Kane Williamson Hopes For ‘Healing’ In Yorkshire Racism Row

Cricket

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson hopes there shall be “therapeutic” at his former group Yorkshire on the eve of a 3rd Check in opposition to England that was virtually moved from the county’s Headingley headquarters due to a racism row. Pakistan-born former off-spinner Azeem Rafiq first raised allegations of racism and bullying in September 2020, associated to his two spells at Yorkshire. Rafiq gave proof to a parliamentary committee final 12 months, sparking mounting strain on Yorkshire over their earlier failure to take any disciplinary motion.

That finally led to a mass clear-out of senior boardroom figures and training workers.

The England and Wales Cricket Board additionally threatened to withdraw profitable internationals from Headingley until modifications had been made.

Reforms promoted by new chairman Kamlesh Patel staved off what might have been a monetary catastrophe for Yorkshire.

However the challenge is much from concluded, with ECB disciplinary prices laid in opposition to the membership and “a variety of people”, whom officers have but to call.

Final month, former Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale gained a declare for unfair dismissal, leaving the membership going through the prospect of paying compensation.

Williamson, who performed for Yorkshire as an abroad signing from 2014 to 2018, was non-committal when requested if he had witnessed particular incidents of racist abuse throughout his time on the membership.

However the batsman mentioned he hoped some good would emerge from Rafiq’s testimony.

“It has been extremely unhappy to see what’s unfolded,” mentioned Williamson. “I can solely hope that one thing constructive comes out of it and the attention that it is created to maneuver ahead in a constructive method.

“There isn’t a house for racism or discrimination in sport or society. I used to be right here for a number of temporary stints and loved my time at Yorkshire.

“There have been some points that had been made conscious extra not too long ago and you’ll solely hope that there’s therapeutic.

“There’s been an enormous quantity of consciousness all through the entire world, efforts to proceed that consciousness and make it a extra inclusive place, whether or not in sport or different work locations.”

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Requested concerning the racism challenge, England captain Ben Stokes mentioned his facet understood that they had “a accountability on the sector, in addition to off the sector”.

Stokes’ males will intention to brush the three-Check sequence, having gained each earlier matches by 5 wickets, when the conflict begins in Leeds on Thursday.

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