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Yorkshire to take no disciplinary action in Rafiq racism row


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Photo: AFP

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Yorkshire County Cricket Club said Thursday they would take no disciplinary action against any of their staff despite previously accepting Azeem Rafiq had been the victim of racial harassment -- a decision their former player labelled "embarrassing". 

Rafiq made serious allegations about his experiences at the club and Yorkshire appointed lawyers to launch an investigation, with an independent panel also put in place to oversee it.

Yorkshire released a summarised version of their report on September 10 in which they accepted Rafiq, who had two spells at the club between 2008 and 2018, had been a victim of "racial harassment and bullying".

But the Headingley-based club issued a statement on Thursday saying the internal investigation had found "there is no conduct or action taken by any of its employees, players or executives that warrants disciplinary action", announcing they had provided a more detailed, but redacted version of the report to an employment tribunal.

An unimpressed Rafiq responded on Twitter, accusing Yorkshire of a cover-up as he urged the England and Wales Cricket Board to take action.

"Wow just when you think this club couldn't get more embarrassing you find a way," said Rafiq of Yorkshire's statement. "Still awaiting the FULL report."

He added: "Hold on a minute here. So you accept I was the victim of racial harassment and bullying but no one warrants disciplinary action? Sometimes you just want to scream!!!! @ECB_cricket come on now!!! Sort this before I do!!"

The ECB issued a statement of its own, confirming it had received a copy of the Yorkshire report, as well as "assurances from the club to cooperate fully with the ongoing regulatory process". 

Their statement added: "This is a matter with many serious allegations at its heart and the ECB's regulatory team will now consider the report as part of its investigation." 

Yorkshire had insisted earlier Thursday that a lack of disciplinary action in no way diminishes "the importance of the findings or the fact that there is much the club can learn from the report".

The county added: "It was important for Azeem to raise the issues and without him doing so we would not have the panel's recommendations, which are an important part of the club's continuing journey."