New Zealand captain Kane Williamson hopes there will likely be “healing” at his former workforce Yorkshire on the eve of a 3rd Take a look at in opposition to England that was virtually moved from the county’s Headingley headquarters due to a racism row. Pakistan-born former off-spinner Azeem Rafiq first raised allegations of racism and bullying in September 2020, associated to his two spells at Yorkshire. Rafiq gave proof to a parliamentary committee final yr, sparking mounting stress on Yorkshire over their earlier failure to take any disciplinary motion.
That ultimately led to a mass clear-out of senior boardroom figures and training employees.
The England and Wales Cricket Board additionally threatened to withdraw profitable internationals from Headingley except modifications have been made.
Reforms promoted by new chairman Kamlesh Patel staved off what may have been a monetary catastrophe for Yorkshire.
However the subject is way from concluded, with ECB disciplinary costs laid in opposition to the membership and “a number of individuals”, whom officers have but to call.
Final month, former Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale received a declare for unfair dismissal, leaving the membership going through the prospect of paying compensation.
Williamson, who performed for Yorkshire as an abroad signing from 2014 to 2018, was non-committal when requested if he had witnessed particular incidents of racist abuse throughout his time on the membership.
However the batsman stated he hoped some good would emerge from Rafiq’s testimony.
“It’s been incredibly sad to see what’s unfolded,” stated Williamson. “I can solely hope that one thing optimistic comes out of it and the attention that it is created to maneuver ahead in a optimistic method.
“There isn’t a area for racism or discrimination in sport or society. I used to be right here for just a few temporary stints and loved my time at Yorkshire.
“There have been some points that have been made conscious extra lately and you may solely hope that there’s therapeutic.
“There’s been an enormous quantity of consciousness all through the entire world, efforts to proceed that consciousness and make it a extra inclusive place, whether or not in sport or different work locations.”
Requested in regards to the racism subject, England captain Ben Stokes stated his aspect understood they’d “a duty on the sector, in addition to off the sector”.
Stokes’ males will purpose to brush the three-Take a look at sequence, having received each earlier matches by 5 wickets, when the conflict begins in Leeds on Thursday.
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