YORKSHIRE CCC have apologised to Azeem Rafiq ‘for inappropriate behaviour’ after investigating his allegations of racism but the Barnsley man says their statement is a ‘kick in the teeth’ and has vowed to ‘keep fighting.’

The club apologised for the investigation they launched last September taking nearly a year and said it would ‘publish as much of the report and recommendations as we are able, subject to any legal restraints on doing so, in the coming weeks.’ Rafiq, who played more than 100 times for the club, told the Chronicle: “It leaves a real sour taste and is a kick in the teeth. In the eyes of the panel and the law firm behind the investigation, calling someone a ‘smelly P**i’ is inappropriate behaviour. If they think that is not racist, that’s the problem right there. The report needs to be published but it’s a sham.

“I know they have ignored some of my former team-mates and some fans of the club who wanted to give evidence.

“I am convinced there will be someone under the Yorkshire Cricket umbrella right now struggling with the same things who has had no duty of care.

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“I’m exhausted but I’ll keep fighting. I want the ECB and PCA (Professional Cricketers Association) to have the stomach to find the truth and, if not, I will just name names and proof.

“There are people in positions of power at Yorkshire who need to go.”

Part of the club’s statement read: “Many of the allegations were not upheld and for others there was insufficient evidence for the panel to make a determination. It is right, however, to acknowledge from the outset that several of the allegations made by Azeem were upheld and that sadly, historically, Azeem was the victim of inappropriate behaviour. This is clearly unacceptable. We would like to express our profound apologies for this.”

Rafiq said: “They say there is a lot of historic stuff but the majority happened in my second spell and involved people who are still at the club.”

Chairman Roger Hutton said: “I would like to acknowledge Azeem’s courage in raising these issues, and his participation in the investigation, which I understand must have been very difficult. I would also like to express my sincere apology to him for certain failings by the club, which have been highlighted by the panel. He has very obviously experienced some difficult and distressing times during the time since 2008 and the club could, and should, have supported him better.”

Rafiq also highlighted the lack of severe punishment for Barnsley Woolley Miners chairman Phil Chapman who made comments online about Darfield’s West Indian player Kastun Stoute. Chapman wrote on Facebook under a picture of Stoute: 'he sold me some sunglasses with flashing lights in Tenerife!!'
Rafiq said: "The fact that he is still chairman of the club says a lot. There is a lack of leadership from the top which allows it to happen in the recreational game. It’s a disease which needs to be ripped out of the game.”