Azeem Rafiq calls for Yorkshire racism hearings to be held in public

Rafiq feels public hearings would help bring closure

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Azeem Rafiq has written to the Cricket Discipline Commission urging it to hear allegations of racism at Yorkshire in public.

The 31-year-old expressed a preference for a public hearing when the England and Wales Cricket Board announced in June that Yorkshire and a number of individuals had been charged over racism allegations made by Rafiq, and how those allegations were handled.

The Daily Mail reported on Wednesday that Rafiq had sent a letter last week calling for the hearings – which are due to take place in the autumn – to be held publicly.

It is understood Rafiq’s letter expressed a loss of trust in the process and also offered the view that holding the hearings in public would offer transparency and bring closure to those involved.

There is nothing within the CDC rules which states that hearings must be held in private.

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Only former Yorkshire captain and coach Andrew Gale has come out to confirm he is one of the individuals charged, and has already said he will not engage with the process.

Yorkshire announced last week they had agreed a settlement with Gale over his dismissal last December, accepting it had been “procedurally unfair”.

Rafiq is set to appear again before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee later this year, having given harrowing testimony about the abuse he suffered at Yorkshire to the same group of MPs last November.

The committee is understood to be keen to hear from Rafiq again about a campaign to vilify him since that first appearance, and from Lord Patel about attempts to undermine the new regime at Yorkshire.

Ideally the committee also want an ECB representative to appear, and are prepared to wait until the CDC hearing outcomes have been published.

Rafiq said in June when the ECB charges were announced: “This has been another gruelling but unfortunately necessary process.

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“It has been a long two years since I went public about my experiences, but I hope this all means that no young player ever goes through such pain and alienation again.

“My preference would be for this hearing to take place publicly, but I am hopeful that we are at least nearing a point where there will be some sense of closure for my family and me.”

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