Pro IQRA News Updates.
A hearing into allegations of racism from former Yorkshire player Azim Rafik will begin in London later this morning.
The 32-year-old first announced in 2020 that he had been the victim of racial harassment and bullying during two spells at Yorkshire.
The England and Wales Cricket Board last June issued notorious charges against seven individuals with past links to the county, also accusing the club.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan is the only one of the accused due to appear at the hearing. One of the individuals – Gary Palance – has already pleaded guilty to using racist language.
The remaining five—John Blaine, Tim Bresnan, Andrew Gill, Matthew Hoggard, and Richard Perah—said they would not be attending. The ECB had previously said that charges against these individuals would be considered by the committee in their absence.
Yorkshire has admitted four counts and will also not take part in the hearing. The ECB said last month that the recognized charges included “failure to address the systematic use of racist and/or discriminatory language over a prolonged period and failure to take appropriate action in relation to allegations of racist and/or discriminatory behaviour”.
The club said last week that one of the other charges they had admitted related to the deletion and destruction of electronic and paper documents before the current chairman, Lord Kamlesh Patel, took office in November 2021.
The former leadership of the county faced widespread criticism for its handling of the Rafik case, with the European Central Bank at one point revoking Yorkshire’s right to host lucrative international matches until changes in refereeing were made.
Rafeeq claims Vaughan told him and a group of his Yorkshire teammates of Asian descent “There’s been a lot of you, we need to do something about it” in a 2009 match.
Vaughan categorically denies the allegations, but Rafeeq’s claim has been corroborated by current Yorkshire and England player Adil Rashid and former Pakistan player Rana Naveed Al-Hasan.
Rashid was appointed to appear as a witness at the hearing via video link.
Decisions on liability are expected to be reserved until a later date, after March 9.