In reaction to the Azeem Rafiq affair, English cricket’s chief administrator presented an anti-racism action plan on Friday, conceding that the sport had been rocked by a “earthquake” in recent weeks.
An examination of dressing-room culture, initiatives to assist non-white and less-privileged players in pursuing careers in cricket, and a commitment to increasing diversity on county boards are among the 12 measures announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Rafiq, a Pakistan-born former cricketer, delivered horrific evidence to MPs last week, in which he said that racial abuse he suffered while playing for prominent English county Yorkshire brought his career to an end.
In a press conference, ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said, “The previous few weeks have been really difficult for cricket.” “It’s as though an earthquake has struck the area.”
According to Azeem’s evidence, the most damaging aspect of the game was the fact that he did not want his kid to be involved. “That is the hardest thing you can hear for someone in my position,” says the speaker.
A governance assessment of the European Cricket Board (ECB) is also included in the action plan, which will look at whether the organisation can serve as both a promoter and a regulator of the sport.
When asked why anybody should think the European Central Bank (ECB) will take actual action today, considering earlier claims of inactivity, Harrison said that change would occur.
“I understand we’re in trouble for saying words, words, words, blah, blah, blah, no action, and that kind of stuff,” he said.
“What we’re attempting to convey here is that this is a results-driven approach. However, it is not everything… In my opinion, cricket has never gotten this aspect of the game properly.”
Harrison, who has been publicly criticised for the European Central Bank’s reaction to Rafiq’s allegations, has said that he has no intention of retiring.
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