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Yorkshire begin investigation into Azeem Rafiq's allegations of racism

Azeem Rafiq says institutional racism at the club left him "on the brink of suicide"

Former Yorkshire bowler Azeem Rafiq with his hands on his head
Image: Former Yorkshire bowler Azeem Rafiq says his time at the club left him 'on the brink of suicide'

Yorkshire have confirmed an investigation into allegations of institutional racism made by the team's former spinner Azeem Rafiq has begun.

Rafiq, 29, claimed in an interview with ESPNcricinfo last month that his experiences at Yorkshire left him "on the brink of suicide" and that, as a Muslim, he felt an "outsider".

Yorkshire's investigation, chaired by Dr Samir Pathak, now has two further independent members, with barrister and employment law specialist Rehana Azib and former personnel director of Waitrose Helen Hyde joining the committee.

Yorkshire say the brief is to address the specific complaints made by Rafiq but also to "thoroughly and with urgency" review the club's policies and culture with regards to discriminatory behaviour.

The investigation is expected to be completed within three months, with Yorkshire committed to sharing the findings made by Dr Pathak and his panel.

Azeem Rafiq
Image: Rafiq spent 10 seasons at Yorkshire in two spells before leaving in 2018

Rehana Azib said: "This is an important and significant time for both Mr Rafiq and Yorkshire County Cricket Club. It is essential that the allegations are investigated fully, objectively and rigorously.

"I look forward to working with the other members of the panel to ensure that the investigation is conducted comprehensively and fairly, and that any recommendations that may arise out of it are transparent, effective and properly implemented.

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Helen Hyde added: "As a cricket fan of longstanding, the sport is close to my heart but so is the notion that it must be a sport of inclusion and fairness.

"I look forward to working with the other panel members to ensure that the findings of the investigation are dealt with quickly and decisively."

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