Rafiq arrives to give DCMS committee evidence over Yorkshire CCC racism scandal

Azeem Rafiq has arrived in Westminster to give evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee on the Yorkshire County Cricket Club racism scandal.

Rafiq will provide evidence to the committee surrounding a recent report that revealed he was subject to ‘racial harassment and bullying’ while playing for the county across two spells.

Former Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton will also appear in front of MPs shortly after Rafiq, and will answer questions on the club’s handling of the situation.

A report into Rafiq's original allegations revealed that he and some of his teammates were subject to ‘institutional racism’ throughout their time at Headingley, after he initially raised concerns in August 2020 via an interview with Wisden.

Following an independent report that concluded a year later, Yorkshire admitted that Rafiq was subject to ‘inappropriate behaviour’ as they offered their ‘profound apologies’. However, the 30-year-old then accused the club of ‘downplaying racism’.

The club concluded that following the independent findings none of its employees, players or executives would face disciplinary action, despite a number of the senior figures involved in the accusations still being associated with the club.

ESPNCricInfo later revealed that a senior Yorkshire player had referred to Rafiq as a ‘P***’ but the player was spared punishment as Yorkshire deemed the term to have been used as ‘banter’.

England international Gary Ballance later admitted he was the player responsible for that comment, but backed up the sentiments of his club, insisting that Rafiq was his ‘closest friend in cricket’ and was ‘not intended to offend anyone’.

Another marquee name from the cricketing world that is mentioned in the damning report is former England Test captain Michael Vaughan, who was also accused of making a racist remark.

Vaughan vehemently denies any wrongdoing, and took to his Telegraph column to issue an initial denial earlier this month.

Fellow former Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hasan supported Rafiq’s claims against Vaughan, telling ESPNCricInfo that he heard Vaughan say to a group of Asian players: "There's too many of you lot, we need to do something about it."

Current England and Yorkshire player Adil Rashid also supported Rafiq's claims against Vaughan.

More detail is set to be revealed at this morning’s hearing with all speakers providing evidence with a parliamentary pardon, meaning they can speak without the fear of criminal conviction.

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