Yorkshire: Former chairman Roger Hutton will not attend racism hearings

Yorkshire have been in the spotlight since Azeem Rafiq’s racism allegations at the club were revealed in September 2020.

Former Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton says he will not take part in disciplinary proceedings over allegations of racism in the county.

He said the process is “unfair” and he has “no confidence” in the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The ECB’s Disciplinary Committee said the hearings will be held in public from November 28.

Yorkshire and seven people have been charged following allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq.

Rafiq first detailed the allegations in September 2020, saying that racism at the club had taken its toll.

The Cricket Disciplinary Committee normally operates in private, but the ECB announced this earlier this month the proceedings will be held in public – even if the parties involved have the right to appeal against this decision.

In a letter to Yorkshire seen by the BBC, Hutton said he was “happy to provide all relevant information to the club”.

However, he added: “After careful consideration I will not be taking part in the Yorkshire statement or any other aspect of the panel.

“I simply have no confidence in the ECB, its government or its agenda and especially those who escape all scrutiny.

“His conduct does not fall within the scope of the investigation; this highlights the ECJ’s lackluster and unfair and biased inquiry and only serves to reinforce cricket’s reluctance to take racism seriously in the game.”

The ECB has been approached for comments.

Following Rafiq’s allegations, Yorkshire launched a “formal investigation” and, a year later, an independent panel upheld seven of Rafiq’s 43 allegations.

However, the panel’s report was not published and no players, staff or executives faced disciplinary action as a result of its findings.

Hutton resigned Yorkshire in November 2021 for its handling of the scandal and apologized to Rafiq “unreservedly”.

In his letter to Yorkshire, Hutton added: “Since I resigned last year, I have not had to be involved with the club.

“It remains my strong opinion that Yorkshire lacked the ability or will to tackle racism and that the ECJ, despite the Commons Committee calling ‘cricket cleaning up its act’, is unwilling to tackle racism in the game.

“I strongly believe that cricket is a long-standing real action and not more ECB deliberations.

“As I made clear 12 months ago, I look forward to a time when Yorkshire will be a great club again and to challenge the fundamental issue of racism where such significant change is taking place today.”

Hutton also criticized the ECB last year when he gave evidence to a parliamentary committee, saying they could have done more to help the county investigate Rafiq’s allegations.

Hutton said the ECB’s statement that it had “repeatedly offered support” through the investigation “couldn’t be further from the truth”.

The ECB said it had to act independently of any investigation into the club because of its role as the game’s regulator.

“The reason our government is structured this way is perfectly demonstrated by the way these issues have played out in Yorkshire,” he said.

Yorkshire were charged in June this year, along with former Scotland international Michael Vaughan, Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan, Gary Ballance, John Blain and former Yorkshire coaches Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah.

After the ECB opened a disciplinary case against them, Hutton called the government group’s investigation “a big disappointment”.

Since Rafiq’s allegations became public, 16 staff have left Yorkshire as part of a wide-ranging review of its senior management. Gale has already said that he will not be involved with the process. in September he and Pyrah agreed on compensation After their “unfair” dismissals with Yorkshire.

In June the ECB said it had joined “deep and complex” research. establishing the reasons for the charges against the municipality and the people involved.

It said the allegations arose out of an alleged breach of a directive “regarding conduct which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any cricketer into disrepute” and anti-discrimination behaviour. the code