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Post by king_carlos on Thu 03 Sep 2020, 7:20 pm

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/29795656/azeem-rafiq-was-brink-suicide-experiencing-racism-yorkshire

Not sure where is best to post that but it's article that I feel should be read by many.

It's harrowing reading at times and I can only praise Rafiq for speaking out so publicly.

Growing up in Yorkshire and playing a lot of cricket during my school days I must say that you did hear a lot of bigoted views in more rural areas. An issue for the area and country as a whole, not just cricket of course.

I remember one game around 15 when a player of Indian heritage scored a match winning innings after being given not out caught behind. Whilst walking off the coach of the other side shouted (paraphrasing), "where's your turban you cheating 'person of Asian descent', trust him not to walk". Our coach, a local policeman, reported it to the league administrators but nothing came of it and later in the season that same coach was still in charge when we played a cup game against his side.

The only views such as those I heard from a Yorkshire CCC player of the time came from a player who was turning out for Scarborough CC when returning from injury. The bigoted comment was directed at a colt of Pakistani ancestry that he felt was bowling too poorly at him in the nets to warrant another delivery.

The silence thus far from Yorkshire is deafening.


Last edited by king_carlos on Fri 11 Sep 2020, 11:57 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 03 Sep 2020, 8:40 pm

Did read it earlier and do think it's very courageous of Rafiq to talk about this. Yorkshire CCC have said they're conducting a formal investigation into these allegations.

https://yorkshireccc.com/news/view/8697/statement-by-roger-hutton-chair-of-yorkshire-county-cricket-club

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Post by Gooseberry on Fri 04 Sep 2020, 4:21 pm

Word today is that Darren Lehman might lose his with the Leeds 100 franchise off the back of this.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 04 Sep 2020, 5:08 pm

Given his ban back in 2003 it would be an unsurprising step. In light of this discussion, if Lehmann and Gale were two of the Leeds coaches heading into the Hundred having both copped bans for racially abusive outbursts there would be something very troubling indeed going on.

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Post by dummy_half on Fri 11 Sep 2020, 10:15 am

King C

Interesting observations. I played my junior cricket for a Bradford League team (during the mid to late 80s)- the ground was on the border of Dewsbury and Batley, with 'sort of middle class' mostly white people on the Dewsbury side and a large immigrant Pakstani community on the Batley side. The team was typically a roughly even mix between the two. I don't recall there being racism issues either within the team or towards our coloured players, although of course as a teenager perhaps I was blind to it - I certainly wasn't blind to it more generally in the community. Of course, unlike your experience, this was in the predominantly urban areas of West Yorkshire, which have plenty of large Asian enclaves, and where they were common around the cricket reams (in some areas obviously the majority).

The one time where race, or at least nationality, was an issue within cricket was that we had a very good batsman a couple of years older than me who had started playing for Yorkshire's age group teams but was then dropped when it was found out that he was actually born in Pakistan (most of the others were 2nd generation). At the time, the 'born in Yorkshire' rule was still in force, although was to end a couple of years later. We did have another player of Pakistani ancestry but born in Yorkshire who was my contemporary and did play for the Yorkshire age group teams, and a wicket keeper a couple of years younger who went on to play first class cricket including a few games for Yorkshire county.

On a personal level, it certainly taught me that defining people by their race is pointless - two of my best friends on the team were coloured (as an aside, my other friend on the team was the now slightly famous Mr Mitchell from Educating Yorkshire...), and there were others I didn't get on with. Taught me though to judge people as individuals, not as an amorphous group.

I'm not entirely surprised that there have been issues over race in Yorkshire cricket - there obviously still is racism in the community and particularly with the older generations, so exactly the sort of people that would be the members of YCCC.

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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 11 Sep 2020, 3:37 pm

Ismail Dawood the keeper?

The YCCC members (including me and my parents) are an odd bunch. Agreed they are generally pretty old, but also the ones we mix with are extremely welcoming to all hues (though less welcoming to "damn Londoners" making an exception for my Father Very Happy ).

Rafiq is a strange case. Perhaps it was trying to overcome the issues he reports, but he always seemed in the small interactions I had to be extremely arrogant and quite petulant. I would like to know the facts, but wonder if we ever will. Irrespective of what is found Gale is a complete dick though and has allegedly been guilty of bullying a number of players (imo I hasten to add)

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Post by dummy_half on Fri 11 Sep 2020, 3:51 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Ismail Dawood the keeper?

The YCCC members (including me and my parents) are an odd bunch. Agreed they are generally pretty old, but also the ones we mix with are extremely welcoming to all hues (though less welcoming to "damn Londoners" making an exception for my Father Very Happy ).

Rafiq is a strange case. Perhaps it was trying to overcome the issues he reports, but he always seemed in the small interactions I had to be extremely arrogant and quite petulant. I would like to know the facts, but wonder if we ever will. Irrespective of what is found Gale is a complete dick though and has allegedly been guilty of bullying a number of players (imo I hasten to add)

Yep, Ishi was the keeper for our U13s while I was keeping for the U17s - I even did a little bit of coaching of him when he started (he did though get better than me quite quickly).

I'd be interested to know what Rashid's experiences at the county were like by comparison - similar age, background and also coming from a very successful U19 career. While I have no doubt that racism exists, and is never acceptable, I think some people make it easier to dislike them and for the insults to be brought out - perhaps Rafiq rubbed people up the wrong way and made it easier for them to resort to racist unpleasantness (I know that's as bad an excuse at 'she was asking for it' when scantily clad women are sexually assaulted, but it is part of human nature).

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 11 Sep 2020, 4:59 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Ismail Dawood the keeper?

The YCCC members (including me and my parents) are an odd bunch. Agreed they are generally pretty old, but also the ones we mix with are extremely welcoming to all hues (though less welcoming to "damn Londoners" making an exception for my Father Very Happy ).

Rafiq is a strange case. Perhaps it was trying to overcome the issues he reports, but he always seemed in the small interactions I had to be extremely arrogant and quite petulant. I would like to know the facts, but wonder if we ever will. Irrespective of what is found Gale is a complete dick though and has allegedly been guilty of bullying a number of players (imo I hasten to add)

To be honest I had similar interactions when he was younger with Rafiq, regardless it wouldn't excuse the accusations. Though I know you aren't suggesting it in anyway would, LT! Rafiq is meant to have mellowed as he got a bit older though according to other YCCC members I know.

Worth noting that many young sportsman can be difficult to deal with when younger as well, particularly if there are extenuating circumstances. I played several school and club games against Jonny Bairstow in my teens for instance. A phenomenal batsman even then (real men against boys stuff) but incredibly difficult to deal with as a character when he was younger. Once again a situation of very difficult extenuating circumstances that influenced that behaviour though, another player who has mellowed as he matured and is meant to be one of the nicest blokes you could hope to meet now.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 16 Sep 2020, 1:43 pm

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/29896435/yorkshire-racism-crisis-jason-gillespie-condemns-yorkshire-league-chairman-attack-azeem-rafiq

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/29891998/yorkshire-racism-crisis-rana-naved-ul-hasan-speaks-systematic-taunting-yorkshire


Lets not try and pretend this is just about one guy with an axe to grind years down the line.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 16 Sep 2020, 2:34 pm

Oh, there are most definitely issues at Yorkshire.

I would like to point out though that with reference to Rana's comments, the crowd get on the back of lots of players. I remember a lot of vile abuse aimed at Steve Kirby among others.

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