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The fallout continues in the world of cricket to the racism experienced by Azeem Rafiq. Friday started with Roger Hutton, the chairman of Yorkshire, resigning with immediate effect over the club’s response to the racism experienced by former player. The club have also been banned from hosting England cricket matches after their “wholly unacceptable” lack of response to their own findings in an investigation into Rafiq’s allegations.
Further board members at Yorkshire County Cricket Club followed Hutton with an exit, while Lord Kamlesh Patel was appointed as Yorkshire’s new chairman on Friday. Meanwhile, Former England captain Michael Vaughan has denied telling then-Yorkshire team-mate Rafiq - and two other Asian players - there were “too many of you lot” and insists he will “fight to the end” to prove he is “not that person”, but he has now been dropped from a BBC radio show amid the allegations.
Follow live updates of the news surrounding Azeem Rafiq, Yorkshire and the world of cricket below:
Yorkshire Cricket racism latest
Yorkshire banned from hosting England matches
Second player claims he heard Vaughan make racist comment
BBC drops Vaughan from radio show amid racism allegations
16:50 , Dan Austin
The BBC has dropped Michael Vaughan from his radio show on 5 Live amid allegations made against him in the Yorkshire racism scandal.
Vaughan revealed in his Daily Telegraph column on Friday that he had been accused by his former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq of making a racist comment towards a group of Asian players, allegedly saying: “Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it.”
The 47-year-old used the article to “completely and categorically deny” making the comment.
However another former Yorkshire player, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, has alleged that he also heard Vaughan making the comment while playing for the county.
The BBC said in a statement that Vaughan would not appear as a presenter on Monday’s Tuffers and Vaughan Show.
Vaughan under big pressure from BBC
16:02 , Dan Austin
Michael Vaughan’s position at the BBC is under review after the former England captain was embroiled in the Yorkshire cricket racism scandal.
The former England captain used his Thursday Telegraph column to “completely and categorically deny” making a racist jibe, having been accused by his former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq of making a comment towards a group of Asian players saying: “Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it.”
Vaughan was implicated in the scandal the day after his former teammate, Gary Ballance, admitted to using the racial slur “P***” when speaking to Rafiq.
Rafiq won’t be commenting on developments
15:59 , Dan Austin
Azeem Rafiq says he won’t be commenting on developments at Yorkshire Country Cricket Club today, where chairman Roger Hutton and two other board members have stepped down in the wake of criticism over the club’s handling of racist abuse allegations brought to them by Rafiq.
Life peer Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford has been installed as the club’s new director and chair, and said upon his appointment today: “The club needs to learn from its past errors, regain trust and rebuild relationships with our communities.”
30-year-old Rafiq tweeted to say he has nothing to add at this stage, and is waiting to address the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee of MPs later in November.
Michael Holding says racism is “institutional problem” in wider English cricket
15:52 , Dan Austin
Cricket commentator and former West indies international Michael Holding says the sport has a significant problem with “institutional racism” that goes far beyond Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
The 67-year-old told Sky News that he was “really disappointed” but “not surprised” by the botched handling of the investigation into abuse suffered by Azzem Rafiq, saying the report “certainly wasn’t timely.” “To say nobody will be punished is very disappointing”, he added.
“This is not a new thing,” he continued. “This has been going on in English cricket for a long time and Yorkshire are not the only culprits. This is not a Yorkshire problem. This is an English country cricket problem.
“If you talk to cricketers of colour throughout the years at various counties they can give you a lot of similar stories. Where they have been victimised, where they have been called names, where they have had to ‘suck up’ so many things. Yorkshire are being called out now but it’s been going on a long time, so I’m not surprised.
BBC reviewing Michael Vaughan’s media role
15:34 , Dan Austin
The BBC is understood to be reviewing ex-England captain Michael Vaughan’s role with the corporation after he admitted he was named in Yorkshire’s internal investigation into racism allegations brought by Azeem Rafiq.
The 47-year-old has worked for England on cricket and golf with the national broadcaster coverage since his retirement in 2009, and used his Telegraph column on Thursday to deny having said there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it,” to a group of Asian players including Azeem Rafiq ahead of a match at Trent Bridge.
Pakistani fast bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan corroborated the allegation when speaking with ESPN Cricinfo earlier today and reaffirmed his desire to give evidence at any inquiry.
New Yorkshire director and chair appointed
15:27 , Dan Austin
Yorkshire have also appointed a new director and chair to their board as a result of today’s meeting. Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford has been a member of the House of Lords since 2006 and has been Senior Independent Director of the England Wales Cricket Board (ECB) since for the past five years, and will now be charged with leading the club’s transition in the wake of the damage caused by the treatment of Azeem Rafiq.
“The club needs to learn from its past errors, regain trust and rebuild relationships with our communities,” Lord Patel said.
“Yorkshire is lucky to have a vast talent pool of cricketers, and passionate supporters, from all of our communities and we must re-engage with everyone to make a better Yorkshire County Cricket Club for everyone.”
Two more Yorkshire board members stand down
15:23 , Dan Austin
Two more members of the Yorkshire Country Cricket Club board have resigned after chairman Roger Hutton stepped down this morning.
An emergency meeting of the board has been taking place at Headingley throughout the day and Hanif Malik and Stephen Willis have tendered their resignations during discussions, following the furore over the club’s handling of racist abuse suffered by former player Azeem Rafiq.
Hutton released a scathing statement following his departure calling on more board members to follow him out the door, and criticising the club for fostering “a culture that refuses to accept change or challenge”.
Harsha Bhogle: “Saying sorry can’t be that difficult.”
13:40 , Dan Austin
Indian cricket commentator and journalist Harsha Bhogle has responded to the fallout from Yorkshire’s highly-criticised internal investigation into racism suffered by Azeem Rafiq by imploring cricket fans to play attention to the story, adding that “saying sorry can’t be that difficult.”
Yorkshire have lost a plethora of sponsors in the past 24 hours and been stripped of the right to host England fixtures at Headingley by the ECB after a furore surrounding their handling of the abuse received by Rafiq and their refusal to make the report publicly available in full.
Bhogle is an author and incredibly popular figure in India who has over eight million followers on Twitter.
I hope you are following what is happening with Yorkshire cricket. A great club out of tune with the world we live in and hurtling downwards. Saying sorry cannot be that difficult!
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 4, 2021
Adil Ray says answers are “answers and action” needed after new Yorkshire allegations
13:20 , Dan Austin
The actor and comedian Adil Ray says that “actions and answers” are needed now after more disturbing allegations about racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club were made by a second, unnamed cricketer.
The player told the Daily Mail that was urinated on by a colleague while taking a phone call on a balcony, and that he offered two players saying they had used to a Muslim prayer mat to clean up blood after they had sex with a woman who was on her period.
Ray says that the new allegations and botched internal investigation into racism suffered by Azeem Rafiq require more than a review by the Digital, Culture, Music and Sport select committee.
Allegations that a Muslim prayer mat was used by Yorkshire cricket players to clean up the mess from having sex with a woman on her period and players p**sed on an Asian players head are vile. We need answers & action now. I fear a DCMS review won’t cut it. This is much bigger.
— Adil Ray OBE (@adilray) November 5, 2021
Yorkshire chairman resigns with scathing statement
13:00 , Dan Austin
A reminder of the huge story today that Yorkshire Country Cricket Club chairman Roger Hutton stepped down this morning and delivered a scathing statement calling on other members of the board to follow him.
Hutton admitted Yorkshire has “experienced a culture that refuses to accept change or challenge” and “apologised unreservedly” to Azeem Rafiq for the experiences he had to endure.
Hutton, who joined the board in 2020 - almost two years after Rafiq left Headingley - said there had been “a constant unwillingness from the executive members of the board and senior management at the club to apologise.”
Second player corroborates Michael Vaughan racism claim
12:40 , Dan Austin
A second Yorkshire cricketer has corroborated the claim that Michael Vaughan made a racist comment in front of a group of Asian players at Yorkshire.
Pakistani fast bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan confirmed to ESPN Cricinfo that he had heard the former England captain say there were: “Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it,” in front of the group, which included Azeem Rafiq.
Vaughan revealed he was named in the report in a column in The Telegraph but “completely and categorically denied” making the comment.
Rana added that he was prepared to provide evidence to an enquiry.
Morgan wants racism in cricket tackled “head on”
12:20 , Dan Austin
England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan wants the cricket board to tackle the Yorkshire racism row “head on”.
The 35-year-old called the allegations and subsequent botched investigation both “extreme” and “serious”, and believes cricket must stamp racism out immediately.
“I think if they’re matters of an extreme or serious nature like these are, they need to be met head on, and for us as a team, that’s exactly what we want to see,” Morgan told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Twenty20 World Cup contest against South Africa.
“We firmly believe that there is no place in our sport for any type of discrimination.
“I think the actions of ECB board to Yorkshire have indicated how serious they are about dealing with issues like this. Obviously those actions speak louder than words.”
Rafiq left “fuming” by renewed Yorkshire racism allegations
12:02 , Dan Austin
Azeem Rafiq has been responding to renewed claims of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club by a second, unnamed player.
The Daily Mail reports that the cricketer told them he heard senior players who both remain at Yorkshire discussing “how they ‘sh**ged a bird’ in the hotel room who was on her period and made a mess, and all they could find is a Muslim player’s prayer mat to clean it up. Sick or what? These are supposed to be your team-mates and people I looked up to.”
Rafiq was sickened and “fuming” about the story and said “every one needs to read the disrespect of our prayer mat.”
This should not be in the background
The person has built up courage to talk about his suffering & it’s so important we listen
I am absolutely fuming about this & every one needs to read the disrespect of our prayer mat
The senior players are currently at the club!!!! https://t.co/osLsM2Ep3r
— Azeem Rafiq (@AzeemRafiq30) November 5, 2021
Professional Cricketers Association puts pressure on Yorkshire to release full report
11:50 , Dan Austin
The Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) has released a statement responding to the Yorkshire investigation, demanding that the club releases the full internal report it has so far withheld details of.
The PCA is the players’ trade union and was set up in 1967 to protect their interests. The statement opens by emphasising that “the PCA wishes to reiterate that there is no place for racism or discrimination in cricket. Specifically, racist language by any member is wholly unacceptable, and there can be no mitigating circumstances.”
The statement continues: “The PCA will continue to work closely with the ECB until these matters are fully resolved and the Association is supportive of the regulatory and disciplinary process announced by the ECB on Thursday. In addition, we continue to press Yorkshire CCC to release the full details of its report.”
Azeem Rafiq “not surprised” by “disgusting” Yorkshire racism claims from second cricketer
11:40 , Dan Austin
Azeem Rafiq has tweeted his response to further allegations of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club from a second, unnamed Asian player.
The 30-year-old wrote that the allegations were “disgusting” but that the “sad part” is he was “not surprised” to be alerted to them.
The Daily Mail reports that the player who has made the allegations says he was the victim of ‘both blatant and sly’ racist abuse, including having his head urinated on from balcony by a club-mate. The player says he eventually left the Yorkshire as he believed he did not receive the same opportunities as white cricketers.
England ban to hit Yorkshire hard financially
11:32 , Dan Austin
One of the ways in which Yorkshire will pay the price for their botched handling of the investigation of racism suffered by Azeem Rafiq is the financial consequence of missing out on hosting England fixtures.
The club faces eight-figure losses after they county were suspended from hosting international matches and other major games by the England Cricket Board.
It is the most significant potential financial hit the county has suffered so far in the crisis, after sponsors deserted the club in droves over the course of Wednesday and Thursday.
Yorkshire’s 2019 accounts showed it had earned just under £10.5million from international ticket and hospitality revenue, compared to just over £3m from commercial income which would include sponsorship.
Yorkshire banned from hosting England matches by ECB
11:21 , Dan Austin
England won’t be playing at Headingley any time soon after the England Cricket Board took the decision to ban Yorkshire from hosting national team fixtures in the wake of the handling of the Azeem Rafiq case.
In a statement released on Thursday evening, the ECB chastised Yorkshire for causing “serious damage to the reputation of the game” and will take matters into their own hands given how poorly they have dealt with serious accusations of institutional racism.
The suspension on hosting means Headingley could be without a Test match against New Zealand and one-day international against South Africa in 2022, followed by an Ashes Test in 2023. It also relates to domestic fixtures allocated through the Host Venue Panel, such as The Hundred eliminator and final.
Vaughan racism claims backed up by former Yorkshire player
11:14 , Dan Austin
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has told ESPN Cricinfo that he heard the racially insensitive comment ex-England captain Michael Vaughan is alleged to have made to a group of Asian players in the Yorkshire racism investigation report.
Rana is a Pakistani former fast bowler who was with Yorkshire between 2008-09, and was the club’s designated oversees player at the time.
The 43-year-old insists that Vaughan did indeed say “There’s too many of you lot, we need to do something about it,” in front of a group of four Asian players, and reaffirmed that he is prepared to give evidence to any inquiry as required.
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that he heard Michael Vaughan making racially insensitive comments to a group of Asian players at Yorkshire
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 5, 2021
Michael Vaughan denies racism claims
11:06 , Dan Austin
The former England captain Michael Vaughan has denied claims that he made racist comments in tje presence of Azeem Rafiq and other Asian Yorkshire players when he played for the club.
The 47-year-old used his column in the Daily Telegraph to declare that he had “nothing to hide”, writing: “The night before I was due to give evidence, out of the blue, I was hit with the news that Rafiq was alleging that in 2009, when I was still a player and before a Yorkshire match against Nottinghamshire, I had said to Rafiq and two other Asian players as we walked onto the field together that there are ‘too many of you lot, we need to do something about it’.
“This hit me very hard. It was like being struck over the head with a brick. I have been involved in cricket for 30 years and never once been accused of any remotely similar incident or disciplinary offence as a player or commentator.
“I have nothing to hide. The ‘you lot’ comment never happened. Anyone trying to recollect words said 10 years ago will be fallible, but I am adamant those words were not used.”
Rafiq still receiving abuse
10:55 , Dan Austin
Azeem Rafiq says he is still receiving abuse and criticism for speaking out about the racism he suffered at Yorkshire.
The 30-year-old will appear before MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee later this month and tweeted on Thursday: “We wonder why people don’t come forward. Even after everything that is out there, there seems to be personal attacks coming. What a sad state of affairs.”
“This is about institutional racism and abject failures to act by numerous leaders at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and in the wider game. The sport I love and my club desperately need reform and cultural change.”
Collingwood proud of “diverse” players feeling “welcomed”
10:45 , Dan Austin
England coach Paul Collingwood believes the botched Yorkshire investigation and fallout is an “education” to everybody in wider cricket, but says the England team is a welcoming environment for players.
“We’ve seen it in the news, keeping a close eye on it, so when something as big as this is in the news you have a chat about it,” he told a press conference during T20 World Cup campaign in the United Arab Emirates. “It’s an education for all of us, keep trying to learn, understand and get better.
“We’ve really worked hard over the last few years with the courage, respect and unity that we have in the dressing room and that’s a motto that we live by in the dressing room.
“I know this group of players, it’s very important to them that it’s an environment where people feel safe. We’ve got a very diverse group of players and I know everybody feels really welcome in that dressing room.”
Nasser Hussain criticises Yorkshire for having no ‘guts’
10:30 , Dan Austin
The ex-England captain Nasser Hussain has criticised Yorkshire for not having “the guts” to do the right years ago in relation to the Azeem Rafiq case.
“They messed it up first time when it actually happened because no one had the guts to stand up and say: ‘No, we are not doing that in this dressing room,’” he told Sky Sports.
“They next messed it up for years after that by not picking out people who used that terminology and they are still messing it up now when they had the option to say: ‘We have changed, we will not accept this sort of behaviour’. So they continue to mess it up.”
Hussain went on to say he feared the consequences for young players coming up through the system at cricket clubs.
“Almost by Yorkshire saying it is just banter, they are sending a message through all their age groups that it is okay to say ‘you lot’ and ‘that corner shop must belong to your uncle’ and things like that. They are sending a message that this sort of mickey taking is absolutely fine and it’s not.”
Yorkshire accused of “victim blaming” by senior government MP
10:26 , Dan Austin
The chair of the Digital, Music, Culture and Sport committee has accused Yorkshire County Cricket Club of “victim blaming” in the report based on the findings of their internal investigation in strong criticism of both the club’s practices and handling of the case.
Julian Knight MP branded the club’s response “absolutely appalling” on the Today programme, adding: “There is a degree of victim blaming in the leaked report, where they equate Rafiq using ‘Zim’ for Zimbabwean as the same as the P-word. It is not the same.
We want to get the lead people at Yorkshire County Cricket Club in front of us and we want to ask them how they can justify not having taken action and why it is they think that those who have used this language in their club are fit to still remain in their club, and what are they going to do in the future in order to ensure that Yorkshire gets a handle on this racism problem.”
Nike also steps away from Yorkshire
10:22 , Dan Austin
Sportswear giant Nike has also cut ties with Yorkshire in the past 24 hours over its handling of the Azeem Rafiq racism case.
The American company had been the club’s kit manufacturer since March of this year after signing a deal which was due to run until 2025, but will now be ended immediately.
“Nike will no longer be the kit supplier for Yorkshire CCC,” read a statement released by the sports clothing brand on Thursday, per the Evening Standard.
“We stand firmly against racism and discrimination of any kind.”
Sponsors desert Yorkshire
10:18 , Dan Austin
A variety of club sponsors have cut ties with Yorkshire in the past few days, including Yorkshire Tea and Emerald Publishing.
The latter’s logo is a significant presence at the club’s Headingley Stadium, and the company said they will remove all branding from the club while calling on Yorkshire to “respond with serious action to eradicate racism”.
“We do not tolerate any form of racism or discriminatory behaviour and the damaging effects this has,” Emerald said. “Our intention remains to continue a financial commitment to the stadium itself, which is also the home of Leeds Rhinos rugby, as we believe this supports the aims of diversity and inclusion in sport along with a range of charitable community endeavours. Emerald will however no longer sponsor Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Yorkshire cricket chairman Roger Hutton resigns amid racism report fallout
10:11 , Dan Austin
Roger Hutton, the chairman of Yorkshire, has resigned with immediate effect over the club’s response to the racism experienced by former player Azeem Rafiq.
Hutton, who had faced intense pressure to resign over the past week, admitted Yorkshire has “experienced a culture that refuses to accept change or challenge” in a statement released on Friday morning.
He “apologised unreservedly” to Rafiq and admitted the club “should have recognised at the time the serious allegations of racism”.
Hutton’s statement preceded an emergency board meeting at Yorkshire this morning, with further resignations expected. Hutton, who joined the board in 2020 - almost two years after Rafiq left Headingley - said there had been “a constant unwillingness from the executive members of the board and senior management at the club to apologise.”
Hutton was also critical of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), claiming the governing body had “declined to help”.