Former cricketer Azeem Rafiq said in an investigation by the British Parliament that the racist abuse he suffered at the Yorkshire Cricket Club “humiliated” him.
In more than an hour of testimony on Tuesday, Rafik of Pakistani descent documented the racist culture prevailing in England’s most successful cricket club.
The 30-year-old player told the parliament on figures, culture, media and sports that he and other players with Asian backgrounds have been subjected to such things as “you sit over there”, known as “Paki” and “Image Washer”. comment of. DCMS) panel.
“I feel isolated and sometimes humiliated,” he said.
The scandal has shaken the British sports world, costing Yorkshire’s sponsors and the hosting rights of the England international. It saw the resignation of the club’s top executives and involved the former England captain Michael Vaughan and the current England captain Joe Root. .
Rafik is an outside pitcher and former captain of the England Under-19 youth team. He played for Yorkshire again in the 2008-14 and 2016-18 seasons.
In the emotional testimony, he described how red wine poured down his throat when he was 15 years old and talked about Asian players being singled out due to mistakes during fasting.
Al Jazeera’s Nadim Baba reported from Westminster that Rafik was “about to cry” during the hearing.
“When he became too emotional, the meeting actually had to stop for a while.”
Rafik said that the racism he suffered in Yorkshire “unquestionably” reappeared nationwide, and said that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is more concerned with tick practice rather than increasing becoming a professional player. The number of South Asian players.
Former Yorkshire Chairman Roger Hutton and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chief Executive Tom Harrison will answer questions later.
Hutton resigned after criticizing Yorkshire for handling an investigation into Rafic’s first allegations made in 2020. Hutton stated in his resignation letter that members of the Yorkshire hierarchy “have been unwilling” to “apologize and accept racism and look forward to it.”
‘I feel isolated’
Rafik described the atmosphere in the dressing room of former captain Gary Ballance as “toxic.”
“I feel isolated and helpless. During the tour, Gary Ballance walked over and said, “Why are you talking to him?” “When passing by a corner store, someone asked my uncle if he owned it,” Rafik said.
Ballance, who participated in 23 tests for England, once described Rafik as his “best cricket partner”, but admitted that he used racial slander and regretted his actions.
“‘Paki’ is not a joke; racism is not a joke,” Rafik added.
When asked about the severity of the problem in British professional cricket, Rafik said: “It’s scary. Obviously, the problem is there. Everyone has known it for a long time.
“This is an open secret. I have seen that if you say it, your life will become hell.”
New York County Chairman Kamles Patel has apologized, praised Rafik for his courage, and promised “earthquake-like change.”
Some of the biggest names in British cricket have been embroiled in controversy.
Rafik said that former England captain Vaughan told him and two other Asian players before a game in 2009, “You are too many, we need to do something.”
Vaughan denied the accusation.
“It’s been a long time ago. He may not remember, because it doesn’t make any sense to him,” Rafik said.
Rafik also expressed regret to the current England Test team captain Rutt, who is a Yorkshire player and roommate of Gary Ballance. He said he has never witnessed the racism of the club with his own eyes.
“Rooty is a good person,” he told the committee on Tuesday.
“He has never used racist language. Maybe he doesn’t remember it, but it shows that good people like him can’t remember those things…It won’t affect Joe, but it’s something I remember every day.”