- Yorkshire to host international matches
- Pakistani-born cricketer accused of racism
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has eliminated the international match venue of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. The ECB said in a statement issued Thursday that the club took lightly the accusations of racism made by its former player Azim Rafiq. Additionally, the board has indefinitely banned Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance from playing cricket for England.
Gary Ballance admitted Wednesday that he had made racist comments about his former partner Azim Rafiq. It’s worth noting that Pakistani-born player and former England U19 captain Azim Rafiq had alleged last year that he was made to feel like an outsider in Yorkshire. For all these things, he began to think about giving his life.
Following the meeting held on Thursday, the ECB issued a statement giving information on the entire development. “The Board of the ECB today (4 November) discussed developments related to the Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC),” the statement said. The Board clearly recognizes that Yorkshire’s approach in addressing the issues raised by Azim Rafiq is completely unacceptable. This is causing serious damage to the reputation of the game.
The statement further stated: “The ECB considers this matter to be reprehensible and goes against the values of cricket. There is no place for castes or any discrimination in cricket. Wherever you are, quick action must be taken. For sport to truly demonstrate its commitment to being a sport for all, this issue must be addressed firmly.
The ECB said the board will hold Yorkshire County accountable for handling the matter. Looking at recent events, it is clear that serious doubts have been raised regarding the governance and management of the YCCC. Yorkshire is meanwhile suspended from hosting major or international matches until then.
The ECB said: “Before any regulatory investigation is completed, the Board wishes to take immediate action with respect to Gary Balance.” Balance has not been selected for England’s senior team since 2017. He will now be suspended from the national team indefinitely. The review will be carried out once the regulatory investigation on the balance is completed.
Removing the international match venue from Yorkshire means that no international matches will be played at Headingley Ground in Leeds for the time being. The match between England and New Zealand was proposed in Leeds in June next year. Following this, ODI matches would be played here against South Africa in July. But now, after the ban, the accommodation will be handed over to second place.