Hoggard withdraws from hearings into Rafiq racism allegations

Hoggard was charged by ECB last June in a disciplinary case examining allegations of racism and bullying

February 04, 2023
Matthew Hoggard has withdrawn from the disciplinary process relating to allegations of historical racism at Yorkshire — AFP 

LONDON: Ex-England international bowler Matthew Hoggard has withdrawn from the disciplinary process involving allegations made by his former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq.

Hoggard, who was part of the England team which won the 2005 Ashes, was one of seven individuals charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last June in a disciplinary case examining allegations of racism and bullying.

Another former England international, Tim Bresnan, and John Blain have also reportedly withdrawn from presenting a defence because they believe they would not get a fair hearing.

They join former Yorkshire captain and head coach Andrew Gale, who has refused to engage with the process.

The ECB's Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) will hear the charges in March.

Following a request from Rafiq, the hearings are due to take place in public.

As it stands only former England captain Michael Vaughan, ex-England batsman Gary Ballance and Richard Pyrah remain cooperative with the process.

"Individuals are entitled to choose not to participate in the hearings if they wish, but the cases will still be heard in their absence and we are satisfied that the disciplinary process in this matter has been both rigorous and fair," the ECB said in a statement.

"The ECB's investigation and disciplinary process has been overseen by an independent committee and specialist leading King's Counsel."

Rafiq, 31, first raised allegations of racism and bullying in September 2020, related to his two spells at Yorkshire.

The county apologised for "racial harassment and bullying" after an investigation partially upheld Rafiq's claims a year later.

However, the findings of the investigation were not published and no player, employee or executive faced disciplinary action as a result of its findings, sparking widespread criticism.

Yorkshire were briefly stripped of the right to host international matches at Headingley by the ECB, leading to the resignations of former chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur.

New chairman Lord Kamlesh Patel then sacked 16 members of the club's coaching and backroom staff, including Gale and bowling coach Pyrah.

However, both subsequently agreed compensation packages with Yorkshire after claims for unfair dismissal.