By: Chandrashekar Bhat
YORKSHIRE have confirmed documents and data relating to allegations of racism against the county cricket club were deleted or lost during the tenure of a previous regime.
Yorkshire had admitted to four amended charges brought by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after an investigation into racism claims by former player Azeem Rafiq, who alleged in 2021 he had been a victim of institutional racism at the club.
One of the charges of bringing the game into disrepute is related to the deletion or destruction of documents after the allegations of racism were investigated, Yorkshire said in a statement on Thursday (23).
The club, facing a Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) hearing beginning next week, said the destruction of documents occurred before outgoing chairman Kamlesh Patel took over in November 2021.
Rafiq, a former England Under-19s captain of Pakistani descent, told a British parliamentary committee in 2021 of “inhuman” treatment at Yorkshire and described the sport in England as riddled with racism.
“After 5 November 2021, it was discovered that emails and documents, both held electronically by the club and in paper copy, had been irretrievably deleted from both servers and laptops and otherwise destroyed,” Yorkshire said.
“After a thorough independent investigation it was established that the deletion and destruction of documents date from a time period prior to the appointment of Lord Patel and relate to the allegations of racism and the club’s response to those allegations.
“The club has admitted to this charge, as there was no viable defence in these circumstances… The club is not prepared to conjecture publicly as to why this occurred, who was responsible or the motivation or the motivation for doing so.”
Yorkshire will not attend the March 1-9 CDC hearing in London after admitting to the charges. Ex-player Gary Balance has admitted liability for his use of racially discriminatory language and will also not attend.
Former Yorkshire players Tim Bresnan, John Blain, Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah, who were charged by the ECB in June with bringing the game into disrepute, have all withdrawn from the hearing.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan is the only accused individual who is still set to appear.