I see that Yorkshire are starting to lose sponsors after the recent racism issues. I don’t think they’ve handled this at all well and I’m extremely disappointed to see what’s happened.
Did I see in twitter that Yorkshire Tea is one of the companies? I feel sorry for Dormo - a keen supporter of both the company and the club.
Up the Boro!
Hot news is that Yorkshire CCC have been suspended from hosting England matches as the England and Wales Cricket Board delivered a devastating rebuke over the club’s response to racism experienced by former player Azeem Rafiq. An investigation found that Rafiq was a victim of racial harassment and bullying, yet the club stated that it would take no disciplinary action. Initially the ban will cover Test matches against New Zealand and the Ashes series against Australia, plus a one day international against South Africa.
Furthermore the ban will be extended until the club can meet the standards expected. The report added that it is clear that Yorkshire’s handling of the issue is totally unacceptable and is causing serious damage to the reputation of the game. It went on to state that given recent events it is clear there are serious questions regarding the governance and management of Yorkshire CCC, and that the club’s failing in relation to actions and responses to their own report represents a significant breach of it’s obligations to the game.
As yet there has been no suggestion of points deductions or relegation, but it wouldn’t surprise me if further punishments are forthcoming. Already the sanctions will have a devastating effect on the club’s finances, but in my opinion the sanctions are correct especially as the fight against racism has become a major topic especially in sport. There has always been a trait of bloody mindedness amongst some Yorkshire folk and being Yorkshire born myself I sometimes am ashamed of my fellow tykes. Well this time the punishment fits the crime, and I expect a vote of no confidence to be accorded to the Cricket County’s Board.
A very sad day indeed for all cricket loving Yorkshiremen and women.
Ken, if you read about the content and conclusions of the enquiry set up by Yorkshire CCC to look into the allegations you will find that the issue is nowhere near as clear cut as the press would have you believe.
The fact that five major sponsors including Tetley and Emerald have withdrawn their support must be a concern. Also the fact that Yorkshire CCC have not been transparent with their findings also suggests to me and many members that the level of racism goes beyond banter. Given that what was acceptable behaviour maybe 10 or 20 years ago is not acceptable today, Yorkshire CCC have mishandled the current crisis badly and I expect that heads will roll following today’s meeting. A solution must be found that no individual player feels threatened to contemplate suicide as Rafiq has.
The Yorkshire Post has always been the bastion of Yorkshire CCC, Chris Waters particularly. But even he forewarned that this crisis was worse than the Geoff Boycott situation in the last century and needs to be addressed quickly before sanctions were imposed.
I will need time to take on board what has been going on, and therefore will not make any detailed comment, at least at this stage. But at the very minumum, when assessing complaints made to it about alleged beahviours or breaches, the people running a cricket club, or Members of Parliament and people in other organisations, need to ask themselves;
(1) What is the right thing to do?
(2) What do WE intend to do about the information before us?
(3) How will that information before us, and our actions in response, look to the world at large - people not in our Cricket Club Bubble (or the Westminster Bubble, or whatever ) - and how will our action or inaction look to those outsiders?
(4) And, again because this is the most important consideration, what is the RIGHT thing to do?
After going through that process, the course of action should be explained. Sometimes it is the "putting the rationale into writing", or the prospect of having to do so, that concentrates the mind - "in light of A, B & C, is doing X,Y & Z justified?". Rather like writing a Judgment.
I agree with you. However actions have already been made by sponsors and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and whether rightly or wrongly those decisions appear irreversible to me. It now becomes a damage limitation exercise in my opinion.
Jonathan Agnew said on R4 this evening that until the report is issued it’s hard to see whether progress has been made and I think he’s right. It’s certainly a mess.
Just for information only I decided to list the 12 Asian players who have played for Yorkshire CCC. Most of them only played for one year or two but those marked * were players who played for several seasons. I’ve listed the players in chronological order, and their place of birth:-
1992 Sachin Tendulkar born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India.
2003 Yuvraj Singh born in Chandigarh, India
2006/21 Adel Rashid born in Bradford *
2007 Inzamam-ul-Haq born in West Pakistan
2007 Younis Khan born in Mardan, Pakistan
2008/09 Naved-ul-Hasan born in Punjab, Pakistan
2008/14 & 2016/18 Azeem Rafiq born in Karachi, Pakistan *
2010/15 Moin Ashraf born in Bradford *
2015 Cheteshwar Pujara born in Rajkut, India
2017 Sarfraz Ahmed born in Karachi, Pakistan
2018 Jeet Raval born in Ahmedabad, India
2019 Ajaz Patel born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India
What it does show though is the untapped source of Asian talent born in Yorkshire, only two of that group born in Yorkshire. I wonder if Michael Vaughan’s remarks to a group of Muslims including Azeem Rafiq and Naved-ul-Hasan and since denied by him quote
“Too many of you lot, we need do something about it” is the root cause of that.
Perhaps Yorkshire CCC can now make a new start with the appointment of Lord Kamlesh Patel as chairman. He was born in Kenya but brought up in Bradford from the age of one and is anxious to speak to all the current players to get to know their thoughts and set guidelines for the future. He has already spent a 6 hour conversation with former player Azeem Rafiq although their conversation will remain confidential, but he also wants to recruit young muslim and white cricketers to make Yorkshire the hotbed of English cricket again.
Things are moving at Yorkshire CCC since the appointment of Lord Kamlesh Patel as chairman. According to the Yorkshire Post chief coach Andrew Gale has now been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing for an historical anti-Semitic tweet reported by the Jewish News, whilst Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon as of yesterday is on sickness leave due to stress.
What an amazing T20 World Cup Semifinal on Sky after England had scored a competitive total of 166 for 4 and had New Zealand 13 for 2 into the 3rd over, 97 for 3 after 14 overs with the game seemingly won until amazing hitting from Daryl Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham saw the Kiwis home with an over to spare.
Sad that England lost but well done to New Zealand after losing the last World Cup on that golden over 2 years ago at Lords. One interesting spectator in Abu Dhabi was Steve Bruce. A truly exciting afternoon, I ❤️ T20 cricket me. Let’s hope Boro matches will be as exciting to watch under Chris Wilder.
Mark Arthur Chief Executive of Yorkshire CCC has now resigned over the handling of the Azeem Rafiq racism attacks.
Just like yesterday’s World Cup T20 Semifinal the match has been decided by the side batting second with exactly one over remaining as evening dew makes it more difficult for bowlers to grip the ball. This time Pakistan have become the victims with Australian 6th wicket stand producing a plethora of boundaries from Marcus Stoinis and especially captain Matthew Wade with 41 runs in 17 balls.
So to Sunday’s final an antipodean affair. I’m hoping for a Kiwi win as their side deserve it more if only for their fair-minded approach to cricket particularly. Also New Zealand is one of the few countries that I regret never having visited.
I expect some more revelations tomorrow as Lord Patel opens a whistleblowing hotline for former Yorkshire CCC players who have been affected by racial abuse.
Today’s the final of the World T20 Cup Final in Dubai between Australia and New Zealand. There is some connection for Yorkshire fans as the Kiwi’s captain Kane Williamson spent some time with Yorkshire a few years ago. As well he is a true sporting hero and his acceptance when losing to England in the World One Day International Final in that One-over knockout two years ago was humbling. The winning of the toss is often vital in deciding the results of matches in the United Emirates and I nail my colours to the mast in hoping and expecting Kane to be holding the trophy aloft this evening.
Its a very good start from Australia at this stage, Ken.
Should have just taken the second wicket there. Maybe that will be a turning point.
Excellent fightback from NZ.
Slight favourites now perhaps as the players retake the field.
@ Andy R
Congratulations to Australia! I suppose it’s some small consolation that Mitchell Starc in 2012 and Glenn Maxwell in 2015 played briefly for Yorkshire, but I would have preferred Kane Williamson to have held up the trophy, but amazing hitting from Williamson, Mitchell Marsh and David Warner.
I can’t see England winning the Ashes this winter with too much reliance on Joe Root in the batting department. The Aussies will be supercharged following their first T20 World Cup win. I realise one day cricket is completely different from Test cricket, some of the shots in the former would not be contemplated in Test matches. As ever England will be reliant on both Jimmy Anderson and Chris Broad, but Jimmy may find that age is catching up with him and usually raw pace is needed to beat Australia on their home turf. England have been whitewashed in their last two series in Australia and I fear a third successive whitewash this winter.
Have to agree with that, Ken. Bar Joe Root, the England Test team doesn’t have any reliability whilst the bowling lack lacks searing pace generally and those that do have it are injury prone.
Ben Stokes being back is a big plus though.
You don’t get too many Test series won by the tourists these days in any case but I think this could be a very tough series for England.
Today’s the day that the Parliamentary subcommittee listen to Azeem Rafiq and Michael Vaughan’s purported comments to a group of young Asians among other considerations as well. I don’t envy them as obviously someone is lying over what Vaughan said or didn’t say. Now Adel Rashid states that the “you lot” phrase was used along with Rafiq and at least three other Asians, whilst Vaughan states that six other people said that they didn’t hear those remarks. The question is were Vaughan’s remarks said in jest, but even if they were why does he deny saying them and withdrawing from his ‘on the road’ chat show with Phil Tufnell. Those words may be inappropriate and inadvisable to use today, but are they actually racial? “You lot” is commonly used today in all walks of life, but were they intended to be racial? Maybe they were meant as an encouragement for young white cricketers to come forward, but then why does Vaughan deny saying them anyway?
Hopefully this week’s announcement by Yorkshire CCC of former England fast bowler Darren Gough as Director of Cricket will be the renaissance of the club’s future following the Azeem Rafiq racial scandal. I can think of no more passionate a player than him to lead the county forward. On his return to Yorkshire as captain he gave Rafiq his debut and the two have respect for each other. He was a member of the England coaching staff that defeated New Zealand two years ago, has the backing of Joe Root, and stunned former colleagues by winning the 3rd edition of Strictly Come Dancing when partnering Lilia Kopylova in 2005. He has recruited former colleague Anthony McGrath as Head Coach who guided Essex to successive County Championship wins recently, and hopes to persuade Azmal Shazad, the Huddersfield born Asian to become assistant coach.
Meanwhile the Ashes series starts at midnight tomorrow in Brisbane and is seen as the key for the whole series, and possibly the one test that could end in a draw. Seamer Jimmy Anderson has been rested as the Gabba is noted to favour quick bowlers, and Ollie Pope and Dawid Malan make the 12 to the exclusion of Jonny Bairstow, who despite a good record at the Gabba is currently out of form. Fingers crossed for a surprise win!
I have to say that when I saw the news about Gough I commented to Mrs Powmill how astute a decision that was. Let us hope that has signalled the start of a bit a renaissance for YCCC and that we just might begin to tap into the full wealth of potential there exists in Yorkshire.
...but we might start with a team relegated to the 2nd Division by the EWCB, and in financial dire straits as a result (1) of the exit made by most of the commercial sponsors and (2) if the EWCB decides Test Cricket should not be played at Leeds for some indeteriminate period. There may also be a backlash from the members, unhappy at what has been taking place, when season-ticket time comes around. The Club's finances will have been built on the assumed income of millions from international cricket (Test and limited overs games), and YCCC have considerable debts to pay off in light of the redevelopment of Headingley and the almost-lack of spectators for the last 2 seasons following Covid. A perfect financial storm in a sport where Premier League style incomes are a pipedream and hand-to-mouth is nearer the mark.
And if there are several members of the playing staff who are concerned about THEIR futures with the club, then will YCCC have a competitive team next season if we have to rebuild a team? Remember Middlesbrough 1986? Maybe we'll have a Yorkshire CCC 2022? Or a team called York with games played at York and Scarbados, built out of young academy players buttressed by some imported players with experience.
I don't know whether YCCC is a limited company but, if so, it might go into liquidation. I don't know about the ownership of (the cricket side of) Headingley, but if it isn't vested in YCCC then the county might not be able to pay the rent. If it is YCCC, and the club has debts secured on the (cricket) stadium, then the club might still have real problems if it can't pay those debts. The stadium, whilst useful for corporate events in the new stand and useful for things like rock concerts, is only useful as a cricket ground for one team - YCCC. It's a bit like, when a previous set of financial issues hit Leeds Utd and people were suggesting the City Council should buy the ground and let it to the football club to use at a low rent. But then, if Leeds didn't do well and if they went bust, what could the council do? They could hardly invite Sheffield Wednesday to play there! Similarly neither would Essex CCC want to move up to play games at a knock-down-rent Headingley if YCCC went out of existence. The cricket field has only one purpose and one potential user.
Will Yorkshire Tea be sponsoring Lancashire CCC in the future?
Good Luck to Goughie, though. He'll need it. But he is the sort of enthusiastic "let's get it done" chap who might turn it all around. And if stories are to be believed, he will have to take a pay cut of approximately £150K per year from his TalkSport pay, so there can be no doubting his commitment and his desire to do the job. There can also be no doubting his cricket credentials in any "show us your medals" discussion. I HOPE he can do a successful job but I am concerned where this (in terms of Yorkshire cricket) will all end by the time the music stops.
All good points and well made (as always).
All the same, I do believe that the EWCB will need to be circumspect in dealing with YCCC.
The old saying about people living in glass houses not throwing stones jumps to mind.
Agreed. Essex also being investigated and maybe other counties in due course. They can't ALL be relegated and ALL have international fixtures removed or it will be Wiltshire v Northumberland and Norfolk v Cornwall in Division One next season, and maybe England playing Test Matches in Abu Dhabi. Not that there have EVER been any diversity issues in the Persian Gulf! Mind you, the Minor Counties could have a bumper year!
God forbid that the bastion all things cricket, the MCC, should have any issues unearthed. Major Bufton-Tufton saying inappropriate things in committe meetings....
Yorkshire CCC have made great strides in their fight against racism by the appointment of Pakistan’s pace bowler Haris Rauf as their overseas player for next season. He is the Lahore Qalandars new sensational white ball bowler kid on the block. Yorkshire are also searching for young Pakistani cricketers living in the broad acres, a far cry from former England captain’s views that the county should be concentrating on young white cricketers.
... a far cry from former England captain’s views that the county should be concentrating on young white cricketers.
You should be careful Ken.
I don't recall a certain former England captain expressing that view about YCC.
I can't recall the precise quote he is alleged to have made, but it was along the lines of there being "... too many of you lot over there..."
It is unwise for any of us to assign an interpretation of what that actually meant to the person saying it, let alone to know the wider context in which it was said. Leave that to the lawyers. This is dangerous territory to be expressing an opinion about in this blog.
Remember, it is Werder that is de facto the publisher here.