Yorkshire investigation into Azeem Rafiq’s racism claims under way

Yorkshire have confirmed an investigation into allegations of institutional racism made by former player Azeem Rafiq has begun, with two new additions to the existing panel.

Rafiq, a former T20 captain at Headingley, has made a series of disturbing allegations about his time at the county including racist comments from team-mates and unheeded complaints about his treatment.

In an interview with ESPNcricinfo last month, the 29-year-old claimed the experiences left him “on the brink of suicide”.

An investigation commissioned by Yorkshire is now under way, chaired by Dr Samir Pathak, who has welcomed barrister and employment law specialist Rehana Azib and Helen Hyde, former personnel director of Waitrose, to the committee. Hanif Malik, non-executive director of Yorkshire, has stepped down.

The brief is to “address directly the specific complaints made by Azeem Rafiq” but also to more broadly review and advise on the club’s internal policies relating to discriminatory behaviour “thoroughly and with urgency”.

Their report is expected to be complete within three months.

Dr Pathak, once a wicketkeeper with England Universities and a trustee of the MCC Foundation, said: “We remain committed to conducting a fair and impartial process and both Rehana and Helen’s extensive knowledge of the legal implications of these types of grievance procedures will be of great benefit to our review of the findings of the investigation.

“All organisations need to be diverse and inclusive, there is no space for inequality in sport or society and it is the responsibility of this committee to ensure that the investigation is conducted fairly and impartially.”