Sheffield cricket star Joe Root calls for "change and actions" from Yorkshire over racism scandal

Sheffield cricket star Joe Root has called for "change and actions" from Yorkshire, claiming a racism crisis has "fractured our game and torn lives apart".

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 11:25 am

Joe, currently in Australia leading the Test side's Ashes preparations, issued a statement on the matter following weeks of escalating pressure at the club he has represented since childhood.

A former team-mate, Azeem Rafiq, was found by an independent report to have been subject to racial harassment and bullying and subsequent allegations have emerged from others setting in motion additional investigations.

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File photo dated 14-08-2021 of England's Joe Root celebrates after scoring his century during day three of the cinch Second Test match at Lord's, London. Issue date: Wednesday August 18, 2021. PA Photo. England captain Joe Root has risen two places to second in the latest International Cricket Council Test batting rankings after a superb unbeaten century against India last week. See PA story CRICKET England Rankings. Photo credit should read Zac Goodwin/PA Wire. Mr Root has called for action by Yorkshire over the racism scandal

The former King Ecgbert School pupil wrote: "In my capacity as England captain and as a senior player at Yorkshire, I feel compelled to address the current situation that has consumed the sport and YCCC.

"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. 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.

"I will reach out to YCCC new chair, Lord Patel, to offer support however I'm able."

Joe stated racism and discrimination were problems that reached far and wide, beyond both Yorkshire and the world of cricket, and invited everybody to play their part in conquering it.

"In my opinion, this is a societal issue and needs addressing further afield than just cricket," he wrote.

"That being said, we, as a sport, all have to do more. How can we all help shape things moving forward positively? What can everyone from myself, the ECB, counties, players, officials and others in the sport do to improve the state of the game?

"I certainly don't have all the answers, but I think we need to educate more and earlier; we must call it out straight away and have our eyes and ears open more.

"Inclusivity, diversity and anti-discrimination is something over the past few years the England teams I have been involved in have spent a lot of time talking about and are very passionate about improving and making a big difference."

Local journalism holds the powerful to account and gives people a voice. Please take out a digital subscription or buy a paper. Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor