Yorkshire racism scandal as serious as on-pitch success for England – Morgan

By Sports Desk November 09, 2021

England's T20 captain Eoin Morgan says the Yorkshire racism scandal is as "serious and relevant" to the squad as any of their playing achievements.

An independent report into Azeem Rafiq's allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire upheld that the spinner had been a victim of "racial harassment and bullying".

The county has been punished, with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) suspending Yorkshire from hosting international and major matches, while sponsors such as Emerald and Nike have withdrawn from agreements.

Roger Hutton resigned as Yorkshire chairman, with his replacement – Lord Patel – offering Rafiq an unreserved apology on Monday.

Gary Ballance has also been indefinitely suspended from international selection after the batsman – who has not played for England since 2017 – admitted he was responsible for some of the offensive and inappropriate language Rafiq was subjected to when they were Yorkshire team-mates.

Morgan, whose side are preparing for a T20 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, revealed England's players have discussed the matter, and are committed to using their platform to end discrimination within the sport.

"We definitely don't shelter anything that's going on, particularly things as serious and as relevant to our squad as anything that we've ever done, really," Morgan told reporters.

"We talk about discrimination quite a lot because in our group there is a lot of diversity.

"After winning the 2019 World Cup and becoming a more formidable side with a bigger platform, that has allowed us to feel comfortable enough to continue to tell our different stories."

Morgan also outlined how important it is for his players to act as role models for future generations.

"We feel comfortable within our own skin to play great cricket on the field but also to be really strong role models," he added.

"With what's going on in Yorkshire, we've continued to chat about things and how it might affect younger generations.

"Being at the forefront of change both on and off the field for us is not always easy. Particularly at the beginning.

"We're at one of those stages right now for Yorkshire, and within the group we talk about seeing the bigger picture down the line and the huge benefits we will see coming into that county.

"We all want to be able to share our dream that we've dreamt about for so long as kids and have been so looking to live that dream. We want young kids to be able to picture that but also picture a pathway to be able to achieve it.

"So the things we do during this World Cup and beyond are very important."

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    The 52-year-old takes charge following the departure of Andrew Gale and the rest of the coaching staff late last year, which came after an investigation into claims made by Azeem Rafiq.

    "I'm extremely honoured and excited to be given the opportunity to join Yorkshire County Cricket Club as head coach," he said.

    "This is one of the most prestigious roles in English County Cricket, and I am really looking forward to working with this talented group of players to take the club forward. I've spoken at length with Goughy [Darren Gough] about the direction the club is heading in and I'm excited to be a part of that future."

    A 100-page independent report in early November upheld allegations by Rafiq that he had been the victim of "racial harassment and bullying" during his time at Yorkshire.

    Former chairman Roger Hutton resigned with immediate effect over the club's handling of the investigation, with Kamlesh Patel stepping into the role.

    Chief executive Mark Arthur then followed Hutton in resigning, while Yorkshire later announced that they were parting ways with their entire coaching and medical team, including first-team coach Andrew Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon.

    Former England bowler Gough was appointed as interim managing director and tasked with appointing new coaching staff as a priority.

    Gibson, who will take charge from the end of February, was in charge of the West Indies side that won the T20 World Cup in 2012, having also served as South Africa head coach and bowling coach for England and Bangladesh.

    An experienced county cricket player who also appeared in two Tests and 15 ODIs for the West Indies, Gibson also worked with England during two Ashes series wins.

    He will join up with Yorkshire once his deal with the Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League expires next month.

    Patel said he hoped the appointment of Gibson would "encourage dialogue and help foster a culture of inclusion at the club, as well as supporting and developing the world-class talent we have here and pushing them to the next level".

    "His playing and coaching credentials speak for themselves and he has had a distinguished career performing at the highest level," he said.

    "Ottis' character and his commitment to buying into the process that we are going through at Yorkshire County Cricket Club shone through in our discussions."

    Gough said: "Ottis is one of the best coaches in the world and will be a fantastic addition. His knowledge, commitment, experience and cricket know-how will be vital for us as we move into pre-season and get ourselves up and running.

    "We were absolutely blown away by the level of interest and quality of candidates for this role, but I have no doubt that he's the best person for the job and will pick up the challenge with relish."

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    Australia were scheduled to welcome their trans-Tasman rivals for three ODIs and a solitary T20I, with New Zealand set to be in the country from January 24 to February 9.

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    “Definitely things need to be changed at different levels. You don’t become bad batsmen at this level,” he said.

    He continued on, saying that responsibility lies with coaches at all levels to see to the development of players in the region.

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    The West Indies will play five T20 Internationals against England in Barbados starting on January 22.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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