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Yorkshire Chairman Roger Hutton Resigns, Apologises Unreservedly


New Delhi: Yorkshire County Cricket Club chairman Roger Hutton, who took charge in April 2020, quit and ‘apologised unreservedly’ over the club’s handling of allegations of racism by its former player Azim Rafiq. Pakistan-origin player and ex-England Under-19 skipper Azim Rafiq said that he was made to feel like an outsider at the club last year.

“There has been constant unwillingness from the executive members of the (Yorkshire) board and senior management at the club to apologise and to accept racism and to look forward,” Hutton wrote in his resignation letter.

“For much of my time at the club, I experienced a culture that refused to accept change or challenge.”

Hutton also “apologise unreservedly” to the 30-year-old.

“The club should have recognised at the time the serious allegations of racism,” he said.

“I am sorry that we could not persuade executive members of the board to recognise the gravity of the situation and show care and contrition.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has banned Yorkshire County Cricket Club from hosting any international or major matches but Hutton said when he had approached the ECB, they were declined to help.

“I want to be clear that when I was made aware of Azeem Rafiq’s allegations, I immediately reached out to the ECB to ask for their help and intervention to support a robust inquiry,” Hutton said.

“I was saddened when they declined to help as I felt it was a matter of great importance for the game as a whole. It is a matter of record that I have continually expressed my frustration at the ECB’s reluctance to act.”

Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance, who had admitted on Wednesday that he made racist comments on former teammate Azim Rafiq, has also been banned indefinitely from England’s selection.


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