Sajid Javid has today weighed into the Yorkshire County Cricket Club racism row, insisting ‘P**i is not banter’ and urging that ‘heads must role’ over the scandal.

In rare intervention by a senior minister, Health Secretary urged ECB to investigate allegations against cricket star Azeem Rahiq.

This is after the Pakistan-born English cricketer claimed that racism was a part of his time at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

However, despite accepting the word ‘P**i’ was directed at Rafiq, an investigation panel cleared a senior player at the club of racism. 

The investigating panel did not accept that the ex-England Under 19 captain was offended by the other player’s comments, either at the time or at a later date. 

The committee’s findings also revealed that the frequent use of the racial insult was ‘banter’ between Rafiq and the as-yet unidentified star – a finding that has since caused outrage.

Now, as MPs prepare a grilling the club’s chair over handling of racist complaints, Mr. Javid has had his turn.

Taking to Twitter, the health secretary, whose parents are both from Pakistan, said: ”P**i’ is not banter. Yorkshire CCC should have heads rolling. The ECB won’t act if it isn’t ready.

In a rare intervention, the Health Secretary urged the ECB to take action over allegations made by cricket star Azeem Rafiq

In a rare intervention the Health Secretary urged ECB to investigate allegations against cricket star Azeem Rahiq.

It comes after Azeem Rafiq (pictured playing for Yorkshire in 2016) claimed he experienced racism during his stint at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club

It comes after Azeem Rasiq (pictured playing in Yorkshire in 2016) claimed that he was subject to racism while working at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

Mr Javid’s comments are made as Yorkshire CCC faces a massive backlash with commercial sponsors expressing concern over the racism scandal. 

The Emerald publishing group, which holds the naming rights for the Headingley Stadium in Leeds, said to the Times that it was ‘dismayed by’ the results of the review.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire’s chairman Roger Hutton is now set to be grilled by MPs on the club’s handling of Rafiq’s racism complaints, having been called by Parliament’s Digital, Media and Sport (DCMS).

It comes after ESPNcricinfo published details from a leaked report into an investigation into Rafiq’s claims.

According to the website, the panel’s report revealed how a senior player, who is still at the club, regularly used the ‘P**i’ slur when talking to Rafiq.

The player is also said to have admitted telling other people ‘don’t talk to him (Rafiq), he’s a P**i’; asking ‘is that your uncle?’ when bearded Asian men were in view; and saying in reference to corner shops — ‘does your Dad own those?’ 

The report, however, has been passed to the ECB for further investigation — cleared the individual of wrongdoing as it was perceived the comments were made in a ‘friendly, good-natured manner’. 

ESPNcricinfo did no reveal the name of the senior cricketer. However, Mr Hutton could reveal the name when he appears before the DCMS committee.

This meeting will mark the first time Yorkshire has been directly interrogated in public about the case.

Any remarks made at the meeting will be subject to Parliamentary privilege. The person cannot be sued if they reveal the identity the as-yet unnamed cricketer.   

The report into institutional racism at Yorkshire ruled that the remarks were 'friendly banter'

The Yorkshire report into institutional racism found that the comments were ‘friendly banter.

Yorkshire have now sent the ECB a full copy of the report after twice missing deadlines to do so

After twice missing deadlines, Yorkshire has now sent a full copy to the ECB.

Julian Knight, chairman of the select committee, stated in a statement that “This is extremely concerning” and that it was clear that the Yorkshire County Cricket Club had questions to answer. 

“We have closely followed developments in the club’s handling the serious allegations made against Azeem Rafiq.

‘We want to see much greater transparency from YCCC — it is time for them to answer their critics. We will call the DCMS chair to provide a better explanation than what we have had so that they can be called before the committee.

It comes as Mark Butcher, former England captain, criticizes the findings from the panel and says that it is ‘bewildering’.

He said, “It’s not just completely tone deaf, but totally in denial.”

It comes after the report found that, in the context of ‘banter between friends’, Rafiq might be ‘expected to take such comments in the spirit in which they were intended’.

It is also reported that the panel found Rafiq’s reference to a team-mate of Zimbabwean heritage as ‘Zimbo from Zimbabwe’ as a ‘racist, derogatory term’ and said that if Rafiq were still at Yorkshire, he would have faced disciplinary action.

On Monday, Yorkshire reiterated that no disciplinary action would be taken by them in the wake of Rafiq’s allegations.

‘The club carried out its own internal investigation which shows there is no conduct or action taken by any current employees, players or executives that warrants disciplinary action,’ read a club statement released to Sportsmail.

‘We do, however, acknowledge we must work hard to restore trust from those who feel let down.

Julian Knight, the chairman of the select committee, said in a statement: 'This is extremely concerning and it's clear that Yorkshire County Cricket Club has questions to answer.'

Julian Knight, chairman of the select committee, stated in a statement that “This is extremely concerning” and that the Yorkshire County Cricket Club had questions to answer.

‘There is much the club can learn from the independent report and we are committed to incorporating the panel’s recommendations into our diversity and inclusion plans.’

Of last Thursday’s announcement that no action would follow, a spokesperson for Rafiq said: ‘This is despite Yorkshire’s admission that Azeem was the victim of racial harassment and bullying, and despite their admission they failed to follow their own policy and investigate allegations of racism as recently as 2018.

‘It is inconceivable that there are no current employees who should not have been disciplined. It is time that board members — for once — did the decent thing and resigned.’

The redacted report, released on September 10, recorded that ‘the panel did not find Rafiq’s evidence wholly credible. 

Rafiq and the player engaged in friendly verbal attack towards each other, and no malice was intended by either to the other’. 

 Yorkshire said in a statement: ‘We acknowledge that we must work hard to restore trust from those who feel let down. 

“We are committed in incorporating the recommendations of the panel into our diversity & inclusion action plans.”