Riaz steps down from panel investigating claims of racism at Yorkshire

Gulfraz Riaz steps aside voluntarily from independent panel looking into alleged institutional racism at Yorkshire after Azeem Rafiq’s claims

  • Riaz moved aside voluntarily and will continue as a witness in the probe
  • Mesba Ahmed, vice-chair of National Asian Cricket Council, has taken his place
  • Rafiq had been scheduled to give his statement to five-strong panel this week

Gulfraz Riaz has stepped down from the independent panel investigating Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire. 

Riaz, the chairman of the National Asian Cricket Council, moved aside voluntarily and will continue as a witness in the probe. 

The development came on the original date that Rafiq, who had two spells as a player with Yorkshire and captained for the majority of the Twenty20 campaign in the club’s maiden venture to finals day in 2012, was scheduled to provide his statement to the five-strong panel.

Azeem Rafiq had been scheduled to provide his statement to the five-strong panel this week

However, following discussions between the two parties’ legal representatives, that date has now been put back until November 6 upon the player’s request.

Mesba Ahmed, vice-chair of the NACC, has taken Riaz’s place. Ahmed, a former member of the Football Association’s race equality advisory board, is not the first change to the panel since the investigation opened seven weeks ago.

Earlier this month, Hanif Malik, a non-executive director of Yorkshire, was replaced by employment law specialist Rehana Azib and Helen Hyde, a former personnel director of Waitrose.

The ex-Yorkshire captain says he raised issues of racism three years ago but was ignored 

Stephen Willis, an independent director at Yorkshire and chief financial officer of Durham University, completes the inquiry team chaired by Dr Samir Pathak, a member of the MCC committee.

Pathak said: ‘The process of contacting potential witnesses and agreeing a timetable of interviews is in progress. Both the investigation team and the panel are aware that this is a difficult time for all parties and are determined that the investigation will be concluded before the end of the year.’ 

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