Azeem Rafiq at center of exposure allegations in new twist on Yorkshire CCC scandal

Azeem Rafiq at center of exposure allegations in new twist on Yorkshire CCC scandal

Mr Rafiq, the central figure in the English cricket race scandal, allegedly exposed himself to a chambermaid at the Yorkshire team hotel in Northampton in August 2012 and then to a female member of staff at the back Yorkshire hall in the Champions League competition in South Africa around three months later.

The claims appear in a High Court document filed on Monday in the case of Wayne Morton, the former English physiotherapist and head of sports science and medicine at Yorkshire, who is suing the club for breach of contract after being the one of the 14 sacked staff members. last December for signing a letter which questioned Mr Rafiq’s character and the so-called ‘one man mission to bring down the club’.

A spokesman for Mr Rafiq claimed the allegations were part of a “twisted campaign of lies”.

Former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq is at the center of new allegations (Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

The document also alleges that Lord Kamlesh Patel, the chairman of Yorkshire who carried out the redundancies and abruptly settled Mr Rafiq’s employment tribunal claim for £200,000, was made aware of the alleged incidents just days after his took office last November.

Mr Morton is seeking damages in excess of £500,000 on his own behalf and on behalf of seven also dismissed contractor employees, including Kunwar Bansil, the British Asian physiotherapist.

In Yorkshire’s defense against Mr Morton’s lawsuit, the former chief medical officer is actually accused – among other allegations which he also denies – of failing to report the alleged incident in South Africa at the time and that by his own admission he ‘covered up’ the ‘alleged abuse’ by a then unnamed former Yorkshire player.

But in Mr. Morton’s response to that defense, filed by his legal representatives on Monday, that player is named Mr. Rafiq in a document that contradicts the charge against Mr. Morton: “Mr. Morton, November 15, 2021, had a discussion with Lord Patel in which he revealed to Lord Patel that a massage therapist had reported to Mr Morton that Azeem Rafiq had exposed himself to her while on tour in South Africa in 2012, a tour on which Mr. Morton was not present.

Azeem Rafiq during his time as a Yorkshire player. (Photo: Richard Sellers/Getty Images)

“Mr Morton explained to Lord Patel that as the massage therapist disclosed the incident to Mr Morton, Mr Morton reported the matter to Colin Graves, who was then the defendant’s acting managing director.

“Colin Graves asked Mr. Morton to investigate and produce a written report into the incident, which Colin Graves said he would review with counsel. Mr. Morton did as requested and spoke to the both to the massage therapist and to Azeem Rafiq, and produced a written report which he provided to Colin Graves.

“Mr Morton, who was unaware of any actions the defendant took against Azeem Rafiq after the submission of the written report, told Lord Patel he thought it would have been better had some action taken taken against Azeem Rafiq after the report had been submitted, to the knowledge of Mr Morton, from what he had heard from playing and coaching staff under contract to the accused, Azeem Rafiq had exposed on a previous occasion, about three months before the incident in South Africa, to a hotel maid in Northampton.

“These incidents were among the incidents discussed in the October 14 letter when it referred to, among other things, ‘endless episodes of bad behavior by Azeem, well known to the club’.”

According to Mr Graves, Yorkshire dealt with the two indecent exposure allegations internally at the time.

“If I remember correctly, he was given a verbal warning and the matter was dealt with through the Cricket Department’s management structure,” Mr Graves told the Yorkshire Post.

In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for Mr Rafiq said: “People who are desperate for the sport to retain its toxic culture have been spreading many variations of these false allegations since Azeem spoke to the select committee. last year. Each time they were found to be incorrect and tampered with, the details always changed.

“This twisted campaign of lies has never stopped and it has seriously compromised the safety of Azeem and his family, which is why he left the country. This level of lies and revenge only proves that the sport is not ready to change and why whistleblowers need adequate protection.

Contacted by the Yorkshire Post, Mr Morton simply said: “My case is not against Azeem Rafiq. My case is against Kamlesh Patel and Yorkshire CCC. I was asked to answer a few questions and gave a truthful, attested and contemporary statement.

The allegations are the latest against Mr Rafiq, who the Yorkshire Post reported last November sent ‘chilling messages’ to a teenage girl in 2015.

Gayathri Ajith, then 16, said she was “shocked by the crudeness” of the posts and said Mr Rafiq was “contributing to the problem of vulgar attitudes towards women”.

The story followed the emergence of anti-Semitic posts in 2011, for which Mr Rafiq was forced to apologize, although the 31-year-old denied a recent Daily Mail article which accused him of continuing the anti-Semitism, as well as homophobic remarks. and “shaming” children.

Mr Rafiq is the key witness in the England and Wales Cricket Board’s ongoing case against Yorkshire and several people, including former England captain Michael Vaughan, with hearings scheduled for later this month.

The process is in disarray after Mr Rafiq threatened to step down unless hearings were held in public, a request the Cricket Disciplinary Committee has granted, and which makes most of the defendants likely to stand down. will instead withdraw pending Wednesday’s deadline to appeal the decision. .

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