Racism in cricket: ‘Overwhelming support’ for Committee recommendations ahead of Yorkshire members’ vote
24 March 2022
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s calls for action to tackle racism in cricket have received overwhelming support ahead of a crucial vote by Yorkshire members that will decide the future direction of the club.
The Government’s formal response to the Committee’s report on racism in cricket accepts the key recommendation that public funding for the game be dependent on the ECB making demonstrable progress in ridding racism from the dressing grounds and stands. It also agrees with the Committee that the governing body must be held accountable, with progress measured against key indicators.
The publication today of the Government’s official response to January’s report comes ahead of an extraordinary general meeting at Yorkshire on Thursday next week, where members will be asked to vote on proposed reforms to the club and confirm Lord Patel as Chair. The ECB announced last month that it would lift the suspension on the club hosting international fixtures subject to reforms being implemented.
DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said:
“Our view that sustained action is urgently needed to root out endemic racism in cricket is one that has now received overwhelming support from across the board. The ECB, PCA and long-standing sponsors, who have severed their links with Yorkshire over the club’s approach to tackling the problem, are all now on the same page and the Committee and the Government are speaking as one. Anyone who still fails to acknowledge the deep-seated nature of racism in the sport, while using distraction tactics to frustrate much needed reforms, is in the minority.
Next week, by voting for the reforms put forward by Lord Patel, Yorkshire members can continue the process of the club’s rehabilitation. This should be just the first step in cricket putting its house in order. Such a move however will not only secure the long-term future of the club by restoring international matches to Headingley but will act as signal to the wider cricketing world that, with the right will, strong and determined action can be taken to tackle the scourge of racism that has stained the game.”
Former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq gave evidence to the DCMS Committee in November about his calls for disciplinary action to be taken by the club following its investigation which found he had been subjected to racial harassment and bullying. The Committee also questioned Lord Patel and former Chair Roger Hutton, along with ECB officials. Transcripts of further evidence sessions with the PCA, county cricket clubs and the Quaid e Azam Premier Cricket League can be found here.
Correspondence relating to the inquiry, including a letter from Committee Chair Julian Knight to former Yorkshire Chair Robin Smith, is available here.
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