County cricket club Yorkshire charged by ECB following Azeem Rafiq racism row


Yorkshire and a “number of individuals” were charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday following the governing body’s investigation into how the county dealt with racism allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq.

The ECB did not name any of the people involved in a statement issued today.

The board said the charges arose from alleged breaches of the ECB’s anti-discrimination code as well as rules concerned with the conduct of players and officials.

The governing body added that an independent panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) would now hear the cases, expected to take place in September and October.

The ECB said it was standard practice for the CDC panel to publish its decisions and written reasons in full.

Pakistan-born former off-spinner Rafiq first raised allegations of racism and bullying in September 2020, related to his two spells at Yorkshire.

It was not until a year later that the club finally released a statement saying the retired player had been the victim of “racial harassment and bullying”, upholding seven of his 43 allegations.

But the following month, the club confirmed nobody would be disciplined, a decision that was greeted with widespread incredulity.

Pressure mounted on Yorkshire, leading to a mass clear-out of senior boardroom figures and coaching staff at its Headingley headquarters.

Earlier this month, however, former Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale won a claim for unfair dismissal, leaving the club facing the prospect of paying out huge sums in compensation.

The ECB had previously warned Yorkshire it was prepared to remove lucrative England international matches from Headingly unless the club made changes.

But those games, including next week’s third Test against New Zealand and a one-day international against South Africa in July, are set to go ahead as scheduled after a package of governance reforms was approved.