Root pledges to support fight against racism which has ‘torn lives apart’

The England captain Joe Root has pledged to support new Yorkshire chairman Lord Patel “however I’m able” as he described all forms of racism as “intolerable”.

Lord Patel took over at Yorkshire County Cricket Club at the beginning of this week amid the fallout from the much-maligned handling of the county’s investigation into allegations of institutional racism by their former player, Azeem Rafiq.

As captain of the national side and a senior Yorkshire player, including during Rafiq’s time at the county, Root said he felt “compelled to address the current situation that has consumed the sport and YCCC”.

In a statement made from the Gold Coast, where Root is quarantining with England’s advance Ashes party, he added: “It hurts knowing this has happened at YCCC so close to home. It’s my club that I care passionately about it. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting. There is no debate about racism, no one side or other. It is simply intolerable.

“These events have fractured our game and torn lives apart. We must now recover and come back together as fans, players, media, and those who work within cricket. We have an opportunity to make the sport I love better for everyone.

“I want to see change and actions that will see YCCC rise from this with a culture that harnesses a diverse environment with trust across all communities that support cricket in the county.

“We need to educate, unify and reset. I will reach out to YCCC new Chair, Lord Patel, to offer support however I’m able. We have to find a way to move forward and make sure this never happens again. In my opinion, this is a societal issue and needs addressing further afield than just cricket. That being said, we, as a sport, all have to do more.”

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