Cricketer Azeem Rafiq being called a ‘P***’ dismissed as ‘banter’ by Yorkshire

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Azeem Rafiq was reportedly frequently called ‘P**i’ by a senior player at Yorkshire (Picture: Getty)

A senior Yorkshire player avoided disciplinary action despite regularly calling his former teammate Azeem Rafiq a ‘P***’, according to reports.

Yorkshire officials have opted against publishing their full findings into allegations of institutional racism made last year by Rafiq, citing legal reasons.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board has launched its own investigation, which is said to contain full details of the abuse directed towards Rafiq.

Azeem Rafiq had two spells at Yorkshire between 2008 & 2018 (Picture: Getty)

According to ESPNcricinfo, the report includes an admission by one player that he used the word ‘P***’ while conversing with Rafiq, which on at least one occasion reduced the player to tears.

Yorkshire concluded that the incidents in question amounted to ‘friendly banter’, and reportedly added: ‘The Panel does not accept that Azeem was offended by (the other player’s) comments, either at the time they were made or subsequently.’

Former England batsman Mark Butcher, responding to the panel’s findings, told The Times: ‘It beggars belief. It’s not only completely tone deaf but totally in denial.’

Yorkshire did release and abbreviated version of their report back in September, apologising and accepting Rafiq had been a victim of ‘racial harassment and bullying’ over the course of his two stints at Headingley between 2008 and 2018.

But the club announced last week that no employees would face further action, an outcome Rafiq branded ‘embarrassing’.

Speaking last month, a spokesperson for Rafiq said: ‘Yorkshire is protecting the players and a coach who they now acknowledge used either racist language or were bullying. The club is intent on not naming them, yet has stated publicly that Azeem is wrong on some allegations without explaining why or on what basis.

‘The investigation has lacked transparency and due process… The summary was provided, in effect, by the defendant – Yorkshire. Azeem has not been allowed to see the report, comment or respond. Even with all those issues, Yorkshire was forced to admit to racism and bullying. How bad is the full report for Yorkshire?’

The situation has since escalated to a political level with Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton having been called by the parliamentary Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee to answer for the club’s handling of Rafiq’s racism claims.

The DCMS committee will be holding an evidence session on the matter, while Health Secretary Sajid Javid said ‘heads should roll’ at Yorkshire.

Javid said on Twitter on Tuesday: ‘P**’ is not banter. Heads should roll at Yorkshire CCC. If @ECB-cricket doesn’t take action it’s not fit for purpose.’


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