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Azeem Rafiq: MPs summon Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton over handling of cricketer’s racism complaint

The chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club has been called to parliament to answer questions over the club’s handling of racism allegations.

Roger Hutton is expected to face questions from MPs after the club investigated complaints from former player Azeem Rafiq and found nobody at the club should be disciplined.

Senior management from the club will also be invited to attend the session.

Rafiq, 30, played for Yorkshire in two spells between 2008 and 2018 and accused them of “institutional racism” over a year ago.

Since then, an independent panel assessed the claims on behalf of Yorkshire CCC and while they dismissed some claims, they still concluded that he had been a victim of “racial harassment and bullying”.

This week, ESPNcricinfo published leaked details from the report, which included a claim that an unidentified senior player repeatedly used “the P word” to refer to Rafiq, and it was subsequently deemed to be “in the spirit of friendly banter”.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted on Tuesday in response to the ESPN report.

“‘P***’ is not banter. Heads should roll at Yorkshire CCC. If @ECB_cricket doesn’t take action it’s not fit for purpose,” said Mr Javid.

While the England and Wales Cricket Board are also assessing Yorkshire’s handling of the claims, MPs have now stepped in and requested an evidence session in Westminster.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport chair, Julian Knight, said in a statement: “We are extremely concerned by recent reports about the lack of action against individuals following the findings.

“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.”

Azeem Rafiq told Sky News the development was “huge” for him.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club has also been contacted for comment.

In a statement last week the club said: “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.”

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