Yorkshire suspended from staging England cricket matches after racism row.© Instagram
Yorkshire were suspended from staging international matches on Thursday after the England and Wales Cricket Board condemned their “wholly unacceptable” handling of a racism row involving former player Azeem Rafiq. The 30-year-old Rafiq accused Yorkshire of failing to deal adequately with his allegations of racism during his time with the English county. Yorkshire offered the Pakistan-born off-spinner “profound and unreserved apologies” in a report into his allegations of racial abuse in September. But last week Yorkshire said they would take no disciplinary action against any staff, unleashing a wave of criticism and prompting sponsors, including kit manufacturer Nike, to turn their back on the club.
ECB Board statement on Yorkshire County Cricket Club
— England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) November 4, 2021
Now the ECB, the English game’s governing body, has stripped Headingley, Yorkshire’s headquarters in Leeds, of the right to stage a Test between England and New Zealand in June 2022, as well as a one-day international with South Africa in July.
“YCCC (Yorkshire County Cricket Club) are suspended from hosting international or major matches until it has clearly demonstrated that it can meet the standards expected of an international venue, ECB member and first-class county,” said a board statement.
Meanwhile, the ECB said former international Gary Ballance, who admitted using a racial slur against Rafiq during their time together at Yorkshire, would be “suspended indefinitely” from England selection pending an investigation into his conduct.
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