Racism in cricket: DCMS Committee to hold further evidence session
28 October 2022
The DCMS Committee is to hold an evidence session on racism in cricket to follow up on developments since its hearing with Azeem Rafiq at the end of last year.
Purpose of the Session
The session on Tuesday 13th December takes place ahead of the expected publication early in the new year of the report by The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, which was set up by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to examine issues of equity in the sport.
MPs will examine the progress that is being made across the game on tackling racism and discrimination, the actions being taken by the ECB and the ongoing experiences of players, supporters and others involved in the sport.
On Tuesday, Tony Burnett, chief executive of Kick It Out, the group set up to fight discrimination in football, told the Committee that they had been working with people within cricket to help tackle some of the issues, but that the challenge was ‘huge’ and ‘significant resources’ would be needed to be successful. He added that the experiences of Mr Rafiq since he gave evidence to the Committee had been ‘horrific’ and that he believed that he was being punished for challenging the sport’s establishment.
Chair of the DCMS Committee Julian Knight MP said:
“The deep-rooted scourge of racism in cricket that was laid bare in our session with Azeem Rafiq will take determined and sustained action to address. As we heard from Kick It Out this week, there is still a long way to go before the sport gets its house in order – a fact illustrated by the unacceptable treatment of those that have put their head above the parapet to expose the game’s faults.
A year on the Committee will be exploring just what progress has been made in cleaning up the game, both at Yorkshire and in the wider cricketing community. With stories in the media from the last 12 months suggesting that racism and discrimination still pervades the sport, we would welcome hearing ahead of our session from any player, supporter or administrator about their experiences.”
Racism in cricket report
The Committee’s report in January recommended that that public funding for the game be dependent on the ECB making demonstrable progress in ridding racism from the dressing rooms and stands. It also stated that the governing body must be held accountable, with progress measured against key indicators.
The Committee can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details about the session and witnesses will be announced later.
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 on the sport governance inquiry publications page.
Correspondence relating to the inquiry, including a letter from Mr Knight to former Yorkshire Chair Robin Smith, is also available on the inquiry page.
Image: Parliamentary copyright