09 November 2021

Discrimination inquiry asks ECB for copy of Yorkshire’s Azeem Rafiq report

09 November 2021

English cricket’s discrimination inquiry has asked to see a copy of Yorkshire’s investigation into allegations of racism and bullying made by former player Azeem Rafiq

The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) was set up by the England and Wales Cricket Board in March and on Tuesday opened its call for evidence, which is open to everyone involved in the elite and grassroots game.

The chair of the ICEC, Cindy Butts, says she wants to “put a mirror up” to the game and confront barriers around race, gender and class – and confirmed she has written to the ECB asking for a copy of Yorkshire’s much-criticised Rafiq report.

“I am yet to hear back from (the ECB), but I hope I will hear from them imminently because the issues that are raised within the report are vital for the work that we are doing as a Commission,” she told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme.

The county’s handling of Rafiq’s complaints has been widely criticised and led to their chair Roger Hutton quitting last week, sponsors deserting the club and the England and Wales Cricket Board suspending Yorkshire’s right to host lucrative international matches.

The new chair, Lord Patel, confirmed on Monday the club had settled an employment claim with Rafiq and issued a personal apology to the 30-year-old, praising him for his bravery as a whistle-blower and promising “urgent and seismic change” at the club.

Patel said he would send copies of the report to those with a “legal interest” in the case, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee Julian Knight.

Butts added: “I can tell you now cricket is facing a reckoning and we absolutely have to seize this moment to make the changes that are necessary.

“People are able to come to us and speak to us anonymously and confidentially and we will ensure that they are not identified within the report.

We will say what we need to say and not shy away from really putting a mirror up to cricket and saying ‘this is what you look like’.

“We are a truly independent Commission – yes the ECB established us but we set our own terms of reference.

“We will say what we need to say and not shy away from really putting a mirror up to cricket and saying ‘this is what you look like’. We will follow the evidence wherever it takes us.”

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