English cricket warns after parliamentary report to “clean up” against racism or lose public money | Cricket news

English cricket warns after parliamentary report to “clean up” against racism or lose public money |  Cricket news

English cricket was shaken by the racist scandal Azeem Rafiq

Racism in cricket is “deep-rooted” and public money should be denied to the sport if it cannot “clean up”, a parliamentary committee said.

In November, Azeem Rafiq gave an emotional testimony to a selected Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) commission on the racist abuse he faced during two internships in Yorkshire from 2008 to 2018.

In a report released on Friday, the committee found that racism was “deep-rooted” in the sport, and cited an example of the language used in correspondence with the committee and attempts to “discredit” Rafiq in the media as evidence of a “long and difficult journey” for the sport.

It also called on the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to develop a set of key indicators and provide the committee with quarterly updates on its progress, otherwise it will face cuts in government funding.

Azeem Rafiq testified during a hearing on the DCMS Selection Committee in November 2021

Azeem Rafiq testified during a hearing on the DCMS Selection Committee in November 2021

The committee said the ECB and Yorkshire would be invited to provide evidence of their progress earlier this year.

“We are closely monitoring and fully intend to ensure that cricket calms down,” the report said.

“We recommend that the government ensure that all future public funding for cricket depends on continued and demonstrable progress in eliminating racism in both the locker rooms and the stands.”

  • There is “deep-rooted” racism in English cricket and the sport needs to “clean up”
  • The language used in correspondence with the committee to gather evidence and attempts to “discredit” Rafiq in the media are evidence of the “long and difficult journey” it awaits.
  • The ECB called on it to develop a set of key indicators and provide the Committee with quarterly updates on its progress, otherwise it will face funding constraints.
  • The ECB and Yorkshire will be invited to provide evidence of their progress in early 2022

On 18 November, the ECB published a comprehensive 12-point plan to tackle discrimination. Its CEO, Tom Harrison, described the accusations of Rafiq and other players of racism as an “earthquake” in cricket.

The plan includes a review of locker room culture, diversity training for all those involved in the sport, governance review, efforts to remove barriers to high-level cricket, localized equality, diversity and inclusion for clubs, districts and governments. and exploring how stadiums can be made more friendly to people from different backgrounds.

Julian Knight, chairman of the committee, said: “The excellent evidence provided to this committee by Azeem Rafiq has convinced us that his story was typical of the endemic problem in cricket. We commend him for his courage to blow his whistle.” about unacceptable and discriminatory behavior.

“We were shocked by the language people used to correspond with us after the hearing. This, together with the stories that appeared in the media to discredit it, shows that eradicating racism from the game will be a long and difficult journey. Those who love and support the game are part of the solution and must play their part.

Julian Knight is the chairman of the DCMS committee

Julian Knight is the chairman of the DCMS committee

“The changes introduced by Lord Patel in the Yorkshire County Cricket Club leave room for optimism, but cannot in themselves eradicate racism at play. Public funding for cricket must depend on real leadership and progress by the ECB to deal with abominable behavior, not least in locker rooms. ” , but also in the stands.

“The government must make future funding conditional on the game clearing up its proceedings. We have warned the ECB that we expect this committee to receive regular updates on progress.”

Rafiq: Great that DCMS holds the ECB accountable

Commenting on the report, Rafiq said: “The DCMS has listened and taken reasonable steps.

“It’s absolutely great that Julian Knight and his colleagues on the committee will hold the ECB accountable every quarter. It shows how seriously politicians take a problem that too many people in cricket have ignored for so long. The committee understands how important it is to clean up the game.

“The additional hearing at which the ECB and the Yorkshire Country Cricket Club will have to give evidence of their progress is also good news. They need to be given a chance to do the right thing, and I am encouraged by Lord Patel.” work since he was appointed Chairman of the YCCC.

Rafiq played for Yorkshire in two seasons between 2008 and 2018

Rafiq played for Yorkshire in two seasons between 2008 and 2018

“I am pleased that MEPs will monitor any progress so that the reforms needed to make sport inclusive for all young people can take place soon.”

The committee launched an investigation after Yorkshire announced that no disciplinary action would be taken against any individual in the club, despite an investigation it commissioned that concluded “there was no doubt” that Rafiq had been bullied and harassed.

The club could face further sanctions as a result of an ongoing ECB investigation into how it handled Rafiq’s complaints.

Barry O’Brien, interim President of the ECB, said: “We welcome the Committee’s recommendations and the focus of Julian Knight and its members on achieving real change.

“We also accept the constant scrutiny of the commission and all those who love the game of cricket, who will closely monitor our ongoing, demonstrable, progress in eradicating racism from the locker room and the stands. We are committed to taking racism – and other forms of discrimination – out of our sport.”

“Headingley should not host until issues of influence have been resolved”

Knight also said Yorkshire should not host international matches at Headingley until the issues surrounding the Colin Graves Trust have been resolved.

In November, former district chairman Roger Hutton told the DCMS subcommittee that he wanted to dismiss CEO Mark Arthur and cricket director Martyn Moxon over their response to a report on racism allegations made by former player Aze Rafiq.

However, Hutton said he had not given his consent to the Trust, which owes the club a considerable amount of money and is linked to the family of former Yorkshire President Colin Graves.

Rafiq accused Yorkshire of institutional racism

Rafiq accused Yorkshire of institutional racism

The ECB has deprived Yorkshire the right to hold lucrative international matches in Headingley over the former leadership’s handling of the Rafiq crisis, but Lord Patel said this week it would be a “huge financial crisis” for the region if international matches were not resumed this summer. . Rafiq said Daily mail he felt that the county had done enough to guarantee the return of the matches.

“It gives me a real break in thinking about whether or not they are ready (to host internationals),” Knight told the PA news agency.

“Lord Patel has made great strides, but we must be sure that there is no recurrence of a situation where those who need to be removed from club leadership are not removed due to roadblocks through the Trust.

“I would ask if Yorkshire should get the matches back until this problem is resolved. I think this is something we and the ECB will explore when they get to us in the coming weeks.”

Yorkshire CCC President Lord Patel admits it would be a disaster if Test Cricket did not return to Headingley.

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Yorkshire CCC President Lord Patel admits it would be a disaster if Test Cricket did not return to Headingley.

Yorkshire CCC President Lord Patel admits it would be a disaster if Test Cricket did not return to Headingley.

“I would very much question the position of the Graves Trust in Yorkshire or whether it should continue to have as much influence and power as it has.”

Responding to the report, Patel said: “We welcome the Select Committee’s call for demonstrable steps to rid our sport of racism and discrimination. Azeem Rafiq’s testimony was a turning point for the sport as a whole and we are committed to ensuring that one tolerates the unacceptable experience of cricket. Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

“Over the last two months, the Yorkshire County Cricket Club has made significant progress in our redevelopment efforts and I am pleased that the committee believes there is room for optimism in what we have achieved. We share this optimism and have made some real improvements.” but we are just at the beginning of this long and important journey. “

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