Friday Sep 04, 2020
Yorkshire county club has launched an investigation after former England under-19 player Azeem Rafiq revealed that his experience with the English side saw him being subjected to "systematic racism" which nearly pushed him to suicide.
Rafiq, who was born in Karachi, said that he was always considered as an outsider in Yorkshire and lost his faith in humanity after his complaints of racist behaviour were ignored by the management.
“I know how close I was to committing suicide during my time at Yorkshire,” Rafiq was quoted as saying in ESPNCricinfo.
“I was living my family’s dream as a professional cricketer, but inside I was dying. I was in pain every day.
“There were times I did things to try and fit in that, as a Muslim, I now look back on and regret. I’m not proud of it at all.
“But as soon as I stopped trying to fit in, I was an outsider. There were no coaches on the staff from a similar background who understood what it was like,” he added.
Yorkshire, as per Rafiq, was institutionally racist and not prepared to acknowledge the fact. “Yorkshire doesn’t want to listen and they don’t want to change. And part of the reason for that is the people who were involved in the incidents I’m talking about are still at the club. They just want to sweep it under the carpet," he said.
“I know that by speaking out I’m damaging my chances of working in the game again. But I also know it’s the right thing to do and if I have to stand alone to do it, I will."