World of Cricket: Yorkshire in rough waters amid racism row

The England and Wales Cricket Board has barred the Yorkshire County Cricket Club from hosting international or major matches over their careless handling of allegations of racism by former player Azeem Rafiq.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 22, 2012 Azeem Rafiq of Yorkshire takes a catch during a Champions League T20 (CLT20) match against Chennai Super Kings at the Kingsmead stadium in Durban. - The chairman of Yorkshire resigned on November 5, 2021 as the latest fallout from a racism row involving former player Azeem Rafiq plunged the English county cricket side into fresh chaos. Rafiq has accused Yorkshire of failing to deal adequately with his allegations of racism when he played for the club. (Photo by AFP)   -  AFP

The England and Wales Cricket Board has barred the Yorkshire County Cricket Club from hosting international or major matches over their careless handling of allegations of racism by former player Azeem Rafiq.

“It is clear... that YCCC’s handling of the issues raised by Azeem Rafiq is wholly unacceptable and is causing serious damage to the reputation of the game,” the ECB said in a statement.

READ: Yorkshire chief executive Arthur resigns amid racism controversy

In an interview in 2020, the Pakistan-origin cricketer had claimed he was a victim of racist abuse, bullying and harassment during his time at the club. The club conducted an investigation and found his claims true. But it said it would not take any disciplinary action against its employees, players or executives.

Recently, Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton resigned after a fallout with the club officials over the Rafiq episode. “There has been a constant unwillingness from the executive members of the board and senior management at the club to apologise and to accept that there was racism,” he said.

Indian girls shine in Women’s Big Bash

Radha Yadav represented the Sydney Sixers in WBBL.   -  Getty Images

 

Harmanpreet Kaur’s form was a concern till a few months ago. The batter seems to have regained her touch in the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League. The India and Melbourne Renegades star helped her side chase down a target of 161 against the Adelaide Strikers recently. Kaur was unbeaten on 73 off 46 balls (3x4, 5x6).

Her compatriot, Smriti Mandhana, scored a run-a-ball 50 for Sydney Thunders in the clash against Hobart Hurricanes. All-rounder Deepti Sharma, Mandhana’s teammate in Sydney, bagged the player of the match award for picking up three crickets and scoring a brisk 20 off 15 balls. Hobart had to chase 147 for victory, but it ended up at 109/8 in 20 overs.

Left-arm spinner Radha Yadav, who represents the Sydney Sixers with Shafali Varma, said the experience would help them improve as impact players in the international arena. “A lot of world-class players are playing at the WBBL, so that will help us.”

Afghanistan-Australia one-off Test postponed

The Australia-Afghanistan Test match scheduled for November 27 in Hobart stands officially postponed.

The historic Test match was up in the air after Cricket Australia said it would not support the Taliban for not allowing women to play the sport. CA wants to bide the time and wait for a clearer picture in Afghanistan before announcing the new dates.

“Following extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders, Cricket Australia and the Afghanistan Cricket Board have agreed to postpone the inaugural men’s Test match against Afghanistan. CA is committed to support the growth of the game for women and men in Afghanistan and around the world,” said a statement.

Afghanistan is one of the few sides that has raised its level in white-ball cricket in recent times. But the future is uncertain after the Taliban took over the government in August.

The ICC will be discussing Afghanistan’s status on the sidelines of the T20 World Cup.

Dwayne Bravo was part of the West Indies side that won the T20 World Cup in 2012 and 2016.   -  AP

 

No more Bravo in Windies colours

West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has announced his retirement from international cricket. The T20 World Cup 2021 fixture against Australia was his last appearance in maroon.

Bravo had called it quits in 2018 itself, but he came out of retirement in 2019 to prepare for the ICC showpiece in the United Arab Emirates.

“I think the time has come. I have had a good career. I had some ups and downs, but as I look back at it, I am grateful to represent the region and the Caribbean people for so long,” Bravo said in the ICC post-match show.

The 38-year-old was part of the West Indies side that won the T20 World Cup in 2012 and 2016. Bravo, however, had a below-par tournament. He picked up only two wickets and scored just 26 runs in the tournament. “It wasn’t the World Cup we expected, it wasn’t the World Cup we wanted as players. We shouldn’t feel sorry for ourselves, it was a tough competition, we should keep our heads high,” he said.