Rafiq says Asian players were told to sit by toilets in Yorkshire dressing room

Azeem Rafiq has told MPs that Asian players at Yorkshire were told to "sit over there near the toilets" whilst giving evidence on allegations of racism at the club.

Speaking at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing, an emotional Rafiq also spoke of having to turn to medication as he battled with his mental health.

All-rounder Rafiq had two stints at the county between 2008 and 2014, and 2016 and 2018, having made his senior debut at the age of just 17.

His evidence of institutionalised racism at the club during his time there have rocked English cricket, and led to the resignations of club chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur.

Coach Andrew Gale is currently suspended pending an investigation into an anti-semitic tweet he wrote in 2011, and director of cricket Martyn Moxon, has been signed off with a stress-related illness.

Former captain Michael Vaughan has also been stood down from his BBC 5 Live radio show over claims he made a racist remark to four Asian players ahead of a game in 2009 – although he has strenuously denied the allegation.

Another former captain, Gary Ballance, is currently suspended after admitting frequently using racial terms.

Furthermore, a number of key sponsors have cut ties with the club, and the ECB has announced that Headingley will not be used as a venue for England Test matches next year.

And now Rafiq, 30, has told the hearing of further discriminatory behaviour he says he experienced.

“From early on there was a lot of ‘You lot sit over there near the toilets’, the word P**i was used constantly, no one ever stamped it out. All I wanted to do was play cricket," he said.

“Towards the end of my first spell, but constantly throughout, I knew there was something wrong. I started taking medication for my mental health. It was really tough.”

Rafiq, who at one point during the hearing had to take a short break after being reduced to tears, also described how Yorkshire offered him a sum of money not to publicly reveal any allegations.

"When I left I had four or five months left on my contract," he said.

"I was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and take a sum of money. It would have been a lot of money for me and my wife who were struggling at the time.

"I left the country to go to Pakistan and didn't want to come back."

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