Former Yorkshire bowler Azeem Rafiq says new allegations of anti-Semitism, homophobia and fat-shaming are part of a “co-ordinated campaign of lies” to discredit him.
The 31-year-old was found to have been the victim of racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire by an investigation commissioned by the club.
A number of individuals have been charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board over racism allegations made by Rafiq, while Yorkshire have been charged over their handling of those allegations. The matter is now in the hands of the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC).
The Daily Mail has reported new allegations against Rafiq, who it emerged this week had been reprimanded by the CDC over anti-Semitic social media post from 2011.
The Mail reported claims that Rafiq repeatedly referred to a former county second XI team-mate as a Jew, made a homophobic comment towards an opposition player in 2009 and had forced overweight children to play without shirts on during a training session in 2015, and then referred to them as “fat b*******”.
Rafiq said: “These allegations are categorically untrue. I knew as a whistleblower I would come under attack.
“What I did not expect was a never-ending, co-ordinated campaign of lies, which has caused serious risk to me and my family’s safety.
“I have been vindicated over and over again, and will not be intimidated by those who seek to silence me.”
Rafiq has told The Cricketer he intends to move abroad because he fears for his family’s safety.
Rafiq has repeatedly called for CDC hearings examining the racism allegations he made and Yorkshire’s handling of them to be held in public, and there is understood to be growing confidence that at least the latter part of the process will be public.
Yorkshire are understood to favour a public hearing, and the ECB has taken a neutral stance on the matter.
Rafiq gave powerful testimony to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport parliamentary committee last November about his experience of abuse and bullying at Yorkshire, and he is set to appear before the same committee later this year.
December 13 has been pencilled in for him to appear alongside Yorkshire chair Lord Patel.
Published: by Radio NewsHub Source : Radio News Hub