'We are approaching an emergency situation' - ECB Chief Tom Harrison reacts to the Azeem Rafiq racism issue

‘We are approaching an emergency situation’ – ECB Chief Tom Harrison reacts to the Azeem Rafiq racism issue

ECB Chief Tom Harrison also added that the culture of the dressing room needs to be looked into and it will surely take a lot of effort from the ECB to accomplish this.

Azeem Rafiq
Azeem Rafiq. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

The ‘Azeem Rafiq racism issue’ has caught the limelight in the world of cricket. Rafiq had stated that he was racially abused during his stint with Yorkshire. Rafiq had also named several England cricketers who had racially abused him.

And now, this issue has even caught the attention of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson. Johnson took to Twitter and lauded Azeem Rafiq for speaking out on the racism issue.

Johnson also added that there is no excuse for racism anywhere and has urged the England and Wales Cricket Board as well as the Yorkshire Cricket Club to take action on this issue.

“Brave testimony from Azeem Rafiq. I commend him for speaking out. There is no excuse for racism anywhere in society and we expect England Cricket and Yorkshire to take immediate action in response to these allegations,” tweeted Boris Johnson.

We are aware of the importance of this matter: Tom Harrison

The Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Tom Harrison said that the ECB is aware of the importance of the issue of racism. Harrison even added that the ECB is approaching an emergency situation regarding this matter as well.

“We’ve been aware of the importance of this agenda – not just racism, but diversity and equity. What we’ve struggled with is getting our first-class game to wake up. If we’re not in an emergency, we’re approaching one,” said Harrison according to Sky Sports.

Harrison also added that the culture of the dressing room needs to be looked into and it will surely take a lot of effort from the ECB to accomplish this. “We need to start to look at dressing room culture throughout the country. There’s a huge effort on this from the ECB but it takes time to trickle through,” said Harrison.

Harrison also apologized to Rafiq on behalf of the ECB for the experiences that he had to go through and concluded by stating that the issue will be ‘fixed’ quickly.

“I’d say please understand that we’re really sorry for the experiences you may have been through trying to experience cricket in this country. We know we may have let you down. We’ll fix it fast. We know the survival of our sport depends on it. We’ll transform this game very quickly,” concluded Harrison.