Yorkshire County Cricket Club to take no disciplinary action in race row

Yorkshire County Cricket Club says it will not be taking disciplinary action against any of its employees, players or executives in the wake of a report which concluded one of its players had suffered racial harassment at the club.

Last year, former player Azeem Rafiq, said he had been the victim of “institutional racism” at the club. Seven of the 43 allegations made by the player were subsequently upheld by an independent panel.

Last year, Rafiq said that he had felt suicidal because of "deep rooted" racism at the club.

A statement released by the club on Thursday said that while it carried out its own internal investigation into Rafiq’s allegations, it has concluded: “there is no conduct or action taken by any of its employees, players or executives that warrants disciplinary action.”

In response, Rafiq tweeted his disbelief at the statement and called on the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to take appropriate action.

The 30-year-old said last year that he had reported incidents of abuse to senior officials at Yorkshire before his departure from the club in 2018. He said teammates had called him a "p***" and he would often leave social events in tears because of racist comments.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club said at the time that they had launched a formal investigation and had tried to contact Rafiq to discuss his experiences.

A spokesperson for Rafiq said: "It is inconceivable that there are no current employees who should not have been disciplined for their conduct. Yorkshire's failures continue to mount up and it is time that board members - for once - do the decent thing and resign."

After announcing that nobody would face disciplinary action, the club said in a statement on Thursday that of none of this diminishes the importance of the findings or that fact that there is much the club can learn from the report.

“Ultimately the issues raised by Azeem Rafiq are going to be considered not only by the Panel but also the Employment Tribunal and the England and Wales Cricket Board. (ECB)

“It was important for Azeem to raise the issues and without him doing so we would not have the Panel’s recommendations which are an important part of the club’s continuing journey.

“Club Chair Roger Hutton believes the club and everyone connected to it should be proud of the work the club has done to improve diversity and inclusion prior to his involvement, but equally acknowledges there remains much to be done going forward.”

The ECB has issued its own statement confirming it had received a copy of the independent report from Yorkshire.

The board said: "This is a matter with many serious allegations at its heart and the ECB's regulatory team will now consider the report as part of its investigation.

"We anticipate that it will take time for the regulatory process to reach its conclusion, but it is imperative that this is completed thoroughly and with fairness to all involved."

The governing body added that it has been assured by club it will “cooperate fully with the ongoing regulatory process”.