Azeem Rafiq predicts ‘hundreds and thousands’ could share experiences of racism in cricket

Azeem Rafiq believes “hundreds and thousands” of cricketers could follow his lead by sharing experiences of racism in the game and warned Yorkshire cannot move forward until Andrew Gale and Martyn Moxon have left the club.

Rafiq rocked the sport with a damning parliamentary appearance in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, during which he outlined in disturbing detail his own experiences of racial harassment and discrimination.

He made several fresh allegations against high-profile individuals, including ex-England players Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan, Matthew Hoggard and Alex Hales, and expects the spotlight he has attracted to encourage others to speak up in their droves.

He told Sky Sports News: “I think you’re going to get it into the hundreds and thousands, possibly. I do feel it’s going to be a little bit of ‘floodgates’ and a lot of victims of abuse are going to come forward.”

Rafiq, who battled tears on several occasions during Tuesday’s testimony as he outlined how he fought depression and thoughts of suicide, said he felt an element of “closure” after his appearance, but the same may not be true for those he has accused.

He now wants more departures at Yorkshire, following that of former chair Roger Hutton, whose showing at the DCMS committee was described by Rafiq as “very weak”, and chief executive Mark Arthur.

Rafiq specifically believes Gale, who is currently suspended as head coach pending investigation over a historic tweet, and director of cricket Moxon, who is signed off work with a stress-related illness, are in untenable positions.

Both featured heavily in his allegations, with Gale accused of constant racial abuse and Moxon of systematic bullying, including on Rafiq’s first day back after the stillbirth of his son.

“I don’t think Martyn and Andrew can (continue),” said Rafiq. “I don’t think it’s possible for Yorkshire to move forward with them in there, with them knowing full well what role they played in that institution.”

Neither man took up the chance to give their own evidence in Westminster, with Rafiq concluding: “They had an opportunity yesterday to come down here under parliamentary privilege to get their side of the story across and they didn’t.”

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