The new chair of Yorkshire County Cricket Club has issued an apology to Azeem Rafiq over the handling of his racism and bullying allegations.
Yorkshire CCC has faced huge criticism over their poor handling of Rafiq’s complaints, while several sponsors including Yorkshire Tea, Tetley’s and David Lloyd Clubs have ended their relationships with the county.
Yorkshire CCC has also been suspended from hosting England matches following the racism allegations made by Rafiq.
Former England batter Gary Ballance, who admitted to using racial slurs against Rafiq, has also been suspended ‘indefinitely’ from international selection.
Lord Patel said at a press conference on Monday: ‘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.’
Initially, Yorkshire’s report into Rafiq’s allegations had defended the use of racial slurs as ‘friendly banter’.
The report also revealed that Rafiq was reduced to tears on at least one occasion after being called a ‘P***’.
Speaking about the report, Lord Patel said: ‘What I’ve seen so far does feel uncomfortable.
‘It makes me feel the process wasn’t as well completed as it should have been.’
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