Yorkshire Cricket fined £400,000 and docked 48 points over Azeem Rafiq racism scandal

Azeem Rafiq/Headingley Stadium

Yorkshire County Cricket has been hit with points deductions and fined £400,000 over the racism scandal linked to former player Azeem Rafiq.

The club has been docked 48 points with immediate effect from their County Championship total, and a further four from their tally in the T20 Blast.

A Cricket Discipline Commission panel said £300,000 of the fine imposed had been suspended for two years.

Yorkshire, who had admitted four charges following the conclusion of an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) investigation, released a statement confirming they accepted the sanctions.

It added: "We are disappointed to receive the points deductions which affects players and staff at the club, who were not responsible for the situation.

"They have worked tirelessly on and off the field to rebuild Yorkshire into an inclusive and welcoming club that reflects the communities it serves. Greater clarity over our situation will allow us all now to look ahead.

The first charge Yorkshire admitted related to how they mishandled an independent investigation into the allegations of racism and bullying made by Rafiq, who played for the county between 2008 and 2014 and again between 2016 and 2018.

The second concerned a mass deletion of emails and documents, discovered in November 2021.

Further charges related to the club's failure to take action over complaints of racism raised in 2017 and 2018 and to address the systemic use of discriminatory language at Yorkshire over a prolonged period.

Richard Gould, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said: "These were serious charges relating to racism over a prolonged period. There can be no place for racism in our game, and the penalties announced by the Cricket Discipline Commission mark the end of a thorough disciplinary process.

"No one should have to experience what Azeem Rafiq went through in cricket, and we once again thank him for his courage in speaking out."

The ECB said the club had made improvements since the scandal broke, to "set the club on a path to a much brighter and more inclusive future".

Yorkshire's statement said: "There remains much to do, but we have made significant investments to put in place best practice processes and procedures, as well as driving equity, diversity and inclusion through a new framework and taking important steps to improve the matchday experience to encourage greater inclusivity and tackle discrimination."

Six individuals with Yorkshire connections were sanctioned by the CDC earlier this year after admitting or being found to have used racist and/or discriminatory language. A seventh, former England captain Michael Vaughan, was cleared of using racist and/or discriminatory language to a group of Yorkshire players of Asian ethnicity before a 20-over match in 2009.

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