Racism is a nuisance that shouldn’t be tolerated at any cost. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has now been directed to ‘cleans up its act’ or their funds could be withheld as British lawmakers said on Friday. The “deep-seated” racism was brought to light by a scandal in Yorkshire. The former player Azeem Rafiq, 30, had delivered harsh testimony to MPs in November in which he said his career had been ended by the abuse he received at the English county side. He claimed to be a victim of institutional racism which exists “up and down the country”.
ECB need to develop a set of key indicators
The fallout for Yorkshire over the crisis has been devastating, with sponsors making a mass exodus and the club suspended from hosting lucrative international matches. Mass releases have been noted that the club’s Headingley headquarters, with bunch of departures from the boardroom and coaching staff while a new chairman, Kamlesh Patel, has become the face of a fresh regime.
The parliamentary Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, in its report published on Friday, said cricket chiefs had to act decisively to rid the game of racism.
MPs noted the language used in correspondence with the committee and attempts to “discredit” Rafiq in the media as evidence that a “long and difficult road” lay ahead. The lawmakers advised the ECB to develop a set of key indicators and then provide updates to the committee every quarter on its progress, or could face a cut to government funding.
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“We are watching closely and fully intend to ensure that cricket cleans up its act,” the report said. We recommend that the government ensures that any future public funds for cricket are dependent on continuous, demonstrable progress in getting rid of racism in both the dressing rooms and on the stands.”
The committee also paid tribute to Pakistan-born Rafiq for “his conviction that this was not simply a personal issue but an endemic problem across the whole of cricket”.