LAWRENCE BOOTH: The Azeem Rafiq case is such a shocking cover-up by deaf Yorkshire that it was unclear if anyone had noticed the latest cricket debate on racial politics involving Quinton de Kock
- Yorkshire announced that no one will be disciplined by the Azeem Rafiq case
- An independent report found Yorkshire guilty of ‘inappropriate behavior’
- The way this incident unfolded has put English cricket to shame
- The Headingley club was complacent in Thursday’s announcement
- Yorkshire even refused to release the Rafiq report until it reluctantly relented.
For decades to come, brand consultants will continue to use Yorkshire’s handling of the Azeem Rafiq affair as a case study in how not to get their message across to the world.
The statement released Thursday struck such a deaf note that it was unclear if anyone had noticed the latest twist in the ongoing cricket debate over racial politics, with South African Quinton de Kock apologizing for refusing to kneel at the Twenty20 World Cup. in the United Arab Emirates.
This is a delicate moment in the sport’s attempts to improve, but Yorkshire sounded almost self-satisfied as they concluded that no one at Headingley would face disciplinary action for an episode that embarrassed English cricket.
Yorkshire will not take any disciplinary action after an independent report on accusations of racism by Azeem Rafiq (pictured above)
The report found that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the club was institutionally racist.
Don’t forget that your reluctance to release the report led a senior MP, Julian Knight, to contact Yorkshire CEO Mark Arthur. That was in September. So far they have not passed the report to the ECB.
Yorkshire’s latest attempt to sweep the matter under the rug comes seven weeks after they broke the silence on the morning of the fifth abandoned event between England and India, when all eyes were on Old Trafford.
On that occasion, Yorkshire admitted that Rafiq had been “the victim of inappropriate behavior”, adding: “This is clearly unacceptable.”
How it fits in with Thursday’s cover-up is a matter the ECB’s regulatory team will now have to consider. The whole cricket will be watching closely.
Yorkshire initially missed two deadlines to submit the full report to the ECB before reluctantly releasing.