Yorkshire have appointed former West Indies all-rounder and coach Ottis Gibson on a three-year deal.

The 52-year-old takes charge following the departure of Andrew Gale and the rest of the coaching staff late last year, which came after an investigation into claims made by Azeem Rafiq.

"I'm extremely honoured and excited to be given the opportunity to join Yorkshire County Cricket Club as head coach," he said.

"This is one of the most prestigious roles in English County Cricket, and I am really looking forward to working with this talented group of players to take the club forward. I've spoken at length with Goughy [Darren Gough] about the direction the club is heading in and I'm excited to be a part of that future."

A 100-page independent report in early November upheld allegations by Rafiq that he had been the victim of "racial harassment and bullying" during his time at Yorkshire.

Former chairman Roger Hutton resigned with immediate effect over the club's handling of the investigation, with Kamlesh Patel stepping into the role.

Chief executive Mark Arthur then followed Hutton in resigning, while Yorkshire later announced that they were parting ways with their entire coaching and medical team, including first-team coach Andrew Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon.

Former England bowler Gough was appointed as interim managing director and tasked with appointing new coaching staff as a priority.

Gibson, who will take charge from the end of February, was in charge of the West Indies side that won the T20 World Cup in 2012, having also served as South Africa head coach and bowling coach for England and Bangladesh.

An experienced county cricket player who also appeared in two Tests and 15 ODIs for the West Indies, Gibson also worked with England during two Ashes series wins.

He will join up with Yorkshire once his deal with the Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League expires next month.

Patel said he hoped the appointment of Gibson would "encourage dialogue and help foster a culture of inclusion at the club, as well as supporting and developing the world-class talent we have here and pushing them to the next level".

"His playing and coaching credentials speak for themselves and he has had a distinguished career performing at the highest level," he said.

"Ottis' character and his commitment to buying into the process that we are going through at Yorkshire County Cricket Club shone through in our discussions."

Gough said: "Ottis is one of the best coaches in the world and will be a fantastic addition. His knowledge, commitment, experience and cricket know-how will be vital for us as we move into pre-season and get ourselves up and running.

"We were absolutely blown away by the level of interest and quality of candidates for this role, but I have no doubt that he's the best person for the job and will pick up the challenge with relish."

Azeem Rafiq believes that Yorkshire has "taken a step in the right direction" following last year's racism scandal and should be allowed to host England games once again.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) from hosting international cricket in November in response to the county's handing of allegations of institutional racism made by Rafiq.

However, the former spin bowler - who had two spells with the team between 2008 and 2018 - has said the county has "done enough" to warrant having that suspension lifted.

The ECB said at the time of the suspension that it would remain until Yorkshire "clearly demonstrated that it can meet the standards expected".

Several high-profile figures at the county either resigned or were sacked over the handling of the allegations.

Former chairman Roger Hutton has been replaced by Lord Patel, while director of cricket Martyn Moxon has been succeeded by former Yorkshire and England fast bowler Darren Gough.

Chief executive Mark Arthur also resigned, and first-team coach Andrew Gale was sacked.

"I want to see England playing at Headingley this summer," Rafiq wrote in the Daily Mail. 

"At first in all this, I believed international cricket should be taken away from them, but they have done enough to warrant getting it back, for now at least.

"They should be given back the international cricket so vital to their very survival.

"If we are asking an institution to look at itself, then we should recognise when it begins to show it is genuinely sorry and attempts to start putting things right.

"Yorkshire need to be supported and helped to move in that right direction."

The third Test against world champions New Zealand that had been scheduled to take place at Headingley before the suspension was imposed begins on June 23.

Rafiq also spoke highly of the appointment of Gough as director of cricket at Yorkshire, citing their previous relationship as team-mates.

"It's no secret we are friends since he was one of my first captains and we have always stayed in touch," he added.

"I'm encouraged by his involvement, not least because the game needs people like him back directly involved."

Rafiq said at a DCMS select committee hearing in November that he believed English cricket to be "institutionally racist", and again emphasised that more change is needed in the game, not just at his former county.

"I am not saying everything is now hunky-dory at my old county and we can all move on," he said.

"Yorkshire must be kept under review to make sure this really is the start of something important and meaningful - everything is not fine yet, not by a long way.

"It just seems outside the county everyone wants to throw the book at Yorkshire and my concern is some want to do that in order to make themselves look better or deflect attention away from their [own] issues.

"I don't agree with that because it will not drive change.

"There are thousands of cases outside Yorkshire and what is happening to them today could easily happen to another county tomorrow."

An ECB investigation into the allegations is ongoing.

Former England captain Ray Illingworth has died at the age of 89.

The all-rounder played in 61 Tests between 1958 and 1973, taking 122 wickets and scoring two centuries.

Illingworth was captain on 31 occasions and won 12 of the Test matches he oversaw, including an away Ashes series against Australia in 1971-72.

A short statement from Yorkshire County Cricket Club, who he guided to three successive County titles form 1966, read: "We are deeply saddened to learn that Ray Illingworth has passed away.

"Our thoughts are with Ray’s family and the wider Yorkshire family who held Ray so dear to their hearts #OneRose."

Illingworth had been undergoing radiotherapy for esophageal cancer and earlier this year spoke of his support for assisted dying after his wife passed away from cancer.

"I don't want to have the last 12 months that my wife had," he said, in quotes reported by BBC Sport. "She had a terrible time going from hospital to hospital and in pain.

"I believe in assisted dying. The way my wife was, there was no pleasure in life in the last 12 months, and I don't see the point of living like that.

"But we don't have assisted dying in England yet, so you don't have the option do you? They are debating it and I think it will come eventually.

"A lot of doctors are against it, but if they had to live like my wife did in her last 12 months they might change their minds."

Darren Gough has been appointed as managing director of Yorkshire on an interim basis following the Azeem Rafiq racism crisis, the club has confirmed.

Ex-England bowler Gough will relinquish his current media duties to take the role at his former county, initially until the conclusion of the 2022 season, as Yorkshire look to rebuild in the wake of the revelations by Rafiq.

A 100-page independent report in early November upheld claims by Rafiq that he had been the victim of "racial harassment and bullying" during his time at Yorkshire.

Former chairman Roger Hutton resigned with immediate effect over Yorkshire's handling of the investigation, with new chair Kamlesh Patel stepping into the role.

Chief executive Mark Arthur then followed Hutton in resigning, while Yorkshire announced on Friday that they were parting ways with their entire coaching and medical team, including first-team coach Andrew Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon.

Gough, who enjoyed two spells at Headingley as a player, will oversee the recruitment of a new coaching team as his immediate priority.

On his appointment, Gough told Yorkshire's official website: "Yorkshire County Cricket Club has been part of my life since my earliest days in cricket when I made my debut in 1989, and I spent 15 happy years at the club. 

"Like many, I have followed how the club handled the recent racism allegations with sadness and anger.

"I want to play my part in rebuilding cricket in Yorkshire and I am looking forward to working with the exceptionally talented group of players here. 

"I am also aware of my wider responsibility to listen to everyone and ensure that every person who is associated with this club feels welcome, instilling values we want associated with the White Rose: honesty, straight talking, hard work, integrity and excellence.

"I share [Kamlesh] Patel's vision for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and the collective determination to face the issues head on with a series of positive actions. Change will not happen overnight, but I am certain that we can make Headingley roar again."

Gough retired from professional cricket in 2008 but travelled to New Zealand in 2019 as a mentor for England's seamers on tour.

Current England captain Joe Root, who worked with Gough on that tour and is a lifelong Yorkshire player, has backed the 51-year-old to succeed in his new role.

Speaking ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, Root – before the appointment was confirmed – said: "It's news to me, but if that is the case he's a good man and I'm sure he'll be looking to put his stamp on things at the club.

"From my experience of spending time with Goughie, he's obviously very passionate and knowledgeable about the game. His love for it is clear for everyone to see. 

"I'm sure he'll want to bring all of that to the fore, all of his experience and achievements in the game and pass them on to the group if he is the man to take over."

Yorkshire's director of cricket Martyn Moxon, first-team coach Andrew Gale and all members of the coaching staff have left the club following Azeem Rafiq's racism allegations.

A 100-page independent report in early November upheld that Rafiq had been victim of "racial harassment and bullying" during his time at Yorkshire.

Former chairman Roger Hutton resigned with immediate effect over Yorkshire's response to the investigation, with new chair Kamlesh Patel tasked with changing the culture at the club.

Chief executive Mark Arthur resigned from his position last month, before Gale was suspended pending investigation over a historical tweet, while Moxon took sick leave due to stress.

Yorkshire announced on Friday that Moxon and Gale have left the club, in addition to all members of the coaching staff and the backroom medical team.

A new director of cricket is the immediate priority, according to Patel, who is also recruiting an entire new coaching team for the upcoming season.

"Significant change is required at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and we are committed to taking whatever action is necessary to regain trust," Patel said in a statement on the county's official website.

"The decisions announced today were difficult to make but are in the best interests of the club. Without making important changes to how we are run, we cannot move on from the past to become a culture which is progressive and inclusive.

"We want to make Yorkshire County Cricket Club a place for everyone, from all backgrounds. To do this, we need to rebuild our culture and instil positive values in everyone associated with Yorkshire. 

"We are determined to learn from the mistakes of the past to become a club which people can trust.

"We are hoping to announce a new director of cricket in the coming days. We have a huge rebuilding job to do but we are confident that this heralds a step forward towards a brighter future."

Michael Vaughan remains under contract with the BBC, who "expect to work" with the former England captain again after standing him down from their Ashes coverage following Azeem Rafiq's racism allegations.

Vaughan was named in a report this month investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire, but has repeatedly and categorically denied the allegations.

The 47-year-old, who played for Yorkshire between 1993 and 2009, allegedly told a group of team-mates in 2009 there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Those claims were corroborated by then Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and current England white-ball specialist Adil Rashid.

Vaughan has since been stood down from his BBC Radio 5 Live Show before being removed from the broadcaster's Ashes coverage due to his involvement in a "significant story" representing a "conflict of interest".

The BBC reiterated their stance on Wednesday, as they informed that Vaughan – who led England to Ashes glory in 2005 – would play no role in their upcoming coverage, though they look set to work with him in the future.

"We're in regular contact with Michael and have had positive conversations with him in recent days," read a statement from the BBC.

"Our contributors are required to talk about relevant issues, so Michael's involvement in a story of such significance means it's not possible for him to be part of our Ashes coverage or wider cricket coverage at the moment.

"We're pleased with how our conversations are going and expect to work with Michael again in the future. He remains on contract to the BBC."

Vaughan said after the BBC's decision he was "very disappointed not to be commentating on the Ashes" but added he was looking forward to working on the series for Fox Sports in Australia.

Michael Vaughan has been stood down from the BBC's coverage of the Ashes due to "a conflict of interest" amid recent allegations of racism made by ex-Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq.

The former England captain was this month named in a report investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire.

Vaughan, who played for Yorkshire from 1993 to 2009 and led England to Ashes glory in 2005, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events have been supported by Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, but Vaughan has strongly denied the allegations made against him.

The BBC withdrew Vaughan from his Radio 5 Live show three weeks ago and the corporation has now confirmed the 47-year-old – who first joined their radio team as a summariser in 2009 – will not form part of their upcoming Ashes coverage.

"While he is involved in a significant story in cricket, for editorial reasons we do not believe that it would be appropriate for Michael Vaughan to have a role in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at the moment," said a BBC statement.

"We require our contributors to talk about relevant topics and his involvement in the Yorkshire story represents a conflict of interest."

Vaughan is also contracted to commentate for Australia's Fox network for the five-Test series, which begins in Brisbane on December 8.

In a statement made earlier this month, Vaughan said: "I categorically deny saying the words attributed to me by Azeem Rafiq and want to restate this publicly because the 'you lot' comment simply never happened.

"It is extremely upsetting that this completely false accusation has been made against me by a former team-mate, apparently supported by two other players.

"I have been in contact with the six other players from that team and not one of them has any recollection of the remark being made."

Azeem Rafiq has apologised and described himself as "ashamed" after anti-Semitic messages he sent in 2011 resurfaced.

The former Yorkshire cricketer, who this week made an emotional appearance in front of a parliamentary select committee amid claims of institutionalised racism in English cricket, posted an apology on Twitter on Thursday in the wake of his own offensive remarks circulating on social media.

The 30-year-old confirmed the messages, which were part of an exchange with another cricketer, were written by him but insisted "I am a different person today", having posted them at the age of 19.

"I was sent an image of this exchange from early 2011 today," said Rafiq. "I have gone back to check my account and it is me – I have absolutely no excuses.

"I am ashamed of this exchange and have deleted it so as not to cause further offence. I was 19 at the time and I hope and believe I am a different person today."

In the note, posted on his Twitter account, Rafiq added: "I am incredibly angry at myself and I apologise to the Jewish community and everyone who is rightly offended by this."

Rafiq was found to have suffered racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire.

David Lloyd was the only person to contact Azeem Rafiq and apologise on Tuesday, following the latter's emotional appearance in front of a parliamentary select committee.

Rafiq, who was found to have suffered racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire, gave evidence in Tuesday's hearing.

He accused Yorkshire and English cricket in general of being institutionally racist.

Former England head coach Lloyd, who is a leading commentator for Sky Sports and is commonly known by his nickname 'Bumble', was implicated by Rafiq, who also made allegations against former Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance and current head coach Andrew Gale.

The county's director of cricket Martyn Moxon was also said to have heard the abuse, while former chairman Roger Hutton admitted the county failed to act accordingly.

Rafiq claimed Lloyd had made offensive remarks over text message to a third party, but he claimed the commentator was the only person to have apologised to him directly since the hearing.

Asked if Gale, Ballance – who has publicly apologised for any offence he caused – or Moxon had been in touch, Rafiq told Sky Sports: "No, I don't expect them to be. I still don't think any of them think they've done anything wrong.

"It just shows them for what they are. The arrogance there and the complete disregard of anyone else but themselves and their views.

"A lot of people have known. That's why some of the apologies – anyone who's apologised, I accept, that's all I've ever wanted – but it does make you think, you've known this for 14 months, if you were genuinely sorry, you would have done it. But anyone who's apologised deserves a second chance."

Moxon is on leave from Yorkshire due to a stress-related issue, while Gale has been suspended pending an investigation into a Twitter exchange with a former Leeds United executive that is alleged to have included an anti-Semitic slur.

Sky confirmed on Tuesday that they would open an investigation into the remarks attributed to Lloyd, who also used his official Twitter account to apologise to Rafiq and the Asian cricket community.

"He rang me last night, I told him honestly what I thought about his comments," Rafiq added. 

"They were completely out of order. He told me was briefed by somebody close to the club, which is disappointing because even that gentleman doesn't know me that well.

"But he rang, he apologised, I accepted his apology and he committed to make a difference and that's a positive."

Current England Test captain Joe Root was also brought up in Tuesday's hearing. Rafiq said Root was "a good man" and stressed the batsman had never took part in any abuse.

However, he was concerned by Root's comment that he had not heard any racist language used at Yorkshire.

"Rooty is a good man but it just shows how bad that institution and environment was that even a good man like him didn't see it, didn't feel like it was right to stop it probably and doesn't remember it probably because it won't mean anything to him," Rafiq said.

"The bystanders – from now on – if you continue to just be bystanders you're as much of a problem as the guys who are perpetrators."

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."

Former England head coach David Lloyd has apologised to Azeem Rafiq and the Asian cricketing community after being accused of making offensive comments last year.

Lloyd, who is a leading commentator for Sky Sports and is commonly known by his nickname 'Bumble', was implicated by Rafiq in Tuesday's parliamentary select committee hearing.

Rafiq, who was found to have suffered racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire, claimed Lloyd had made offensive remarks over text message to a third party.

Rafiq, who accused Yorkshire of being institutionally racist, used Lloyd's messages as an example of how widespread the issue has become.

"It's clear the problem is there. Everyone's known it for a very long time. I think it's been an open secret," Rafiq said.

"I sat in front of national TV and talked about the dark places this whole episode has got me into and what's happened since then? Denial, briefings, cover-ups, smearing.

"High-profile media people messaging other members of the media who supported me saying stuff like, 'The clubhouses are the lifeblood of a club and Asian players don't go in there'; 'Getting subs out of Asian players is like getting blood out of stone'.

"Personally this guy doesn't even know me, has never spent any time with me, is talking about my personal drinking, going out and socialising.

"That was David Lloyd, he's been an England coach, commentator, and I found it disturbing because Sky are supposedly doing this amazing work on bringing racism to the front and within a week of me speaking out that's what I got sent to me."

Lloyd, 74, who also played for England, subsequently admitted making comments about Rafiq, and apologised for his actions in a post on his Twitter account.

The statement read: "In October 2020, I had a private message exchange with a third party involved in cricket, about a number of topics. In these messages, I referred to allegations about Azeem Rafiq which I had heard from within the game. I also made some comments about the Asian cricket community.

"I deeply regret my actions, and I apologise most sincerely to Azeem and to the Asian cricket community for doing this, and for any offence caused. I am strongly committed to making cricket a more inclusive sport.

"It is very obvious now that more work needs to be done and I will do everything I can to remove discrimination from the sport I love, and the sport that has been my life for over 50 years."

In a statement on Tuesday, broadcaster Sky confirmed it would be investigating the comments attributed to Lloyd.

Former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq has told a parliamentary select committee he believes English cricket has a racism problem "up and down the country".

Rafiq's recent allegations against Yorkshire were followed by the resignations of chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur, and when asked by the committee on Tuesday if he believes English cricket is "institutionally racist", he replied: "Yes".

The 30-year-old was close to tears on numerous occasions during his testimony, adding that he feels he lost his career to racism, but hopes that by speaking out, the game can achieve "massive change" in future.

"I just wanted to live my dream and my family's dream," Rafiq told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee.

"I felt isolated, humiliated at times. On tour, Gary Ballance walked over and said, 'Why are you talking to him?'. Going past a corner shop, I was asked if my uncle owned it.

"Martyn Moxon [current Yorkshire director of cricket] and Andrew Gale [current Yorkshire head coach] were there. It never got stamped out."

The committee raised sections of Yorkshire's independent report into the matter that described Rafiq as a heavy drinker.

"I have been clear from the offset that I wasn't perfect. There were things I did that I felt I had to do to fit in, and I am not proud of them," Rafiq said.

"But that has no relation to racism. I should never, ever have been treated the way I was. When I spoke, I should have been listened to.

"But Yorkshire CCC, and the game as a whole, has a problem listening to the victim. There is no 'yeah, but...' to racism. There is no two sides to racism.

"My first incident of drinking, I was 15, I got pinned down at my local cricket club and had red wine poured down my throat.

"I felt like I had to drink to fit in. I regret that massively, but it has no bearing on the things I was called."

When asked if it would be fair to say what he has seen at Yorkshire is replicated at other counties, Rafiq said: "Without a shadow of a doubt. This is replicated up and down the country.

"I would like to see it as progress that people feel they can come forward and not be smeared against and discredited."

Representatives of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were also giving evidence on Tuesday.

Rafiq was also asked where he found the strength to come forward in the first place, and added: "I have a bit of Karachi and a bit of Barnsley in me. The pain I went through those few months, no one can put me through that again.

"I thought there may be some humanity left, but no. It was all about discredit, discredit, discredit.

"All I wanted was an acceptance, an apology, an understanding, and let's try and work together to ensure it never happens again.

"If Yorkshire had seen this as an opportunity to make a real difference in society and the game, this could have gone in a completely different direction.

"They didn't do that, and that is why we are where we are."

Adil Rashid has backed Azeem Rafiq's accusation that former England captain Michael Vaughan made a racist remark during the trio's time together at Yorkshire.

Vaughan revealed earlier in November that his name appears in a 100-page report into institutional racism at Yorkshire but strongly denies the allegations against him.

Rafiq brought allegations against Yorkshire, which has already led to the resignations of chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur.

Vaughan, who played for Yorkshire between 1993 and 2009, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates that there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events were supported by fellow former Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hassan and now England star Rashid, who had been playing at the T20 World Cup, says he heard Vaughan's alleged comment as well.

In a statement to The Cricketer, Rashid – a Yorkshire player since 2006 – said: "Racism is a cancer in all walks of life and unfortunately in professional sports too, and is something which of course has to be stamped out.

"I wanted to concentrate as much as possible on my cricket and to avoid distractions to the detriment of the team but I can confirm Azeem Rafiq's recollection of Michael Vaughan's comments to a group of us Asian players.

"I'm encouraged by the fact that a parliamentary committee seems to be trying to improve the situation, whether that's holding people accountable or getting changes made at an institutional level.

"These can only be positive developments. I will of course be more than happy to support any official efforts when the time is right.

"For now, though, these matters are of an intensely personal nature and I will not be commenting on them further. I ask you to respect my privacy and allow me to focus on my cricket.

"I want to thank the ECB, the fans and especially my teammates for all of their support. We didn't get the result we wanted in this World Cup, but I hope that the unity of our dressing room and the leadership of our captain will propel us forward to achieve what we deserve in the future."

Stats Perform has approached Yorkshire, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Vaughan's representation for further comment.

Rafiq is expected to give evidence in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee on Tuesday.

England captain Joe Root says the Yorkshire County Cricket Club racism scandal has "fractured our game" and "torn lives apart."

An independent report upheld former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq's allegations that he had been victim of "racial harassment and bullying" during his time with the county.

Yorkshire carried out their own internal investigation following the findings of the report and concluded no conduct or action taken by any of its employees, players or executives warranted disciplinary measures.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last week suspended Yorkshire from hosting international and major matches in response to the club's "wholly unacceptable" handling of Rafiq's racism allegations of institutional racism.

Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton resigned along with other board members, with Lord Kamlesh Patel swiftly appointed as his replacement.

The ECB appointed a QC to look into Yorkshire's handling of the report and Lord Patel revealed he would be commissioning a specialist independent review of the county's processes and procedures on diversity and inclusion.

Yorkshire batsman and England skipper Root said in a statement on Thursday: "In my capacity as England captain and as a senior player at Yorkshire, I feel compelled to address the current situation that has consumed the sport and YCCC.

"I just want the sport to be a place where everyone is enjoying it for the beautiful game it is and feels equal and safe. It hurts knowing this has happened at YCCC so close to home. It's my club that I care passionately about it. I've spent a lot of time reflecting. There is no debate about racism, no one side or other. It is simply intolerable.

"These events have fractured our game and torn lives apart. We must now recover and come back together as fans, players, media, and those who work within cricket. We have an opportunity to make the sport I love better for everyone.

"I want to see change and actions that will see YCCC rise from this with a culture that harnesses a diverse environment with trust across all communities that support cricket in the county. We need to educate, unify and reset. I will reach out to YCCC new chair, Lord Patel, to offer support however I'm able.

"We have to find a way to move forward and make sure this never happens again. In my opinion, this is a societal issue and needs addressing further afield than just cricket.

"That being said, we, as a sport, all have to do more. How can we all help shape things moving forward positively? What can everyone from myself, the ECB, counties, players, officials and others in the sport do to improve the state of the game?

"I certainly don't have all the answers, but I think we need to educate more and earlier; we must call it out straight away and have our eyes and ears open more.

"Inclusivity, diversity and anti-discrimination is something over the past few years the England teams I have been involved in have spent a lot of time talking about and are very passionate about improving and making a big difference. It's a big part of our culture, and we want to celebrate our diversity.

"We are representing England, and in that, we are representing the multicultural society we live in. We want all the fans to be able to enjoy what we do on the field and feel proud about who's representing them."

Yorkshire this week suspended head coach Andrew Gale pending a disciplinary hearing into an historic tweet, while director of cricket Martyn Moxon has been signed off due to a stress-related illness.

Gary Ballance, Yorkshire's former England batsman, admitted using a racial slur towards his former team-mate Rafiq.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan then revealed he was named in the report but "totally denies any allegation of racism".

Yorkshire have suspended head coach Andrew Gale pending a disciplinary hearing into an historic tweet, while director of cricket Martyn Moxon has been signed off due to a stress-related illness.

Gale, who in 2014 led Yorkshire to County Championship success as captain, is reported to have used an anti-Semitic slur in a Twitter conversation.

Jewish News, who brought the comment to light, published a response from Gale in which he insisted he deleted the post as soon as he was informed of its offensive nature, with the 37-year-old concluding the publication had been sent a screenshot that "that someone took at the time and waited 11 years to release".

Yorkshire has told him to stay away from the team pending an investigation.

"We can confirm that Andrew Gale, Yorkshire First XI Coach, is currently suspended pending a disciplinary hearing following an historic tweet," read a statement.

"The club will make a further statement once this process has been completed."

Additionally, Moxon has been given time off work due to a stress-related problem.

He is set to appear at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee hearing on November 16 following Yorkshire's handling of Azeem Rafiq's allegations of institutional racism during his time at the club.

An independent report into Rafiq's complaints upheld that the spinner had been a victim of "racial harassment and bullying".

The county side were punished, with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) suspending Yorkshire from hosting international and major matches indefinitely, while sponsors such as Emerald and Nike have withdrawn from agreements.

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