Root's difficult day got worse after lunch when he was caught at slip for five off Kyle Mayers to leave England 27-2 in their second innings.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan expressed disbelief following the death of Shane Warne, describing his Ashes rival as the "greatest ever cricketer".

Warne has died at the age of 52, having been found unresponsive in his villa in Thailand on Friday.

Tributes have flooded in from across the cricketing world, with Sachin Tendulkar, Ian Botham and Ben Stokes among those to post their memories of the Australian superstar.

Warne ranks second for most Test dismissals, with his 708 wickets only bettered by fellow spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, and he claimed 195 victims in Ashes outings alone. He was also a victor in seven such series.

Vaughan and Warne memorably faced off in the 2005 Ashes, with England getting the better of a star-studded line-up before Australia regained the urn in 2006-07.

While the pair were regularly embroiled in a battle on the pitch, Vaughan reflected on the friendship he developed with Warne after the two finished their playing days and moved into the commentary box.

"I can't tell you how hard it is to get this down in words," Vaughan wrote on Instagram. "It just doesn't feel real to be talking about someone who once was an enemy on the pitch to one who became a great friend off it.

"Shane was the greatest ever cricketer but more than that his character lit up every dressing room, comm box, bar, golf club and friendship group. His energy and positivity was beyond anyone I have ever known.

"He was loyal beyond loyal, at a time I needed support he was the first to pick up the phone and offer advice and help, and the utmost support.

"I will never ever forget the warmth he and his family gave me this winter when I was down under for Christmas alone. To say I spent Warney's last Xmas with him and his family is so sad but one I will cherish."

Vaughan fondly recalled how Warne tucked in to lasagne sandwiches while everyone else had a traditional Christmas lunch.

He added: "That's Warney. The superstar, the greatest, friends to world superstars, everyone wanted to be around him, but ultimately he was just a normal guy who could do incredible things.

"Leg spin is the hardest skill in our game and he mastered it. He became a great poker player as he loved gambling, but it was more the competition and trying to put the psych into his opponents that he loved. Just like when he bowled."

Vaughan said his thoughts went out to Warne's parents and his three children.

"We are all thinking of you. I am absolutely gutted to have lost a great friend," Vaughan added. "One thing is for sure heaven will be a lively place now the King has arrived. Love ya Shane."

Michael Vaughan remains under contract with the BBC, who "expect to work" with the former England captain again after standing him down from their Ashes coverage following Azeem Rafiq's racism allegations.

Vaughan was named in a report this month investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire, but has repeatedly and categorically denied the allegations.

The 47-year-old, who played for Yorkshire between 1993 and 2009, allegedly told a group of team-mates in 2009 there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Those claims were corroborated by then Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and current England white-ball specialist Adil Rashid.

Vaughan has since been stood down from his BBC Radio 5 Live Show before being removed from the broadcaster's Ashes coverage due to his involvement in a "significant story" representing a "conflict of interest".

The BBC reiterated their stance on Wednesday, as they informed that Vaughan – who led England to Ashes glory in 2005 – would play no role in their upcoming coverage, though they look set to work with him in the future.

"We're in regular contact with Michael and have had positive conversations with him in recent days," read a statement from the BBC.

"Our contributors are required to talk about relevant issues, so Michael's involvement in a story of such significance means it's not possible for him to be part of our Ashes coverage or wider cricket coverage at the moment.

"We're pleased with how our conversations are going and expect to work with Michael again in the future. He remains on contract to the BBC."

Vaughan said after the BBC's decision he was "very disappointed not to be commentating on the Ashes" but added he was looking forward to working on the series for Fox Sports in Australia.

Managing director of the England men's cricket team Ashley Giles believes second chances are key to solving the racism crisis following Azeem Rafiq's allegations.

Rafiq suffered racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire, which was eventually brought to light and taken in front of a parliamentary select committee on November 16.

He also accused Yorkshire and England of being institutionally racist, while Michael Vaughan has been stood down from his BBC Radio 5 Live show and the BBC's upcoming Ashes coverage amid Rafiq's allegations.

Vaughan, who allegedly said there were "too many of you lot" towards Asian Yorkshire players, has repeatedly strongly denied the allegations and recently apologised to Rafiq for the "hurt he has gone through".

Former England spinner Giles, who played alongside Vaughan in the 2005 Ashes win, believes people must be offered a second chance and an opportunity to educate themselves for cricket to move forward.

Asked specifically about Vaughan during a news conference, Giles responded: "I can't comment on what the BBC should do with one of their employees. But I think tolerance is really important.

"We all do make mistakes and we will again. But we have to be able to tolerate, educate and rehabilitate otherwise people aren't going to open up and share their experiences and learn.

"Does zero tolerance mean we shouldn't accept discrimination and racism? Absolutely. But not giving people second chances, I'm not sure that's a healthy way forward for us because it's certainly not going to bring people forward to either share their positive or negative experiences or even bring people forward to say, 'I just don't know – I don’t know how to react in this environment', or what to say.

"We all know that this can be a bit of a minefield. Even the language we use around this area almost changes by the month. 

"So for me we've got to educate more, we've got to call it out in the dressing room much more effectively if we see it because perhaps all of us in the past – and I'm not just talking about cricket – have let things go. 

"We've got to be prepared to call them out and by that I don't mean we kick chairs and tables over and start a fight. 

"We just make it very clear that those sorts of behaviours aren't right in our dressing rooms or environments and actually in all workplaces because, although cricket has an opportunity to do something very strong, I don't believe for one minute these same issues don't exist in society. 

"So I think it’s a collective responsibility for all of us to do something about this."

Joe Root's England side are already well into their preparations for the first Ashes Test in Australia on December 8 at the Gabba.

While aware of the boisterous crowds and lively occasions an Ashes Test can be, Giles insisted he has given his backing for Root to remove his players from the field should his team-mates be abused based on their nationality or race.

"We know crowds can be lively here – I've experienced that myself as a player," he added as he spoke from Australia.

"But I'd certainly trust Joe Root to do what is right on the field. If he chose to bring the team into the middle of the field and stop the game while that was investigated, then absolutely. 

"I don't think any of our players should be subject to any abuse actually but discrimination and racism particularly."

Michael Vaughan has apologised "for the hurt Azeem Rafiq has gone through" amid his former Yorkshire team-mate's allegations of racism. 

Former England captain Vaughan was this month named in a report investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at the county club.

The 47-year-old, who played for Yorkshire from 1993 to 2009 and led England to Ashes glory in 2005, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events have been supported by Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.

Vaughan, who was stood down from the BBC's coverage of the Ashes in wake of the allegations, has again denied the accusations made against him.

"I'm sorry for the hurt [Rafiq's] gone through," he told the BBC. "Time, I don't think, can ever be a healer in the situation that he's gone through.

"But hopefully time can be a way of us making sure that Yorkshire County Cricket Club never goes through this situation again and never puts themselves in a position of denial that they treated a player so badly."

He added: "It hurts deeply, hurts me that a player has gone through so much and be treated so badly at the club I love.

"I have to take some responsibility for that because I played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club for 18 years and if in any way shape or form I'm responsible for any of his hurt, I apologise for that."

Asked if he made any racist comments during his time at Yorkshire, Vaughan said: "No I didn't. No."

However, Vaughan, whose playing career spanned 18 years and saw him represent England for a decade, accepts there were many things he heard in dressing rooms that he "would not even consider to be acceptable now".

He added: "I would say any sportsperson that's out there from that era that says otherwise, I don't think they're telling the truth. There were things said and back in the day, it wasn't deemed to be offensive. It would be now.

"I can apologise if I was involved in any way, shape or form with a dressing room that had a culture that wasn't inclusive for everyone.

"My recollections are all the dressing rooms that I played in that we were inclusive to everyone. But I'm more than happy for people to come forward and say, 'you know what that wasn't the case'."

Michael Vaughan has been stood down from the BBC's coverage of the Ashes due to "a conflict of interest" amid recent allegations of racism made by ex-Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq.

The former England captain was this month named in a report investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire.

Vaughan, who played for Yorkshire from 1993 to 2009 and led England to Ashes glory in 2005, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events have been supported by Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, but Vaughan has strongly denied the allegations made against him.

The BBC withdrew Vaughan from his Radio 5 Live show three weeks ago and the corporation has now confirmed the 47-year-old – who first joined their radio team as a summariser in 2009 – will not form part of their upcoming Ashes coverage.

"While he is involved in a significant story in cricket, for editorial reasons we do not believe that it would be appropriate for Michael Vaughan to have a role in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at the moment," said a BBC statement.

"We require our contributors to talk about relevant topics and his involvement in the Yorkshire story represents a conflict of interest."

Vaughan is also contracted to commentate for Australia's Fox network for the five-Test series, which begins in Brisbane on December 8.

In a statement made earlier this month, Vaughan said: "I categorically deny saying the words attributed to me by Azeem Rafiq and want to restate this publicly because the 'you lot' comment simply never happened.

"It is extremely upsetting that this completely false accusation has been made against me by a former team-mate, apparently supported by two other players.

"I have been in contact with the six other players from that team and not one of them has any recollection of the remark being made."

Adil Rashid has backed Azeem Rafiq's accusation that former England captain Michael Vaughan made a racist remark during the trio's time together at Yorkshire.

Vaughan revealed earlier in November that his name appears in a 100-page report into institutional racism at Yorkshire but strongly denies the allegations against him.

Rafiq brought allegations against Yorkshire, which has already led to the resignations of chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur.

Vaughan, who played for Yorkshire between 1993 and 2009, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates that there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events were supported by fellow former Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hassan and now England star Rashid, who had been playing at the T20 World Cup, says he heard Vaughan's alleged comment as well.

In a statement to The Cricketer, Rashid – a Yorkshire player since 2006 – said: "Racism is a cancer in all walks of life and unfortunately in professional sports too, and is something which of course has to be stamped out.

"I wanted to concentrate as much as possible on my cricket and to avoid distractions to the detriment of the team but I can confirm Azeem Rafiq's recollection of Michael Vaughan's comments to a group of us Asian players.

"I'm encouraged by the fact that a parliamentary committee seems to be trying to improve the situation, whether that's holding people accountable or getting changes made at an institutional level.

"These can only be positive developments. I will of course be more than happy to support any official efforts when the time is right.

"For now, though, these matters are of an intensely personal nature and I will not be commenting on them further. I ask you to respect my privacy and allow me to focus on my cricket.

"I want to thank the ECB, the fans and especially my teammates for all of their support. We didn't get the result we wanted in this World Cup, but I hope that the unity of our dressing room and the leadership of our captain will propel us forward to achieve what we deserve in the future."

Stats Perform has approached Yorkshire, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Vaughan's representation for further comment.

Rafiq is expected to give evidence in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee on Tuesday.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been withdrawn from his BBC Radio 5 Live show amid allegations of racism made by ex-Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq.

The 47-year-old revealed on Thursday he has been named in a 100-page report looking into claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire made by Rafiq.

Vaughan, who played for Yorkshire from 1993 to 2009 and led England to Ashes glory in 2005, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events has been supported by fellow former Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hassan. 

Vaughan strongly denies the allegations, but the BBC has confirmed he will not appear on Monday's edition of the 'Tuffers and Vaughan' show on 5 Live alongside Phil Tufnell.

"The BBC takes any allegations of racism extremely seriously," a spokesperson said on Friday.

"We have made the editorial decision that Michael won't appear as a presenter on 5 Live's Tuffers and Vaughan Show on Monday.

"The show focuses on topical discussion around current cricketing matters. Given his personal involvement, we need to ensure we maintain the impartiality of the programme.

"We remain in discussion with Michael and his team."

Writing for The Telegraph on Thursday, Vaughan said: "The allegation came completely out of the blue and more than a decade after it was alleged to have happened made it all the more difficult to process.

"I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words.

"I responded to the panel by saying I was gobsmacked and that my professional legal advice was that I could not appear before a panel having had just a few hours' notice of such serious claims made against me."

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

Roger Hutton subsequently resigned as Yorkshire chairman on Friday, stating the club should have recognised at the time the serious allegations.

Gary Ballance has also been indefinitely suspended from international selection after the ex-England batsman admitted he was responsible for some of the offensive and inappropriate language Rafiq was subjected to.

Rafiq and 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 kit manufacturers Nike are among the sponsors Yorkshire have lost due to their handling of the Rafiq case.

Roger Hutton has resigned as Yorkshire chairman over the club's response to the racism Azeem Rafiq was subjected to during his time with the county.

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

An independent report upheld that the spinner had been victim of "racial harassment and bullying".

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 warranted disciplinary measures.

Hutton quit on Friday after coming under increasing pressure and apologised unreservedly to Rafiq, stating the club should have recognised at the time the serious allegations of racism.

The departing chairman, who joined the club in April 2020 after spinner Azeem had departed, says he experienced a "culture that refuses to accept change or challenge" during his time at the club.

Hutton revealed other non-executive board members have also resigned and he called on executive members of the board to quit ahead of an emergency board meeting at Yorkshire on Friday.

He said in a statement released to ESPNcricinfo: "For much of my time at the club, I experienced a culture that refuses to accept change or challenge.

"There has been a constant unwillingness from the executive members of the board and senior management at the club to apologise and to accept racism and to look forward

"Non-executive members of the board, some of whom have also now resigned. I now call for those executive members of the board to resign, to make way for a new path for the club I love so much.

"I am sorry that we could not persuade executive members of the Board to recognise the gravity of the situation and show care and contrition. I remain disappointed that legal restrictions, including an ongoing employment tribunal, have prevented the investigation report from being published and look forward to the time that everyone can see its recommendations. I hope for it to be published as soon as possible.

"Azeem left the club in August 2018, 18 months before I joined. I have never met Azeem. I know however, that when someone makes claims as serious as his, they need to be investigated and changes need to be made. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly to Azeem. The club should have recognised at the time the serious allegations of racism."

Hutton also took aim at the ECB, claiming the governing body failed to support Yorkshire with their handling of the matter.

"I want to be clear that when I was made aware of Azeem Rafiq's allegations, I immediately reached out to the ECB to ask for their help and intervention to support a robust inquiry,

"I was saddened when they declined to help as I felt it was a matter of great importance for the game as a whole. It is a matter of record that I have continually expressed my frustration at the ECB's reluctance to act."

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.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan on Thursday revealed he was named in Yorkshire's Rafiq report but "totally denies any allegation of racism".

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.

Rafiq and 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.

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