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A timeline of the Yorkshire cricket racism scandal




The fallout from the racism crisis in county cricket, fueled by allegations from former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq, continues with the denunciation of the county and a number of individuals on Wednesday by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Here’s a timeline of developments in the affair so far.

September 2, 2020 Rafiq tells ESPNcricinfo that he considered committing suicide during his time in Yorkshire due to institutional racism in the county.

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A sign outside the Yorkshire ground (Peter Powell/PA)

(PA wire)

September 3, 2020 Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton has confirmed that a formal investigation into Rafiq’s claims will be launched.

September 5, 2020 Squire Patton Boggs law firm is hired by Yorkshire to lead the independent investigation.

November 13, 2020 Rafiq reveals details of the racism he faced in Yorkshire and says non-white players were referred to as P***s and elephant washers. He also points to a drinking culture in the club that is insensitive to Muslim attitudes towards alcohol.

Dec 14, 2020 Rafiq is filing a legal claim against Yorkshire under the Equality Act, claiming direct discrimination and harassment on the grounds of race, as well as victimization and disadvantage as a result of his efforts to tackle racism at the club.

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In November 2020, Azeem Rafiq revealed details of the racist abuse he had received during his time in Yorkshire (John Walton/PA)

(PA archive)

June 17, 2021 Yorkshire confirm that they have failed to resolve the issues between the club and Azeem Rafiq through judicial mediation. The case remains in the labor court.

August 18, 2021 England and Wales cricket council chairman Ian Watmore is calling on Yorkshire to provide a copy of the survey results after the county receives the report. Rafiq reveals his annoyance at continued delays in the process.

August 19, 2021 Rafiq has accused Yorkshire of downplaying its claims of institutional racism after the county apologized to the former spinner for being the victim of inappropriate behaviour, but insisted many of the allegations were not upheld.

September 8, 2021 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee chair Julian Knight MP tells Yorkshire to publish the report on Rafiqs’ allegations of racism, stating: It is critical that the trial, report and full findings be made public and can be investigated.

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DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP commented on the Azeem Rafiq case (House of Commons) in September

(PA wire)

September 10, 2021 Yorkshire is releasing a condensed version of the report, apologizing and accepting that Rafiq has been the victim of racial harassment and bullying, but after only seven of Rafiq’s 43 allegations were confirmed. The county maintains there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove institutionalized racism.

October 7, 2021 A Rafiq spokesman accused Yorkshire of protecting the players and a coach who they believe used racist language or bully.

October 28, 2021 Yorkshire announces that no person will take any disciplinary action.

Nov 2, 2021 ESPNcricinfo reveals further details of the report in Rafiqs’ allegations, including a senior player’s admission that he used the word P*** in reference to Rafiq, but Yorkshire concludes the incidents in question were down to friendly chatter. Under increasing political pressure, Chairman Hutton is summoned to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Nov 3, 2021 Emerald Group Publishing, Yorkshire Tea and Anchor Butter are all ending their partnership with Yorkshire over the handling of Rafiqs allegations. Former England batter Gary Ballance reveals he made racist remarks against Rafiq but claimed both men said things to each other privately that were not acceptable.

Nov 4, 2021 The ECB will suspend Yorkshire from hosting international or major matches, while Ballance will be suspended indefinitely from the England squad.

Nov 5, 2021 Hutton will step down as chairman of Yorkshire along with two board members. Lord Patel is appointed as the new chairman. Former Yorkshire all-rounder Rana Naved-ul-Hasan claims he heard Michael Vaughan make inappropriate comments to Asian players at the club, something Rafiq also claimed and Vaughan denies.

November 11, 2021 Mark Arthur resigns as Chief Executive of Yorkshire. Director of cricket Martyn Moxon has been scarred with a stress-related illness.

Nov 12, 2021 Essex chairman John Faragher resigns after a historic allegation of racist language by him at a board meeting in 2017. Three Essex players Jahid Ahmed, Zoheb Sharif and Maurice Chambers later allege they were racially abused at the club.

Nov 15, 2021 Adil Rashid joins Rana in supporting Rafiq’s claim regarding Vaughan. The trio allege that in front of a group of Yorkshire players of Asian ethnicity, Vaughan said: Too many of you, we need to do something about it.

Nov 16, 2021 Rafiq gives explosive details about his time at Headingley during a DCMS selection committee hearing and also suggests that Ballance’s racially derogatory use of the term Kevin was an open secret in England’s dressing room. He also claims that another former England batter, Alex Hales, named a dog because he was black. Later, his statement from his permanent employment tribunal with Yorkshire reveals damning charges against Ballance, Moxon, Andrew Gale, Tim Bresnan and Matthew Hoggard. Broadcaster David Lloyd also apologizes for comments he made.

November 17, 2021 Hales categorically and unequivocally denies Rafiqs’ allegations, while former Yorkshire captain David Byas, who was also cited in the selected committee’s hearing as known for using racist expressions, also denies any wrongdoing.

Nov 18, 2021 Rafiq apologizes after it was revealed that he sent anti-Semitic messages to a fellow player more than a decade earlier.

Nov 19, 2021 The games’ stakeholders hold a crisis meeting, after which ECB chief Tom Harrison promises extensive action to tackle discrimination.

November 27, 2021 Vaughan, who was ousted by the BBC over winter coverage of the Ashes, has apologized to Rafiq for the suffering he experienced during his time in Yorkshire, but has denied the comments attributed to him.

February 11, 2021 After a number of changes initiated by the new chairman Lord Patel, Yorkshire’s international status is being restored, but subject to certain reforms being completed.

Apr 1, 2022 Yorkshire members vote overwhelmingly in favor of the changes that will enable Headingley to host international competitions.

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Headingley was stripped of the right to host international matches (Danny Lawson/PA)

(PA wire)

May 5, 2022 Essex will be fined 50,000 and reprimanded after accepting two charges related to Faragher’s alleged historic racist comment.

May 31, 2022 The ECB reveals that Essex has been placed in a non-compliance lawsuit after it fell significantly short of the targets to tackle racism and promote inclusion and diversity, set after Rafiq’s testimony to MPs. They have been warned that they could face sanctions.

June 15, 2022 The ECB is indicting Yorkshire and a number of individuals over an investigation into Rafiqs’ allegations.




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