Yorkshire Appoint Sub-Committee To Probe Azeem Rafiq Racism Allegations
Former England Under-19 player Azeem Rafiq had claimed that he was close to committing suicide during his time at Yorkshire because of the racism he faced.
- Spinner Azeem Rafiq alleged he faced racism at Yorkshire
- The club have set up a sub-committee to investigate the allegations
- Rafiq said he was close to committing suicide due to the racism he faced
Yorkshire County Cricket Club's Board has appointed a sub-committee to investigate the allegations of racism made by former England U-19 spinner Azeem Rafiq referring to his time with the side. "The sub-committee will want advice in this process. They have considered the credentials of Squire Patton Boggs to provide legal advice, and are in agreement that they are appointed by the Club, to assist in this matter," the county said in a statement. "The sub-committee has co-opted Dr Samir Pathak who will act as Chair. Dr Pathak is a Trustee of the MCC Foundation, a member of the MCC cricket committee, an Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Bristol, and a Liver and Pancreas Surgeon at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust," it added.
Gulfraz Riaz has also been co-opted onto the sub-committee. Riaz is the Chairman of the National Asian Cricket Council (NACC) and has worked as a Cricket Development Manager at Club Cricket Conference for the past eight years.
Stephen Willis, Chief Financial Officer at Durham University and Senior Independent Director at The Yorkshire County Cricket Club will join the sub-committee, along with Hanif Malik OBE.
Rafiq had claimed that during his stint with county club Yorkshire he thought of killing himself due to alleged racism.
"I know how close I was to committing suicide during my time at Yorkshire. I was living my family's dream as a professional cricketer, but inside I was dying. I was dreading going to work. I was in pain every day," ESPNcricinfo had quoted Rafiq as saying.
Commenting on his appointment as Chairman, Pathak said: "Being of British-Indian heritage and having been born in Yorkshire, it is an honour to chair this sub-committee which will review the serious grievances raised.
"There is a need for all organisations to be diverse and inclusive. My heritage means that I have a deep-rooted interest in equality within sport and society, and I aim to be as impartial as possible throughout this fair and independent investigation," he added.
On Monday, Yorkshire's chairman Roger Hutton in a statement said that the club took the decision to launch a "formal investigation" into the specific allegations made by Rafiq.
"Any allegation of this nature is hugely concerning to everyone from the board to the playing staff here, and we take the reports very seriously. On Monday this week the club took the decision to launch a formal investigation into the specific allegations made by Azeem Rafiq, and a wider review of YCCC's policies and culture," Hutton had said in a statement.