England captain Root demands change after cricket racism scandal

England captain Joe Root on Thursday
demanded change after a racism row engulfed Yorkshire County Cricket Club,
saying the events had “fractured our game and torn lives apart”.

England captain Root demands change after cricket racism scandal
captain Joe Root

Root, who is currently in Australia leading England’s Ashes preparations,
issued his statement following weeks of escalating pressure at the club he
has represented since childhood.

Former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq was found by an independent report to
have been subject to “racial harassment and bullying” and subsequent
allegations have emerged from others setting in motion additional
investigations.

England captain Root demands change after cricket racism scandal
captain Joe Root

  Root, who made his debut for his native Yorkshire in 2009, said he felt
“compelled” to speak out as England captain and a senior player from the
county.

“I just want the sport to be a place where everyone is enjoying it for the
beautiful game it is and feels equal and safe,” he said in a statement from
England’s base on Australia’s Gold Coast.

“It hurts knowing this has happened at YCCC, so close to home.”

He added: “These events have fractured our game and torn lives apart. I
want to see change and actions that will see YCCC rise from this with a
culture that harnesses a diverse environment with trust across all
communities that support cricket in the county.

England captain Root demands change after cricket racism scandal
captain Joe Root

“We need to educate, unify and reset.”

Root, 30, told a subsequent press conference that he had not witnessed
racist incidents during his time at the Yorkshire.

“But it is clear things have happened at the club and we have to make sure
we eradicate it,” he said.

In response to Root’s comments, Rafiq tweeted: “Disappointed is not even
the feeling. Incredibly hurt. But uncomfortable truths are hard to accept it
seems.”

Earlier this week, new Yorkshire chairman Kamlesh Patel praised Pakistan-
born Rafiq for speaking out over the racist abuse he suffered, revealing the
county had settled an employment case with the off-spin bowler.

England captain Root demands change after cricket racism scandal
captain Joe Root

– England stance –

England under Root have taken to wearing T-shirts before games calling for
an end to discrimination in cricket and staging pre-match “moments of unity”
to signal their abhorrence of racism.

“You look at the work the current England teams have been doing over the
last few years, it’s something we care deeply about,” he said.

“This shouldn’t just apply to Yorkshire, this should apply across the game.
Every county should find ways to eradicate racism from the sport and I think
it’s really important we look to do that.”

The England team were rocked by a racism scandal in June, with pace bowler
Ollie Robinson given a ban following the emergence of historical offensive
tweets that overshadowed his Test debut against New Zealand.

England captain Root demands change after cricket racism scandal
captain Joe Root

But, after a public apology, Robinson returned to the side following his
suspension and Root said there was a place for rehabilitation, as well as
punishment.

“From my point of view, we all make mistakes and racism is something we
completely have to eradicate,” he said.

“But I do think people deserve a second chance and if they are willing to
accept that they’ve made a mistake and they want to make change and want to
move forward then I think that’s really important as well.

“We are all human beings and I think that’s something that we have to
remember within this.”

Several hours later, Yorkshire announced their chief executive Mark Arthur,
heavily criticised by Rafiq, had resigned with immediate effect.

England captain Root demands change after cricket racism scandal

His exit follows that of club chairman Roger Hutton, who stepped down last
week after sponsors began fleeing the club.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have also stripped Yorkshire’s
Headingley stadium of the right to host international matches.

Source: LONDON, Nov 12, 2021 (BSS/AFP)

Know more:

Prominent cricket coach Jalal Chowdhury no more

England cricket team

Leave a Comment