A Parliamentary committee heard that Yorkshire Cricket has failed to engage with Asian cricketers in Yorkshire and did not bring them to the first-class match.

Concerned by the Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s neglect of talented South Asian players, and its promotion of its “White Rose” values, The Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport committee has raised concerns.

Following Azeem Rafiq’s shocking claims that last month, England and Yorkshire all-rounder Azeem Rafiq were racially insensitive, the committee has begun investigating how Asian players are treated.

MPs have said Yorkshire CCC's lack of engagement with Asian community cricket in the county 'smacks of racism' during an inquiry into inclusion in the game. (File photo)

During an inquiry on inclusion, MPs said that Yorkshire CCC’s inability to engage with Asian cricket clubs in the country’smacks racism’. (File photo)

Azeem Rafiq's testimony to the DCMS committee claimed that cricket is 'institutionally racist'

Azeem Rafiq, a witness to the DCMS committee, claimed that cricket is “institutionally racist”.

Rafiq who represented Yorkshire during two spells in 2008 and 2018 told MPs racist language was “constantly” used while he was at the club, and Asian players were treated differently.

Parlamentarians were told by a representative of the Yorkshire Amateur Asian Cricket Association that they feel outsiders at local clubs, and that talented young people are ‘lost in the pipeline’ when trying to get first-class cricket.

Quaid e Azam Premier Cricket League officials told MPs that talks have been held with Yorkshire County Cricket Club regarding Asian participation. This is despite the competition having been established over 40 years ago. It supports 1,700 players.

Basharat, the chief executive of the league, said that they had allowed the competition to play at Headingly in a cup semifinal in 2014. He reached out Yorkshire County Cricket after Rafiq revealed it at an earlier DCMS committee hearing.

Rafiq, 30, laid bare the harrowing abuse and bullying he suffered while playing at Yorkshire

Rafiq (aged 30) revealed how he was subject to bullying and abuse while playing at Yorkshire

Hussain said, “We determined it was the right decision to meet with county.” It was two hours long. The meeting was positive, and the participants agreed to accept some of their suggestions.

Julian Knight MP, the chairman of this committee was not interested in telling Lord Patel that Asian cricketers were only entertained by Yorkshire.

“So, you’ve been around since 1700” [40]Knight stated that Knight had just met Yorkshire County Cricket Club for the first time in many years.

DCMS committee chair Julian Knight said Yorkshire's disengagement from the Asian community 'smacks of racism'

Julian Knight, chair of DCMS Committee said that Yorkshire’s separation from Asian communities’smacks racism’

“This is an alarming level of disengagement. I’m speechless that Yorkshire County Cricket Club allowed this situation. And we all know what Yorkshire love to talk about, how their White Rose values are Yorkshire-born and bred.

“I’m shocked that this is the only engagement that you have received in all of that time.

Knight added, “This just smacks racist.”

‘I wouldn’t necessarily say it was racism…’ said Hussain.

“You’re being polite, Mr Hussain,” the chairman responded. “Your eyes speak volumes to me.”

New Yorkshire managing director of cricket Darren Gough is set to begin life in his new role

Darren Gough will be the new Yorkshire managing director for cricket.

Yorkshire Cricket’s DCMS committee arrives in week one.

Darren Gough is set to begin his life today as Yorkshire’s managing Director of Cricket. He will meet Lord Patel in person and map the future for the club.

The statistics in English cricket support the idea that Asian players are routinely overlooked – and not just in Yorkshire.

Although South Asian players made up 30 percent of recreational players in 2018, they had a much smaller chance to make it big.

South Asian-born players made up only 15% of country age-group players, 11% of county academy players, and 4% of first-class County players.

When textile workers began forming cricket teams back in 1980, the Quaid e Azam Premier Cricket League emerged. The league has evolved into a top-ranked Sunday league that welcomes players from all backgrounds.

MPs learned that Asian players feel more at home within their league than they do in Yorkshire, which is why they feel less welcome in Yorkshire’s amateur clubs.

Adil Mehmood is the league’s financial officer. It’s a mentality that exists in both clubs and teams. “I have felt outsider since childhood.”

Mehmood claimed that he has been to three clubs in his eight-year tenure in Bradford League.

He said, “You don’t stay in one place, you move around.” After playing for two years, something always happens. You move one.

Gough will meet Lord Patel (above) face-to-face on Wednesday to map out the club's future

Gough (above) will face-to-face meet Lord Patel on Wednesday in order to chart the club’s future

Mehmood stated that Asian players have lost the country game.

He said, “I’ve seen many talented players grow up,” “But they were lost somewhere along the pipeline. Although I do not know why they’re failing, it is clear that something is going on.

In 2018, the South Asian Action Plan was created in an attempt to combat the under-representation of elite cricket.

Tom Harrison, the chief executive of the ECB said that while we had long recognized the love for South Asian games in the UK and held the best intentions at the time, “we have not fully understood how we can engage with South Asian communities.” This report provides a guideline for how to do that.

The ECB is making some good progress. According to the governing body, the BBC was told last month that the ECB had “began” to observe an increase in South Asian students within county academy systems. This is a jump from the 11% recorded in 2018, to the 17% for 2019-20.

It was estimated that 10% of the first-class county football players come from ethnically different backgrounds.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison is pictured as he gave evidence to  previous DCMS committee

Former Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton was also grilled by the select committee

DCMS Committee has questioned Tom Harrison, ECB chairman (left), and Roger Hutton (right).