Roger Hutton, who joined the Yorkshire board in April 2020, stated he apologizes “unreservedly” to Rafiq, who made allegations of racism at Yorkshire final yr.
Since Rafiq’s allegations, Yorkshire CCC apologized and stated that Rafiq was the “sufferer of inappropriate behaviour” whereas enjoying for the membership, though nobody was disciplined following an investigation into the allegations by an unbiased panel.
In a press release on Friday reported by the BBC’s Dan Roan, Hutton stated: “The membership ought to have recognised on the time the intense allegations of racism. I’m sorry that we couldn’t persuade Government members of the Board to recognise the gravity of the scenario and present care and contrition.
“I stay upset that authorized restrictions, together with an ongoing employment tribunal, have prevented the investigation report from being printed and stay up for the time that everybody can see its suggestions. I hope for it to be printed as quickly as attainable.”
Hutton added that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) “declined to assist” when he approached the governing physique after studying of Rafiq’s allegations.
He additionally stated that there was a “fixed unwillingness from the Government members of the Board and senior administration on the Membership to apologise and to simply accept racism and to look ahead” and that he has “skilled a tradition that refuses to simply accept change or problem.”
In a press release despatched to CNN, an ECB spokesperson stated: “Yorkshire CCC did attain out to us at first of the investigation with a request that we companion with them on exploring Azeem’s allegations of racism and bullying towards the membership.
“Our position is to function as a regulator throughout all the sport. We should act independently of any membership investigations, ought to we ever be required to intervene as regulator — both throughout or after.
“The rationale why our governance is structured on this method is completely demonstrated in the best way that these points have played-out at Yorkshire County Cricket Membership.”
Hutton has been summoned to the UK Parliament on November 16 to reply questions over the membership’s dealing with of the racial harassment in the direction of Rafiq — a duty he stated he would nonetheless undertake.
Yorkshire additionally introduced that Hanif Malik and Stephen Willis have stepped down as board members, whereas Neil Hartley will stay on the board to make sure a clean management transition however plans to step down within the close to future. Kamlesh Patel has been appointed because the membership’s director and chair.
On Thursday, the ECB suspended Yorkshire from internet hosting worldwide or main matches at Headingley.
“It’s clear to the Board that YCCC’s dealing with of the problems raised by Azeem Rafiq is wholly unacceptable and is inflicting severe injury to the repute of the sport,” stated a press release.
“The ECB discover this matter abhorrent and towards the spirit of cricket and its values.”
Ballance, who has been suspended from representing England by the ECB, stated that he “deeply remorse[s] a few of the language I utilized in my youthful years” and that he and Rafiq share an “extremely shut relationship.”
In the meantime, former England captain Michael Vaughan has stated he “utterly and categorically den[ies]” making a racist remark that was part of Rafiq’s grievance that led to Yorkshire’s investigation.
“This hit me very exhausting. It was like being struck over the top with a brick. I’ve been concerned in cricket for 30 years and by no means as soon as been accused of any remotely related incident or disciplinary offence as a participant or commentator. That the allegation got here utterly out of the blue and greater than a decade after it was alleged to have occurred made it all of the tougher to course of.”
Vaughan stated he was “adamant these phrases weren’t used.”
Numerous Yorkshire’s sponsors, together with Yorkshire Tea and Emerald Publishing, have minimize ties with the membership amid its dealing with of Rafiq’s allegations, whereas Nike stated it is going to not be the membership’s package provider.
In a press release, Patel, the brand new chair and director of Yorkshire, stated: “The Membership must study from its previous errors, regain belief and rebuild relationships with our communities.
“There may be a lot work to do, together with studying the panel’s report, so we will start the method of studying from our previous errors.
“Yorkshire is fortunate to have an enormous expertise pool of cricketers, and passionate supporters, from all of our communities and we should re-engage with everybody to make a greater Yorkshire County Cricket Membership for everybody.”
CNN’s Amy Woodyatt contributed to reporting.