ECB know they messed up – Rafiq

By Sports Desk November 17, 2021

Azeem Rafiq believes that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have "realised they messed up" in handling recent allegations of bullying and racism in cricket.

A day after delivering emotional testimony to the DCMS select committee on the abuse and bullying he suffered during his time at Yorkshire, Rafiq spoke to Sky Sports about the potential repercussions, including his opinion that the national governing body for cricket is unlikely to allow similar occurrences again.

The 30-year-old also expressed his belief that the "floodgates" may now open for similar complaints from within the game, and that these must be taken more seriously than his own allegations were.

"I do feel now it's going to be floodgates [opening] and a lot of victims of abuse are going to come forward and we need to listen to them, hear them, support them and work out a plan to make sure this doesn't happen again," he said.

"I think you're going to get [complaints] into the hundreds and thousands, possibly, and I think it's the way they handle it. We've got here because of Yorkshire's handling of this.

"Yes, what happened was completely unacceptable but the way they've handled it has made it a lot bigger and showed them for what they are, so it depends how the game and individual counties handle it.

"I think the ECB have realised they messed up as well and they're not going to let another episode like this occur."

Rafiq also said he feels the positions of Yorkshire's director of cricket Martyn Moxon, and head coach Andrew Gale, are untenable, but there is potentially a route back for his former team-mate Gary Ballance.

All three were named by Rafiq during his testimony to the committee on Tuesday.

"They need to hear from me the effect their behaviour left me in, and I'd like to hear from them why. Why they felt that was all right but it's important we don't go to individuals and think about the institution, because these guys came into this place and were shaped by the culture and the environment," he added.

"I don't think Martyn and Andrew can [continue in their roles]. I think Gary – if he apologises properly and has some sort of acceptance and accountability – he should be allowed to play.

"But in terms of Andrew and Martyn, I don't think it's possible for Yorkshire to move forward with them still in there knowing full well what sort of role they played in that institution."

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