Azeem Rafiq calls for Headingley’s ban on hosting matches in England lifted

Yorkshire whistleblower Azeem Rafiq has called for the club’s suspension to be lifted from hosting England matches.

The numerous allegations of institutional afiq racism in the county rocked the sport over the past year, putting the issue of discrimination in the spotlight and bringing its own story to national attention.
when called to testify before Members of Parliament.

Since then, there has been a massive pullout at Headingley, with massive departures in the boardroom and coaching staff as a new chairman, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has become the face of a new regime.

It has been a whirlwind since I appeared before MPs almost two months ago, and what Yorkshire and Lord Patel have done to bring about changes is certainly a step in the right direction.Azeem Rafiq

In addition to overseeing a culture change at the club, Patel also has pressing business issues to resolve following an exodus of sponsors and the England and Wales Cricket Council’s decision to suspend international status. ground.

Headingley was awarded a lucrative test match against New Zealand in June as well as a one-day international match against South Africa the following month, and Rafiq wants those dates to be honored.

Writing in the Daily Mail, the former spinner said: “At first I thought international cricket should be taken away from them. But they’ve done enough to justify getting it back, at least for now.

“I want to see England play Headingley this summer. I can even go downstairs to look at myself.

“It has been a whirlwind since I appeared before MPs almost two months ago, and what Yorkshire and Lord Patel have done to bring about the change is certainly a step in the right direction.

“If we ask an institution to look at itself, we have to recognize when it starts to show that it’s really sorry and is trying to start fixing things.

“Yorkshire needs to be supported and helped to move in the right direction.

“The last thing I want now is kids from Leeds, Bradford and across the county being denied the top level cricket that could inspire them.


Azeem Rafiq described his experiences of racism to MPs in November (House of Commons / PA)

“Rather than helping to solve the game’s problems, Yorkshire’s international suspension could end up making them worse.

“I’m not saying everything is fine now in my old riding and we can all move on.

“Yorkshire needs to be watched to make sure this is really the start of something big and meaningful.”

The parliamentary committee on digital, culture, media and sports, which gathered the powerful testimony of Rafiq in November, is due to publish its report on the matter on Friday.

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