Yorkshire set to learn recommended sanctions for mishandling Azeem Rafiq case

Yorkshire set to learn recommended sanctions for mishandling Azeem Rafiq case

Yorkshire have called for “reasonable” sanctions as they face a key hearing in London today over their handling of the Azeem Rafiq case.

The England and Wales Cricket Board will make its sanctioning recommendations to an independent Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) panel, with Yorkshire having admitted to four charges in February related to the mishandling of Rafiq’s case, the deletion of documents related to it and a failure to address the use of racist language at the club over a prolonged period.

Yorkshire will then offer up arguments in mitigation to the panel, which will deliver the final sanctions at a later date.

Yorkshire released a statement on Monday which read: “In making representations to the CDC panel, we hope to achieve a reasonable sanction which takes into account our acceptance of the charges, YCCC’s current financial position and the robust work we have undertaken to build the foundations for a club which is truly inclusive and welcoming to all.

“Over the past year and a half, the reputational and financial impact of the racism crisis included the loss of sponsors and the removal of the privilege of hosting international cricket at Headingley, which was reinstated following the club demonstrating adherence to a stringent 10-point plan outlined by the ECB.

“We hope that any sanctions are reflective of the circumstances the club is in today and do not serve to hinder our ongoing commitment to create a brighter future for all associated with Yorkshire.”

Any financial sanctions could hit the club hard, with Yorkshire chief executive Stephen Vaughan highlighting to members at the annual general meeting in March that there was a £3.5million cash shortfall this year and the need to repay £14.9m to the Graves Trust.

Yorkshire chief executive Stephen Vaughan outlined the club's financial challenges to members at the AGM in March
Yorkshire chief executive Stephen Vaughan outlined the club’s financial challenges to members at the AGM in March (Mike Egerton/PA)

The club said last week they were still having “positive conversations” around the long-term financial future of the club and would make an announcement “in due course”.

Six former Yorkshire employees were sanctioned in May as part of the same case, with all of them found to have used the word “P***”.

A seventh, former England captain Michael Vaughan, was cleared in March of using racist and/or discriminatory language towards a group of four players of Asian ethnicity, including Rafiq, before a Twenty20 match in 2009.

The Yorkshire hearing coincides with the long-awaited publication of the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) report.

It has found racism remains “entrenched” within the sport in England and Wales.