Yorkshire has revealed that prior administrations erased records related to claims of racism against the county cricket club. Next week’s hearing before the Cricket Discipline Commission will begin in London, but no Yorkshire representatives will be there because the club has admitted to four amended charges brought by the England and Wales Cricket Board regarding how it handled allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq. Now that it has been established that one of the accusations involves the deletion or destruction of both paper and electronic records, the county would not identify the person(s) responsible even though this occurred before to the tenure of current chairman Kamlesh Patel.
A club statement indicated that after November 5, 2021, it was found that emails and documents, both maintained electronically and in hard copy by the club, had been “irretrievably wiped from both servers and computers” and otherwise destroyed.
“After a careful independent examination, it was determined that records were deleted and destroyed that related to claims of racism and the club’s response to those claims, and that the deletion and destruction occurred before Lord Patel was appointed.
“The club is not willing to speculate publicly as to why this happened, who was responsible for it, or the reason behind it,” it says.
The first day of the disciplinary hearing for next week is Wednesday, but only former England captain Michael Vaughan is still scheduled to appear.
Tim Bresnan, Richard Pyrah, Andrew Gale, Matthew Hoggard, and John Blain have all declined to participate in the process.
Even though those five are not present, the Cricket Discipline Commission panel will nonetheless hear the charges against them.
Gary Ballance, who is also charged, has already acknowledged using racially offensive comments and won’t show up.
Rafiq, a 31-year-old man of Pakistani descent, made his first claims of racism and abuse in September 2020 in relation to his two stints at Yorkshire.
In December 2022, he testified before a British parliamentary committee that the persecution he and his family had endured had compelled him to flee the country.