Yorkshire cricket whistleblowing hotline contacted by 36 people

A whistleblowing hotline launched by Yorkshire to allow people to safely report discrimination has been contacted by 36 individuals in its first week, the club announced on Monday.

The service was initiated by club’s new chair, Lord Kamlesh Patel, as part of his response to Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire and reports will feed into the investigation into unlawful discrimination at Headingley being overseen by Mohinderpal Sethi QC of Littleton Chambers in London. As part of their commitment to transparency Yorkshire will regularly publish the number of people who have contacted the hotline.

“It is essential that those who have experienced or witnessed racism, discrimination and abuse are able to come forward to share their experiences. I thank all of those who have contacted the hotline,” Lord Patel said.

“Lasting and authentic change, particularly in the face of a complex and systemic issue, takes consideration and time and cannot happen without the voices of those who have suffered. Only through committing to listen, and to believe, those who have bravely shared their experiences – and those still to do so – can we truly understand the scale of the issue.”

Meanwhile, Alex Hales, who was accused by Rafiq of using a derogatory in-joke as the name of his black dog – an allegation he has denied – and who apologised last week after pictures of him wearing black body paint while attending a 2009 fancy dress party as Tupac Shakur, has kept his contract to play for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League after talks with the franchise.

The 32-year-old has not played for England since testing positive for a recreational drug in 2019 but remains an outstanding white-ball cricketer and was the highest run-scorer in last year’s BBL.

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“There is no place in cricket – or society – for racism or discrimination,” said Lee Germon, the chief executive of Cricket New South Wales. “One of the hallmarks of Thunder Nation’s success is the team embraces diversity and is a club for all. If we really believe that we also must accept people who have made mistakes.

“I’ve spoken to Alex, I’ve watched his apology, and have no doubt he is remorseful for the photograph and the other errors of judgment he made as a young man. Alex appreciates that going by today’s standards people will question his judgment and actions and he’s offered them a sincere apology.”

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