Javid calls for action and dismisses racist 'banter' claim - The Evesham Observer

Javid calls for action and dismisses racist 'banter' claim

Evesham Editorial 2nd Nov, 2021 Updated: 2nd Nov, 2021   0

HEALTH Secretary and Worcestershire MP Sajid Javid has waded into the racism row at Yorkshire CCC after club chiefs dismissed former player Azeem Rafiq being called a ‘Paki’ as banter.

The astonishing claim was revealed by leading cricket journalist George Dobell who highlighted how an anonymous ‘current senior player’ at the club admitted to regularly using the derogatory and deeply offensive term towards Rafiq.

Rafiq, a player of Pakistani descent and a former captain of the England Under-19s, last year said he was made to feel like an outsider at Yorkshire and contemplated taking his own life.

Club chiefs said no further action would be taken against the player but sensationally accused Rafiq of being racist when he used the term ‘Zimbo’ to describe a team-mate.

The row has sparked headlines around the world and Mr Javid, a British-born Muslim whose father hails from Pakistan, waded into the row today with a tweet.

“ ‘Paki’ is not banter. Heads should roll at Yorkshire CCC. If @ECB_cricket doesn’t take action it’s not fit for purpose,” he wrote.

His intervention comes as Yorkshire’s chairman Roger Hutton faces a grilling by MPs over the club’s handling of Rafiq’s racism complaints.

It was announced today (Tuesday) he will be called to give evidence to Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee.

It will be the first time anyone from Yorkshire has been directly questioned in public on the case.

In a statement, Julian Knight, the chairman of the select committee and Solihull MP said: “This is extremely concerning and it’s clear that Yorkshire County Cricket Club has questions to answer. We have monitored developments around the club’s handling of the serious allegations made by Azeem Rafiq.

“We want to see much greater transparency from YCCC — it is time for them to answer their critics. We intend to call the chair of the club before the DCMS committee to give a much fuller explanation than we have had so far.”

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