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Yorkshire racism case – ECB lays out case towards Yorkshire defendants as CDC listening to begins

The ECB opened the long-awaited, much-delayed Cricket Self-discipline Fee’s racism hearings by laying out its case towards, amongst others, former quick bowlers Matthew Hoggard and Tim Bresnan.

On the opening day of hearings on the Worldwide Arbitration Centre in London, the ECB accused Hoggard, Bresnan and John Blain of repeatedly making racist remarks whereas at Yorkshire. The trio had been accused of directing phrases and phrases equivalent to p***, “you lot”, “Rafa the Okay****” and “Match p***” at gamers together with Azeem Rafiqand Adil Rashid, in addition to Azeem’s sister Amna, on quite a few events over the course of a decade from 2008.

All three strongly deny the costs.

In all, the ECB has charged six gamers, together with Michael Vaughan, Richard Pyrah and Andrew Gale, in addition to Yorkshire. 5 of these charged have refused to attend the hearings. That added a procedural however surreal really feel to issues on the opening day, the place Azeem appeared thrice on the witness stand for the ECB solely to not face any questioning both from the ECB or the three-person CDC panel.

The fees stem from allegations made by Rafiq. In accordance with the ECB, in an preliminary response to the costs, Hoggard, who withdrew from the method in February, admitted having used the time period “Rafa the Okay***” and “p***” however denied racist or discriminatory intent. He couldn’t recall the precise events when he used the phrases. Hoggard was additionally accused of utilizing “you lot” just about Rafiq and different gamers of Asian origin however denied racist intent. As a consequence, Hoggard admitted partly to having breached ECB directive 3.3 – on prejudicial and discriminatory behaviour.

The accusations towards Bresnan are based mostly on his alleged use of the time period “the brothers” when referring to gamers of an ethnic minority, to utilizing “you lot” and “match p***”. These are all stated to have taken place between 2009 and 2018. In his preliminary response to the ECB, Bresnan denied being in breach, admitting that he did use the primary two phrases however not in a approach that was in breach of directive 3.3. In that response, Bresnan denied utilizing the third time period altogether.

As a part of its proof towards Bresnan, the ECB referred to an allegation of bullying towards Bresnan that was upheld within the Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) report from August 2021. That report was based mostly on one of many first investigations into Rafiq’s allegations of racism at Yorkshire and has by no means been launched in full. In a summarised model that was launched, seven of Rafiq’s 43 claims had been upheld.

Yorkshire have admitted to all 4 costs laid towards them and won’t seem on the listening to. The mishandling of the SPB report was one of many costs the ECB laid towards the county. One other emerged final week within the admission by Yorkshire that it had deleted emails or paperwork associated to the Rafiq case in or round November 2021.

Blain, the previous Scotland cricketer, was accused of getting used the time period “p***” throughout pre-season coaching at Headingley in April 2010 and, non-specifically, on different events whereas at Yorkshire in 2010-11. Blain denied the incidents in his preliminary response to the ECB. Of their proof, the ECB referred once more to the SPB report which they stated upheld the allegation that Blain used the time period “p***” towards Rafiq.

Because of the absences, the primary day developed right into a frictionless one. The ECB’s lead counsel Jane Mulcahy KC would element the board’s case towards every defendant, a few witnesses – together with Rafiq – could be referred to as up and easily be requested to verify their witness statements had been appropriate and genuine. The panel, having learn these statements, had no questions and since the defendants did not seem, had no person to query.

That may change with the anticipated look of Vaughan on Thursday, the one one of many six people charged to be showing. Vaughan has been accused of getting stated “There’s too a lot of you lot” initially of a T20 recreation in June 2009 to 4 Asian-origin or Asian gamers within the Yorkshire group that day. He has denied the cost.

The ECB did, nevertheless, take the chance to “appropriate quite a few misrepresentations” concerning the disciplinary course of, in gentle of the withdrawals of the defendants. Pyrah had stated he had not been questioned by the ECB on the costs, which the ECB stated was “false”. They detailed communication with him on the matter. Equally, they refuted Bresnan’s claims to have been charged with out being spoken to by pointing to a transcript of an interview with the ECB.

Adil Rashid, at the moment in Bangladesh with England’s ODI group, can also be anticipated to seem as a witness through video name. The ECB’s instances towards Gale and Pyrah are additionally nonetheless to be heard.

“The non-attending Respondents have referred, each in these proceedings and in public, to Mr Rafiq’s allegations not having been appropriately challenged,” Mulcahy stated. “In fact, by withdrawing from these proceedings, the Respondents have denied themselves the chance to problem Mr Rafiq’s allegations themselves.”

The listening to is predicted to finish on Tuesday subsequent week, although the CDC’s judgment is predicted at a later date.

Osman Samiuddin is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo



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