Yorkshire: Ex-academy player alleges latest racist incident, which clu…

Irfan Amjad was 16 when the alleged use of racist language was made towards him

A former Yorkshire academy player says he was racially abused by a member of staff as a 16-year-old, in the latest allegation of racism against the club.

Irfan Amjad, who was later released, claims a member of staff used a term referencing his Pakistani heritage to criticise his batting style.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club said in a statement: “It is basic that those who have experienced racism, discrimination and abuse are able to come forward to proportion their experiences.

“We were unaware of this allegation until now but will probe appropriately.”

Amjad’s decision to speak to the BBC follows Azeem Rafiq’s detailing of his experiences at Yorkshire, which he first discussed publicly in September 2020, and which left him close to taking his own life.

A report found former Yorkshire player Rafiq was a victim of “racial harassment and bullying” but the club said it would not discipline anyone.

Yorkshire’s handling of the issues raised by Rafiq was widely criticised – and on 1 November, ESPN reported that the racist term about Rafiq’s Pakistani heritage was regularly used towards him, but the investigation concluded it was “friendly and good-natured banter”.

On Friday, chairman Roger Hutton resigned and on Monday, Lord Patel took over, praising Rafiq’s “bravery” as a whistleblower.

Last week, Yorkshire launched another investigation after another – anonymous – former player alleged he was placed under repeated racist abuse at the club.

Recounting his alleged experiences, Amjad said: “On one event, we were playing a home game and I had played an attacking shot while batting, the ball went up in the air and I got caught out.

“I was making my way to the dressing room and as I got in, when I started taking my helmet and pads off, the individual came marching by the door and he looked me dead in the eyes.”

At this point, the individual used the racist term in reference to “a typical shot” played by those of Pakistani heritage.

Amjad additional: “And he just left. I was hindered, didn’t know what to do and was shocked. I had never been directly racially insulted like that to my confront. I didn’t know what to do.

“already before the incident I felt distant, it happened and then I felt secluded after that. Going forwards, I didn’t feel I could speak up or give my views on the game in team meetings.

“It crosses your mind [reporting it] but I was a 16-year-old boy and I didn’t know what to do. I kept it to myself.

“No-one else shared their experiences with me and I didn’t proportion mine either. If I did open up, those that did experience similar issues may have opened up too.”

It is the latest allegation of racism to come to light at Yorkshire following the detailing of Rafiq’s story.

Ex-Pakistan seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan was the second player to allege racism at Yorkshire, saying “methodic taunting” occurred at the club.

Last Friday, Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton was one of several board members to resign over the club’s response to racism experienced by Rafiq.

On Monday, new chair Lord Patel said Rafiq “should be praised” for his bravery and “should never have been put by” the Yorkshire’s racism scandal.

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