Azeem Rafiq: ECB asks Yorkshire for copy of investigation findings into racism allegations

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
A former England youth captain, Azeem Rafiq captained Yorkshire in a Twenty20 fixture in 2012
A former England youth captain, Azeem Rafiq captained Yorkshire in a Twenty20 fixture in 2012

The ECB has written to Yorkshire asking for a copy of the findings of an independent investigation into the racism allegations made by the county's former player Azeem Rafiq.

In an interview with ESPN Cricinfoexternal-link last September, Rafiq, 30, claimed that "institutional racism" at the club left him close to taking his own life.

On 5 September, the club said law firm Squire Patton Boggs would lead the probe, which is now complete.

The club has received the findings.

On Monday, Yorkshire said they would release a statement "in the next couple of days", with the full report understood to be released within two to three weeks.

On Wednesday, Rafiq spoke to ESPNexternal-link to express his frustration at slow progress in publishing the findings of the report.

The ECB has now asked Yorkshire for a "a timeline for publication" of the report.

Rafiq had given his evidence to the investigation panel in November but, following a number of delays, BBC Sport understands the results of the investigation - which had taken almost a year - have now been passed on to Yorkshire.

Squire Patton Boggs declined to comment on Monday when asked by BBC Sport if they had completed their investigation.

In a statement, ECB chairman Ian Watmore said: "We respect the independent process behind the review, and the Club's legal responsibilities to all parties. We also understand the frustration at the length of time this investigation has taken.

"Now that the Club has a full copy of the report, we have today written to Yorkshire to formally request a copy, together with a timeline for publication.

"It has taken considerable courage for Azeem Rafiq to speak out, and it is right that his experiences should have been thoroughly investigated. We now look forward to receiving a copy of the report promptly to enable us to fulfil our role as the ultimate regulator of the game."

In May, Rafiq saidexternal-link he had "lost faith" as the process was flawed and key supporting witnesses had not been approached to give evidence.

The following month, in a separate process, Yorkshire and Rafiq failed to find a resolution in an employment tribunal case.

In that legal claim, the former England Under-19 captain alleged discrimination and harassment on the grounds of race, as well as victimisation detriment to his efforts in addressing racism at the club.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire's Headingley ground will host the third Test match in the ongoing series between England and India, starting on 25 August.

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