Yorkshire County Cricket club are in turmoil, in what must rank as the worst week of their entire history. The club who were formed in 1863 and have won 33 county championships are now a club in crisis.
Only yesterday the ECB suspended Yorkshire from hosting International matches. Later on Thursday former England captain and Yorkshire player Michael Vaughan said he was named in Yorkshire’s Azeem Rafiq report. Vaughan said he “totally denies any allegation of racism”.
Vaughan denying acquisitions
The report states that he told a group of Asian players, including Rafiq, “Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” But Vaughan has said that he “completely and categorically denies” saying that.
On Wednesday Rafiq’s former team mate Gary Balance said he was responsible for some of the racist language Rafiq was subjected to.
Chairman Hutton resigns
To enhance the problems at the county, today Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton resigned, “apologising unreservedly” to Rafiq. His resignation, which was expected, came after an emergency board meeting on Friday, with more board members expected to quit.
All of this mess put simply could have been avoided if Yorkshire had acted on Rafiq’s word back in 2020. In September Rafiq first spoke out about racism encountered at the club. It got to a point where he was left close to suicide.
Yorkshire eventually launched a formal investigation into Rafiq’s allegations in September 2020. Chairman Roger Hutton said the club would be carrying out a “wider review of their policies and culture”.
County in disarray
With more details and possibly more names expected to come to light later this month, this leaves the club in disorder.
Not only does this leave massive implications financially to the club, but it leaves Yorkshire Cricket in a bad state of affairs. Financially the county will be badly hit for loss of revenue for not being allowed to host international matches. It also tarnishes the good name of Yorkshire cricket.
The club have also been hit with the disturbing but understandable news that a lot of sponsors have pulled out. In this case we are talking big sponsors, not small ones. Vital revenue they may never get back.
Why oh why did this once famous county ignore action when this was first reported. If so, I am sure this would have resulted in action being taken sooner. It appears that they were happy to brush it under the carpet.
It appears that the ECB had to intervene to get involved after public outcry.
Overall, let us hope Yorkshire have learnt by their mistakes and these terrible events never happen again.