England's Moeen Ali. Photo: AFP
England's Moeen Ali. Photo: AFP

Moeen Ali hopes Yorkshire racism row will lead to change

By Reuters Time of article published Nov 9, 2021

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England all-rounder Moeen Ali said he was not surprised by the allegations of racism made by Azeem Rafiq against Yorkshire Cricket Club but hopes the issue will lead to change in the sport.

Rafiq, who is of Pakistani descent and a former captain of the England Under-19s, said in September 2020 he had received racist abuse and was made to feel like an outsider at Yorkshire.

The 30-year-old also said he had contemplated suicide.

England's cricket board last week suspended Yorkshire from hosting international or major matches over their handling of Rafiq's allegations, while former chairman Roger Hutton resigned and was replaced by Kamlesh Patel.

"I wouldn't say I'm surprised but there's probably more stories out there that people haven't heard of," Moeen told a news conference on Monday.

"The fact it's come out is great because, going forward, people (will) have to think about what they can or can't say in terms of discriminating against people and knowing what people feel and go through.

"What Azeem has done, he is not doing it for any personal gain, I think he wants change and that's what he's pushing for."

After a nearly year-long inquiry into the allegations, Yorkshire issued a statement in September acknowledging Rafiq had been racially abused, but the following month the club said nobody would face any disciplinary action.

Rafiq and senior Yorkshire executives have been called to give evidence before a parliamentary Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) panel on Nov. 16.

Reuters

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