English county cricket club punished over racism against Pakistani player

English county cricket club punished over racism against Pakistani player
An English country cricket club, which was put under the spotlight for racism against a Pakistan-born cricketer, has been penalised by a disciplinary commission.

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club were docked 48 points in the English County Championship on Friday, sending them to the bottom of Division Two of the County Championship.

A fine of £400,000 ($514,000), £300,000 of which is suspended for two years, was imposed by the independent Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC).

The penalty came after the club admitted to four charges of racism and discrimination against Pakistani player Azeem Rafiq.

The 32-year-old Pakistan-born bowler stunned the cricketing world after going public with allegations of systemic racism and bullying in the English domestic cricket setup in September 2020.

Meanwhile, the Yorkshire club's board issued a statement accepting the sanctions.

"The CDC and ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) have today acknowledged the vast amount of work done by YCCC to overcome the cultural issues that existed within the club, which allowed racist and discriminatory behaviour to go unchallenged," it said.

"We are accountable for these issues, and we accepted four amended charges as part of a continued commitment to ensure we are able to move forward."

But the Yorkshire board added: "We are disappointed to receive the point deductions which affects players and staff at the club, who were not responsible for the situation."

Meanwhile, ECB Chief Executive Richard Gould, who had set up an independent board to probe allegations across the English cricketing structure whose report came out late last month, said: "There can be no place for racism in our game, and the penalties announced by the Cricket Discipline Commission mark the end of a thorough disciplinary process.

"No one should have to experience what Azeem Rafiq went through in cricket, and we once again thank him for his courage in speaking out."

Six former Yorkshire players were fined by the CDC after being found guilty of using racist language.