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England captain Joe Root says the dispute over racism in Yorkshire has ‘fractured our game and shattered lives’

England captain Joe Root says the Yorkshire racism scandal has ‘fractured our game and shattered lives’ and calls for ‘changes and actions … to make the sport better for everyone’

Joe Root, England’s captain, has spoken out about the dispute over racism that has gripped English cricket and Yorkshire, the county in which he plays.

Root said in a statement: ‘As England’s captain and as a senior player in Yorkshire, I feel compelled to address the current situation that has consumed the sport and the YCCC.

“I just want sport to be a place where everyone enjoys it for the beautiful game that it is and feels the same and safe. It hurts to know that this has happened at YCCC so close to home. It is my club that I care passionately about. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting. There is no debate on racism, neither from one side nor the other. It is simply intolerable.

England captain Joe Root has spoken out on the racism scandal that has rocked cricket

England captain Joe Root has spoken out on the racism scandal that has rocked cricket

Root, 30, plays his county cricket for Yorkshire, where he is a senior player.

Root, 30, plays his county cricket for Yorkshire, where he is a senior player.

Root, 30, plays his county cricket for Yorkshire, where he is a senior player.

“These events have fractured our game and shattered lives. Now we must recover and re-unite as fans, players, the media and those who work in cricket. We have the opportunity to make the sport I love better for everyone.

‘I want to see changes and actions that will see YCCC emerge from this with a culture that leverages a diverse environment with confidence in all the communities that support cricket in the county.

‘We need to educate, unify and restart. I will be reaching out to the new YCCC President Lord Patel to offer any support I can.

“We have to find a way to move forward and make sure this never happens again. In my opinion, this is a social issue and needs to be addressed beyond cricket.

‘That being said, we as a sport all have to do more. How can we all help shape things to move forward in a positive way? What can everyone, myself, the ECB, counties, players, officials and others in sport do to improve the state of the game?

“Certainly I do not have all the answers, but I believe that we must educate more and before; we must call him immediately and open our eyes and ears more.

“Inclusion, diversity and anti-discrimination is something that in recent years the England teams that I have been involved with have spent a lot of time talking about and are very passionate about improving and making a big difference.

‘It is a huge part of our culture and we want to celebrate our diversity. We represent England and in that we represent the multicultural society in which we live. We want all fans to be able to enjoy what we do on the field and feel proud of who represents them.

“ With the Ashes closing in fast, I’d really like the fans at home to come together and support us as a team. We will play for all of you. ‘

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