Azeem Rafiq says 'floodgates' will open after racism allegations
"We need to listen to them, hear them, support them and work out a plan to make sure this doesn't happen again."
Azeem Rafiq has insisted that the ongoing racism scandal in cricket is 'not about' him and believes that the 'floodgates' are about to open on the crisis the sport is facing.
The former Yorkshire cricketer spoke to Sky Sports the day after speaking in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) committee on Tuesday (November 16) where he recalled the horrifying accounts of the abuse he suffered during his two spells playing with the county.
Alongside the allegations at Yorkshire, there have been several other reports with Essex CCC involved in allegations of racial abuse - while Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Middlesex were also named during the hearing.
"The treatment I received from some of the club officials was inhuman."
Azeem Rafiq recalls his horrific experiences of racism at Yorkshire CCC pic.twitter.com/KLmIYjKQbR
— JOE (@JOE_co_uk) November 16, 2021
With the English Cricket Board (ECB) receiving over 1,000 complaints of discrimination in the past seven days as well, Rafiq believes that even more stories will emerge over the coming days, but didn't want the focus to be all on his own account, stating that everyone should be heard.
"I don't think I'm still aware of how much it's struck home with so many people. We've got to make sure this doesn't become about me and it's about how now we listen," the 30-year-old said.
"We need to listen to them, hear them, support them and work out a plan."
Azeem Rafiq believes the "floodgates" are about to open on cricket's racism crisis after delivering testimony on the abuse he suffered at Yorkshire.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 17, 2021
"I do feel now it's going to be a little bit of floodgates and a lot of victims of abuse are going to come forward and we need to listen to them, hear them, support them and work out a plan to make sure this doesn't happen again."
During Rafiq's appearance at the committee, several high-profile cricketers such as Michael Vaughan, Tim Bresnan and Gary Ballance were named, but the former White Rose player has revealed that only one person so far - Matthew Hoggard - has personally called Rafiq and apologised for his actions.
Rafiq said: "They need to hear from me the effect their behaviour left me in and I'd like to hear from them why - why they felt that was all right but it's important we don't go to individuals and think about the institution, because these guys came into this place and were shaped by the culture and the environment."
The 30-year-old also admitted that he can't see current Yorkshire Head Coach Andrew Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon - who were also named - being able to continue in their roles at the club, but felt that their may be a way for Ballance to play again should he apologise.
He said: "I don't think Martyn and Andrew can [continue in their roles], I think Gary - if he apologises properly and has some sort of acceptance and accountability - he should be allowed to play.
"But in terms of Andrew and Martyn, I don't think it's possible for Yorkshire to move forward with them still in there knowing full well what sort of role they played in that institution."
- Former England bowler Tim Bresnan ‘categorically denies’ Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of racism
- English cricket receives more than 1000 complaints of discrimination in past week
- Yorkshire batter Gary Ballance denies failing recreational drugs test