Yorkshire chairman to be called before government committee amid racism claims

Recent report outlines that racist remarks made to Azeem Rafiq were seen as ‘banter’

Reports of racism made by Yorkshire’s Azeem Rafiq will lead to the county’s chairman being called before a government committee. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton is to be called by the UK government’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee to answer for the club’s handling of Azeem Rafiq’s racism claims.

Rafiq, a former White Rose player over two spells between 2008 and 2018, first made allegations of institutional racism at the county over a year ago and an independent report commissioned by Yorkshire upheld that he had been a victim of “racial harassment and bullying”. Despite that, no employees of the club are facing further action.

ESPNcricinfo then published what it claimed to be details of the report, including a senior player’s admission that he had repeatedly used the word “P**i” in reference to Rafiq, which was subsequently deemed to be “in the spirit of friendly banter”.

Now, the situation has escalated on a political level with the DCMS confirming that it would be holding an evidence session on the matter.


DCMS chair Julian Knight said in a statement: “This is extremely concerning and it’s clear that Yorkshire County Cricket Club has questions to answer. We have monitored developments around the club’s handling of the serious allegations made by Azeem Rafiq.

“We want to see much greater transparency from Yorkshire County Cricket Club - it is time for them to answer their critics. We intend to call the chair of the club before the DCMS committee to give a much fuller explanation than we have had so far.”