Yorkshire investigating fresh allegation of racism as ex-academy player Irfan Amjad speaks out | Cricket News

Yorkshire looking into allegations a member of staff racially abused a former academy player when criticising their batting style; “I had never been directly racially insulted like that to my face,” Irfan Amjad told BBC Sport

Last Updated: 09/11/21 8:42am

A former Yorkshire player has alleged he was racially abused while at the club's academy

A former Yorkshire player has alleged he was racially abused while at the club’s academy

Yorkshire are investigating a new allegation of racism after a former academy player said he was verbally abused by a member of staff at the club.

Irfan Amjad has come forward at a time where Yorkshire are dealing with the fallout of their handling of Azeem Rafiq’s racism and bullying allegations, with sponsors walking away from the club and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s suspending their right to host international matches and other major games.

Amjad alleges that, when 16, a member of staff referenced his Pakistani heritage when criticising his batting style.

The new chair of Yorkshire county cricket club, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the club's handling of his racism case and praised him for speaking out about his experiences at the club.

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The new chair of Yorkshire county cricket club, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the club’s handling of his racism case and praised him for speaking out about his experiences at the club.

The new chair of Yorkshire county cricket club, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the club’s handling of his racism case and praised him for speaking out about his experiences at the club.

“On one occasion, we were playing a home game and I had played an attacking shot while batting, the ball went up in the air and I got caught out,” Amjad, who was later released by the county, told BBC Sport.

“I was making my way to the dressing room and as I got in, when I started taking my helmet and pads off, the individual came marching through the door and he looked me dead in the eyes.”

It was at this point when the member of staff allegedly used the racist term when referencing a “typical shot” played by those of Pakistani heritage.

Amjad added: “And he just left. I was stunned, didn’t know what to do and was shocked. I had never been directly racially insulted like that to my face. I didn’t know what to do.”

Sky Sports News reporter James Cole explains how the ECB's decision to suspend Yorkshire from hosting international or major matches will hit them hard financially.

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Sky Sports News reporter James Cole explains how the ECB’s decision to suspend Yorkshire from hosting international or major matches will hit them hard financially.

Sky Sports News reporter James Cole explains how the ECB’s decision to suspend Yorkshire from hosting international or major matches will hit them hard financially.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club said it was “unaware of this allegation until now but will investigate appropriately”.

In response to the allegations from Amjad, and that a Muslim girl was forced to wear shorts while training despite it going against her religious beliefs, Yorkshire added: “It is essential that those who have experienced racism, discrimination and abuse are able to come forward to share their experiences.

“The club’s new chair, Lord Patel, has outlined a number of actions to right the wrongs of the past and make sure that the club is inclusive for all.”

Moeen: There’s probably more stories out there people haven’t heard of

It comes after England all-rounder Moeen Ali said he was not surprised by the allegations of racism made by Rafiq.

England all-rounder Moeen Ali says Azeem Rafiq's actions have made it easier for others to speak out about issues of discrimination and mental health.

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England all-rounder Moeen Ali says Azeem Rafiq’s actions have made it easier for others to speak out about issues of discrimination and mental health.

England all-rounder Moeen Ali says Azeem Rafiq’s actions have made it easier for others to speak out about issues of discrimination and mental health.

“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised but there’s probably more stories out there that people haven’t heard of,” Moeen told a news conference on Monday.

“The fact it’s come out is great because, going forward, people (will) have to think about what they can or can’t say in terms of discriminating against people and knowing what people feel and go through.

“What Azeem has done, he is not doing it for any personal gain, I think he wants change and that’s what he’s pushing for.”

Cricket great Michael Holding says he thinks the ECB should have handed Yorkshire a more severe punishment for their handling of the allegations made by Azeem Rafiq.

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Cricket great Michael Holding says he thinks the ECB should have handed Yorkshire a more severe punishment for their handling of the allegations made by Azeem Rafiq.

Cricket great Michael Holding says he thinks the ECB should have handed Yorkshire a more severe punishment for their handling of the allegations made by Azeem Rafiq.

On his decision to come forward, Amjad said: “It crosses your mind [reporting it] but I was a 16-year-old boy and I didn’t know what to do. I kept it to myself.

“No one else shared their experiences with me and I didn’t share mine either. If I did open up, those that did experience similar issues may have opened up too.”

On Monday, new Yorkshire chair Lord Patel apologised to Rafiq over the county’s handling of his allegations.

ESPNcricinfo senior correspondent George Dobell believes Yorkshire have failed to accept the issue of racism at the club following allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq.

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ESPNcricinfo senior correspondent George Dobell believes Yorkshire have failed to accept the issue of racism at the club following allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq.

ESPNcricinfo senior correspondent George Dobell believes Yorkshire have failed to accept the issue of racism at the club following allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq.

The county have been widely criticised, with the England and Wales Cricket Board’s suspension of their right to host international matches and other major games set to hit their finances hard, alongside sponsors walking away.

“Azeem is a whistleblower and should be praised as such, he should never have been put through this,” Patel said at a press conference.

“We’re sorry for what you and your family have experienced and the way in which we’ve handled this.

“I thank Azeem for his bravery in speaking out. Let me be clear from the outset, racism or discrimination in any form is not banter.”

Rafiq and senior Yorkshire executives are set to give evidence before a parliamentary Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) panel on November 16.

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