Yorkshire County Cricket Club chairman resigns and apologizes 'unreservedly' to Azeem Rafiq following racism allegations

3 weeks ago 30

(CNN)The president of Yorkshire County Cricket Club has resigned amid the club's handling of racism and bullying towards erstwhile subordinate Azeem Rafiq, the nine announced connected Friday.

Roger Hutton, who joined the Yorkshire committee successful April 2020, said helium apologizes "unreservedly" to Rafiq, who made allegations of racism astatine Yorkshire past year.

Since Rafiq's allegations, Yorkshire CCC apologized and said that Rafiq was the "victim of inappropriate behaviour" portion playing for the club, though nary 1 was disciplined pursuing an probe into the allegations by an autarkic panel.

In a connection connected Friday reported by the BBC's Dan Roan, Hutton said: "The nine should person recognised astatine the clip the superior allegations of racism. I americium atrocious that we could not transportation Executive members of the Board to recognise the gravity of the concern and amusement attraction and contrition.

"I stay disappointed that ineligible restrictions, including an ongoing employment tribunal, person prevented the probe study from being published and look guardant to the clip that everyone tin spot its recommendations. I anticipation for it to beryllium published arsenic soon arsenic possible."

Hutton added that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) "declined to help" erstwhile helium approached the governing assemblage aft learning of Rafiq's allegations.

He besides said that determination has been a "constant unwillingness from the Executive members of the Board and elder absorption astatine the Club to apologise and to judge racism and to look forward" and that helium has "experienced a civilization that refuses to judge alteration oregon challenge."

Azeem Rafiq bowls against Middlesex portion    playing for Yorkshire successful  2016.

In a connection sent to CNN, an ECB spokesperson said: "Yorkshire CCC did scope retired to america astatine the opening of the probe with a petition that we spouse with them connected exploring Azeem's allegations of racism and bullying against the club.

"Our relation is to run arsenic a regulator crossed the full game. We indispensable enactment independently of immoderate nine investigations, should we ever beryllium required to intervene arsenic regulator -- either during oregon after.

"The crushed wherefore our governance is structured successful this mode is perfectly demonstrated successful the mode that these issues person played-out astatine Yorkshire County Cricket Club."

Hutton has been summoned to the UK Parliament connected November 16 to reply questions implicit the club's handling of the radical harassment towards Rafiq -- a work helium said helium would inactive undertake.

Yorkshire besides announced that Hanif Malik and Stephen Willis person stepped down arsenic committee members, portion Neil Hartley volition stay connected the committee to guarantee a creaseless enactment modulation but plans to measurement down successful the adjacent future. Kamlesh Patel has been appointed arsenic the club's manager and chair.

On Thursday, the ECB suspended Yorkshire from hosting planetary oregon large matches astatine Headingley.

"It is wide to the Board that YCCC's handling of the issues raised by Azeem Rafiq is wholly unacceptable and is causing superior harm to the estimation of the game," said a statement.

"The ECB find this substance abhorrent and against the tone of cricket and its values."

Earlier this week, erstwhile England subordinate Gary Ballance admitted utilizing a radical slur towards Rafiq portion the brace were teammates astatine Yorkshire.

Ballance, who has been suspended from representing England by the ECB, said that helium "deeply regret[s] immoderate of the connection I utilized successful my younger years" and that helium and Rafiq stock an "incredibly adjacent relationship."

Meanwhile, erstwhile England skipper Michael Vaughan has said helium "completely and categorically den[ies]" making a racist remark that was a portion of Rafiq's ailment that led to Yorkshire's investigation.

Vaughan has worked arsenic  a pundit since retiring arsenic  a player.

"The nighttime earlier I was owed to springiness evidence, retired of the blue, I was deed with the quality that Rafiq was alleging that successful 2009, erstwhile I was inactive a subordinate and earlier a Yorkshire lucifer against Nottinghamshire, I had said to Rafiq and 2 different Asian players arsenic we walked onto the tract unneurotic that determination are 'too galore of you lot, we request to bash thing astir it,'" Vaughan recalled successful a column for The Telegraph paper published connected Thursday.

"This deed maine precise hard. It was similar being struck implicit the caput with a brick. I person been progressive successful cricket for 30 years and ne'er erstwhile been accused of immoderate remotely akin incidental oregon disciplinary offence arsenic a subordinate oregon commentator. That the allegation came wholly retired of the bluish and much than a decennary aft it was alleged to person happened made it each the much hard to process."

Vaughan said helium was "adamant those words were not used."

Former Yorkshire subordinate Rana Naved-ul-Hasan told ESPNcricinfo connected Friday that helium heard Vaughan making the comments to a radical of South Asian players.

A fig of Yorkshire's sponsors, including Yorkshire Tea and Emerald Publishing, person chopped ties with the nine amid its handling of Rafiq's allegations, portion Nike said it volition nary longer beryllium the club's kit supplier.

In a statement, Patel, the caller seat and manager of Yorkshire, said: "The Club needs to larn from its past errors, regain spot and rebuild relationships with our communities.

    "There is overmuch enactment to do, including speechmaking the panel's report, truthful we tin statesman the process of learning from our past mistakes.

    "Yorkshire is fortunate to person a immense endowment excavation of cricketers, and passionate supporters, from each of our communities and we indispensable re-engage with everyone to marque a amended Yorkshire County Cricket Club for everyone."

    CNN's Amy Woodyatt contributed to reporting.

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