Yorkshire hotline contacted by 36 people


Thirty-six people have contacted Yorkshire’s independent whistleblower hotline in its first week of operation.

The hotline was set up in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal to allow any other victims of discrimination at the club to come forward.

Mohinderpal Sethi QC will lead an investigation into the allegations.

Yorkshire’s new chair Lord Patel thanked “all of those who have spoken up so far”.

“We need to listen to those who have experienced discrimination or harassment to help guide how we move forward as a club,” he said.

The Yorkshire racism scandal engulfed cricket after a report found former player Rafiq was a victim of “racial harassment and bullying” but the county said it would not discipline anyone, drawing widespread condemnation.

A meeting was held on Friday between English cricket’s leading figures following Rafiq’s testimony to MPs, during which he said the game in England is “institutionally racist” and spoke about the racism he suffered at Yorkshire.

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said the government could take a “nuclear option” of creating an independent regulator to oversee cricket.

The scandal led to the resignations of Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur, with Hutton’s replacement Lord Patel announcing plans for the whistleblower hotline immediately after taking over.

Ex-Pakistan seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan was the second first-team player to allege racism at Yorkshire, saying “systematic taunting” occurred at the club.

Former Yorkshire academy players Irfan Amjad and Tabassum Bhatti have since shared their experiences of racism at the club.

More than 1,000 people contacted an inquiry, set up by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC), into discrimination in cricket in its first week.

On Thursday, Rafiq apologised and said he is “deeply ashamed” for using anti-Semitic language in Facebook messages sent in 2011.

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