“Our poor handling of this issue includes communications with staff. Part of our duty of care towards them will be to talk to all about their experiences to understand internal perspectives. We must be mindful of the toll the past 18 months has taken.” wrote Lord Patel
Last Updated: 11/11/21 5:04pm
Lord Patel has promised to speak with Yorkshire’s staff about their experiences after confirming a letter had been received from a delegation by the club’s board which was “troubling for many reasons”.
The Yorkshire chairman, who only stepped into the role last week after the resignation of Roger Hutton, confirmed that staff members had written to the board last month.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the letter complained about Azeem Rafiq’s behaviour and was issued weeks after Yorkshire published a heavily-redacted report into claims of institutional racism made by their former spin bowler.
As well as Hutton’s resignation, other board members have also departed from the club since an apology was made to Rafiq after an investigation found seven of his 43 complaints to have been proven.
“I received the letter, which was sent to the board nearly four weeks ago, over the weekend. It is troubling for many reasons, and further evidence of the wider issues the club has faced,” wrote Lord Patel, who again apologised to Rafiq when he was introduced as chairman on Monday.
The new chair of Yorkshire county cricket club, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the club’s handling of his racism case and praised him for speaking out about his experiences at the club.
“I have publicly stated that Azeem Rafiq is a whistleblower and should be treated as such. It is essential for our culture that we believe those who have suffered discrimination or abuse, and pledge to hear their experiences.
“It is also important to acknowledge that our poor handling of this issue includes communications with staff.
“Part of our duty of care towards them will be to talk to all at the club about their experiences to understand internal perspectives. We must be mindful of the toll the past 18 months has taken.
“There is clear and urgent need for seismic change at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, starting from within. We must get to the bottom of our culture and learn from our mistakes, and that means understanding the past.
“I have set out my vision, to make Yorkshire County Cricket Club a place for everyone, from all backgrounds, and become a club which people can trust to do the right thing.
“We only are at the start of this journey but I am committed to making sure that this club is an inclusive home for aspiring players of the future that we can all be proud of once again.”
In response to a message on Twitter referencing the Daily Telegraph story, Rafiq wrote: “Thanks for continuing to PROVE me right – that the club is INSTITUTIONALLY RACIST. & showing why EVERYONE needs to go.”