Yorkshire board did not address racism allegations and provided ‘lip service’ in addressing the issue, claims Azeem Rafiq’s ex-cultural diversity officer. He claimed that Asian players were denied access to club facilities.

  • Yorkshire’s former cultural diversity officer claims the term ‘P***’ was regularly used at the club
  • Tony Bowry alleges that Yorkshire Board ignored racism allegations. 
  • Bowry provided evidence to support Azeem Rafiq’s accusations against the club
  • “A lot of lip service” was given to these issues. He stated that something must be done. 

Yorkshire’s former cultural diversity officer claims the term ‘P***’ was regularly used throughout his time at the club.

Tony Bowry, who held the role from 1996 to 2011, also alleges the Yorkshire board ignored complaints of racism and believes the club paid ‘lip service’ to trying to tackle the problem.

Bowry gave evidence in support of Azeem Rafiq during the investigation into the player’s allegations of racism, which have rocked Yorkshire. The subsequent report found that Rafiq had been called a ‘P***’ by team-mate Gary Ballance, but this was dismissed as ‘banter’.

The term ‘P***’ was regularly used at Yorkshire, says the club's former cultural diversity officer

The term ‘P***’ was regularly used at Yorkshire, says the club’s former cultural diversity officer

Former Yorkshire employee Tony Bowry made the revelation while giving evidence in support of Azeem Rafiq (pictured)

Tony Bowry, a former Yorkshire employee who made this revelation during testimony in support for Azeem Rasiq (pictured).

Asked if he was aware of that derogatory term being casually used at Headingley, Bowry, who is of Caribbean origin, said: ‘Absolutely. You knew it was there. One colleague I worked with said to me, “You’re OK, but I don’t like them P****”. ‘I came down very hard on him because I really didn’t like what he said.

‘Banter and racism don’t go together. Both are distinct things. The board was informed of it on multiple occasions.

‘We had a BAME forum, which dealt with these sort of things and when reported to the BAME forum, it got taken to the board meetings. It was not easy to manage. That’s where it ended.

‘There were many sides to what you saw or what you didn’t see at Yorkshire. It was a lot of lip service. These things need to be changed. Something has to be done.’

A protest was held outside the club's Headingley stadium in support of Rafiq

Protest was staged outside of the Headingley club stadium to support Rafiq

Bowry said he believed Yorkshire players from Asian backgrounds were held back

Bowry stated that he believes Yorkshire players with Asian heritage were being held back

Bowry is also of the opinion that Yorkshire’s players who come from Asian families were kept back due to their skin colour.

‘Some of the Asian players came to me and we had talks,’ he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

‘One of them wanted to stay in the game and I asked him about becoming an umpire.

‘He eventually went down that route and he was on the umpires’ reserve panel for about four or five years without any promotion, although he had good records.’