Azeem Rafiq: Yorkshire Cricket Club admit ex-player was 'victim of inappropriate behaviour'

051121 Roger Hutton and Azeem Rafiq, Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Credit: Yorkshire County Cricket Club

Yorkshire County Cricket Club have issued "profound apologies" to former player Azeem Rafiq, after an independent report found he was "the victim of inappropriate behaviour" during his time at the club.

It comes after an investigation was commissioned by Yorkshire after Rafiq claimed he was left feeling suicidal following his experiences of institutional racism.

Yorkshire said in a statement that the findings were "clearly unacceptable" and "would like to express our profound apologies for this."

Rafiq responded to the statement on social media, questioning the club's reference to "inappropriate behaviour".

He told ITV News: "It's very difficult for me to accept any sort of apology when it's masked with a playing around with words."

The Panel also found that the club failed to implement its policies and procedures in relation to these serious issues.

However, the club added that many of the allegations, most of which relate to a period more than 10 years ago, were not upheld and for others there was insufficient evidence for the panel to make a determination.

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club Chair, Roger Hutton, said : “I would like to acknowledge Azeem’s courage in raising these issues, and his participation in the investigation, which I understand must have been very difficult. I would also like to express my sincere apology to him for certain failings by the Club, which have been highlighted by the Panel.

“He has very obviously experienced some difficult and distressing times during the time since 2008 and the Club could, and should, have supported him better.

“Since I joined the board in 2020, it has become obvious to me that both prior to and since, it has continually tried to improve its relationship with diverse communities. It has however not progressed far enough, particularly as we learn to see the world from fresh eyes, and I consider that this report will be a platform for further important changes at YCCC.”