Yorkshire racism case: Andrew Gale will not engage with disciplinary process

Andrew Gale
Andrew Gale was Azeem Rafiq's team-mate at Yorkshire

Former Yorkshire head coach Andrew Gale will not engage with the England and Wales Cricket Board's disciplinary process after being charged following racism allegations at the club.

Abuse allegations surfaced in September 2020 when ex-player Azeem Rafiq said discrimination made him feel suicidal.

Gale won an unfair dismissal claim against Yorkshire in June after being sacked by the club last year.

The 38-year-old denied all allegations in a statement on Wednesday.

"I was very disappointed when Azeem's original allegations were first brought to my attention," Gale said in his first statement since being dismissed by the club.

"For the avoidance of any doubt, I deny each and every allegation that Azeem raised with YCCC and then via the ECB suggesting that I have used racist language and bullied Azeem."

In November, ECB chief executive Tom Harrison told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee English cricket was approaching an "emergency" over its failure to address racism and the ECB had "struggled" to get the first-class game to "wake up".

When the committee's report was published, chair Julian Knight MP described Rafiq's story as "typical of an endemic problem across the whole of cricket".

Earlier in June, English cricket's governing body said charges had been brought against "a number of individuals" following the racism allegations and Gale confirmed he was among these.

Since Rafiq's accusations became public, 16 members of staff have left Yorkshire in a widespread overhaul of its senior leadership.

The ECB confirmed cases would be heard by a discipline committee in September and October, but Gale said he would not attend or acknowledge the outcome of any hearing.

Gale, who became Yorkshire captain in 2009 before taking on the head coach role in 2016, added that he refused to have his "life defined by unsubstantiated allegations" and described Yorkshire and the ECB's actions as a "witchhunt".

He continued: "Let's be frank, the ECB, by charging me without interview, are clearly looking to do that whatever happens. YCCC will no doubt applaud that as it looks to avoid compensating the staff it unfairly dismissed.

"I am not willing to engage in a tainted process when the relationship between the club, certain members of the media and Azeem is as close as it is."

Gale, who said he had "received personal abuse" since the allegations, added that he does "not intend to spend my limited savings in paying my legal team to represent me at the ECB hearing".

On Tuesday, former England captain Michael Vaughan - who was also charged by the ECB - stepped back from his BBC work amid "ongoing dialogue" around the Yorkshire racism investigation.

He has denied an allegation that he made a racist comment to a group of Asian players.

When the ECB confirmed charges had been made earlier in June, Rafiq said: "It has been a long two years since I went public about my experiences, but I hope this all means that no young player ever goes through such pain and alienation again."

The ECB has declined to comment following Gale's statement.

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