Azeem Rafiq Predicts “Floodgates” Will Open In Cricket Racism Crisis

Azeem Rafiq, a former Yorkshire cricketer, told MPs how racial language was “constantly” used at the Yorkshire county club during his two stints there.

Highlights

  • Azeem Rafiq discussed his two stints at Yorkshire with MPs
  • Racism has already been leveled against Essex
  • Institutional racism, according to Azeem Rafiq, plagues the country

Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq believes the “floodgates” of cricket’s racism crisis will open, predicting that thousands of people will come forward after he told British legislators about his own distressing experiences.

Rafiq, who was born in Pakistan, told MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee on Tuesday that racial language was “constantly” used at the county club during his two stints there.

The 30-year-old, who aspired to play for England, believes the country’s sport is tainted by institutional bigotry. He leveled new charges against a number of high-profile figures. Including ex-England players Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan, Matthew Hoggard, and Alex Hales, and claimed that others would follow suit.

Racism has already been leveled against Essex, and a number of other counties were mentioned during the parliamentary inquiry.

Azeem Rafiq said:

“I do feel now it’s going to be a few floodgates. A lot of victims of abuse are going to come forward. And we need to listen to them, hear them, support them. And work out a plan to make sure this doesn’t happen again,”

“I think you’re going to get it (complaints) into the hundreds and thousands. Possibly, and I think it’s the way they handle it. We’ve got here because of Yorkshire’s handling of this.”

Pakistan-born Rafiq told MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport  committee on Tuesday how racist language was "constantly" used during his  two spells at the county club.

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Yorkshire has been devastating by the scandal, with sponsors fleeing in droves. Top officials resigning, and the club being preventing from playing lucrative international fixtures.

Rafiq, on the other hand, warned that the county could not progress. Unless head coach Andrew Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon departed the Headingley club.

Gale has been place on leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a prior tweet. While Moxon has been diagnose with a stress-related ailment.

Sayeeda Warsi, a member of the unelected House of Lords in the United Kingdom, has urged England and Wales Cricket Board to lead change.

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