Roger Hutton has resigned from his position as chairman of Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
In his statement, Hutton apologised to the club’s former player Azeem Rafiq and criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for declining to help with the situation.
Hutton had received mounting pressure to quit his role and has called on his fellow Yorkshire Cricket Board members to follow his lead in resigning.
An investigation found that Rafiq was a victim of “racial harassment and bullying”, resulting in Yorkshire’s suspension from hosting England matches by the ECB on Thursday.
The investigation into Rafiq’s allegations of racism has gone on for over a year since he made the claims in an initial interview back in September 2020 and two of the 30-year-old’s former teammates - ex-England captain Michael Vaughan and Gary Ballance - were both named in Yorkshire’s report, with Vaughan denying the allegations made against him.
Ballance has since said he “regrets” using racist language towards Rafiq when they both played for Yorkshire.
Azeem Rafiq racism row timeline
Here’s a look at what has happened so far ahead of a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport hearing scheduled for 16 November 2021.
2 September 2020
Following an interview with Wisden, ESPN Cricinfo published an article in which Rafiq claimed “institutional racism” at Yorkshire County Cricket Club left him “on the brink of suicide”.
3 September 2020
Yorkshire launch a formal investigation into Rafiq’s allegations and Roger Hutton says the club would be carrying out a wider review of their “policies and culture”.
5 September 2020
Yorkshire ask an independent law firm to investigate the racism allegations made against the club.
13 November 2020
Rafiq makes his first statement to the inquiry and says he hopes to bring about “meaningful change”.
15th December 2020
Rafiq files a legal claim against Yorkshire “claiming direct discrimination and harassment on the grounds of race, as well as victimisation and detriment as a result of trying to address racism at the club”.
2 February 2021
Yorkshire threaten anyone found to have made threats against Rafiq or his family and legal team with a lifetime ban, after ESPN Cricinfo reveal messages sent to Rafiq’s legal firm.
17 June 2021
An employment tribunal case between Rafiq and Yorkshire fails to find a resolution.
16 August 2021
Yorkshire receive the findings of an independent investigation into the racism allegations and are asked for a copy by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) two days later.
19 August 2021
Yorkshire admit Rafiq was “the victim of inappropriate behaviour” and offer him their “profound apologies”. Rafiq responds by accusing the club of downplaying racism by labelling him “the victim of inappropriate behaviour”. Yorkshire are yet to release the findings of the report.
8 September 2021
MPs tell Yorkshire to publish the findings immediately.
10 September 2021
Yorkshire release the findings of the report which says Rafiq was the "victim of racial harassment and bullying" and seven of the 43 allegations made by the player were upheld by an independent panel.
According to Hutton, the report said there was "insufficient evidence to conclude that Yorkshire County Cricket Club is institutionally racist".
8 October 2021
Yorkshire miss the deadline to send the full report to Rafiq and his legal team.
13 October 2021
Rafiq then receives a heavily redacted version, while the ECB claim they are still awaiting the full report.
28 October 2021
Yorkshire says it carried out its own internal investigation after the findings in the report and concluded that "there is no conduct or action taken by any of its employees, players or executives that warrants disciplinary action".
2 November 2021
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee calls on Hutton to answer questions about Yorkshire's handling of the report.
MP Knight, chair of the DCMS select committee, calls on the Yorkshire CCC board to resign after a leaked report emerges containing details of the investigation.
A story published by ESPN says the report had concluded that a racially offensive term used towards Rafiq was regarded as "banter".
The ECB announces it will conduct a "full" investigation into the situation.
3 November 2021
The date of the DCMS hearing is scheduled for the 16 November where Rafiq will give evidence in person, alongside senior Yorkshire officials.
Several sponsors end their partnerships with Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Current Yorkshire batter Gary Ballance releases a lengthy statement expressing regret for using a racial slur against Rafiq.
4 November 2021
The ECB board suspends Yorkshire from hosting international matches.
Kit supplier Nike ends four-year deal with Yorkshire, announced only eight months ago.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan “totally denies any allegation of racism”.
5 November 2021
Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton resigns over the club’s response and apologises to Rafiq.
Ex-Pakistan bowler and Yorkshire cricketer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan stated he had heard the comment Michael Vaughan has denied making.
8 November 2021
New Yorkshire chairman, Lord Patel announced the club had settled an employment tribunal with Rafiq.
Former Yorkshire academy player Irfan Amjad stated he had been racially abused by a member of staff when he was just 16-years-old. The member of staff is said to have made comments relating to Amjad’s Pakistani heritage.
9 November 2021
Sport and culture Minister Chris Philp said in the House of Commons that it was ‘unacceptable’ no one had faced disciplinary action over the Rafiq report. He then added the UK government would ‘step in’ if Yorkshire and the ECB did not take ‘real action’.
12 November 2021
Yorkshire announced that their independent whistleblowing hotline for victims of discrimination would open on 15 November. YCCC also appointed Mohinderpal Sethi QC to lead the independent investigation.
15 November 2021
England spin-bowler Adil Rashid corroborates Rafiq’s claims relating Michael Vaughan’s comment. Vaughan is alleged to be named in the report as the cricketer who said to four players “there’s too many of you lot. We need to do something about that.” In a statement made to The Cricketer, Rashid now becomes the third player to have heard the comments Vaughan denies saying.
16 November 2021
MPs hear evidence from Azeem Rafiq as well as asking Roger Hutton and other former members of Yorkshire County Cricket Club questions in a select committee hearing chaired by the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
18 November 2021
Azeem Rafiq has apologised for anti-semitic messages which he sent to a teammate in 2011. The cricketer issued an apology on Twitter admitting to sending the messages to his colleague 10 years ago.
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