EXCLUSIVE – ECB to revamp their racism complaints system following the Yorkshire scandal. The governing body has set up an anonymous telephone line and text service to allow others to speak after Azeem Rafiq encouraged them to do so.

  • Azeem Rahiq’s whistleblowing will inspire other victims of abuse
  • ECB will overhaul its racism complaint system in order to make reporting easier
  • Senior officials admitted privately that the system currently in place isn’t fit for purpose
  • Victims can now report abuse via text, phone or social media.

Senior officials at the ECB have admitted that their current reporting system for racism in sport is inadequate and are now planning to revamp it. 

As the whistleblower of Azeem Rafiq is expected to inspire others to share their experiences and seek justice, the governing body anticipates a surge in racism complaints in the wake the Azeem Rasiq scandal.

Bilal Shafayat was a Nottinghamshire former batsman. He claimed that a Yorkshire ex-fast bowler called him “smelly” when he was batting during matches. Other allegations of racism are constantly being raised. 

The world of cricket is reeling from a racism scandal at Yorkshire Cricket Club, and the ECB are set to overhaul their complaints system to make it easier for victims to come forward

Cricket’s world is still reeling after the scandal surrounding Yorkshire Cricket Club’s racism. 

Adam Rafiq's whistleblowing is likely to embolden others and cause explosion of complaints

Adam Rafiq is likely to inspire others by his whistleblowing and spark a flood of complaints

The ECB admitting the shortcomings of its reporting system echos a survey by the Professional Cricketers Association that was conducted earlier in the year. It found that nearly half of professional cricketers in England or Wales did not know how to report racism. 

In addition a quarter of the respondents said they had experienced or witnessed racism in the game, and of those 60 per cent believe the abuse was disguised as ‘banter,’ the pretext given by Yorkshire for not taking disciplinary action against Gary Ballance despite his admission of calling Rafiq a ‘P**i.’

Privately, the ECB acknowledged that the existing systems must be improved to facilitate victims’ complaints reporting. At present, the only way to submit a complaint is through their online website. 

A protest was held outside Yorkshire's Headingley stadium in support of Rafiq last week

In support of Rafiq, protests were held at Yorkshire’s Headingley arena

An enhanced service, which offers anonymous calling and reports via text and social media app will launch in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the ECB and data professionals are talking with them about compiling a better picture of the incidences of racism throughout the country.

Lord’s acknowledges, too that they should have been quicker in demanding more transparency from Yorkshire regarding the handling of Rafiq’s complaint investigation. This took over a year. 

The ECB is currently investigating whether it’s necessary to open their own investigation into Yorkshire’s inquiry. To speed up this process, their regulatory department has hired additional lawyers.