Racism in Yorkshire cricket | Cricket

Tim Bresnan denies racism claim but apologises to Azeem Rafiq for bullying

Former England cricketer Tim Bresnan. File   | Photo Credit: DEEPAK KR

Former England pacer Tim Bresnan has apologised to Azeem Rafiq over his bullying claims but “categorically denies” making any racist comments towards his ex-Yorkshire teammate.

Rafiq on Tuesday narrated his experiences of racism and discrimination at the club in detail as he addressed UK Members of Parliament in the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS).

In his witness statement, Rafiq said Bresnan "frequently made racist comments" and also claimed that he was one of "six or seven" other players who had made bullying complaints against the pacer due to his alleged behaviour.

"For any part I played in contributing to Azeem Rafiq's experience of feeling bullied at Yorkshire, I apologise unreservedly," Bresnan said in a statement posted on his twitter handle.

"Following the publication of Azeem's witness statement from the employment tribunal, which I saw for the first time this afternoon, I must though categorically deny his accusation that I 'frequently made racist comments'." Commentator David 'Bumble' Lloyd also took to Twitter to apologise to Rafiq after he was accused of making disparaging comments on Asian cricketers to a third party.

"In October 2020, I had a private message exchange with a third party involved in cricket, about a number of topics," Lloyd wrote on his handle on Tuesday.

"In these messages, I referred to allegations about Azeem Rafiq which I had heard from within the game. I also made some comments about the Asian cricket community.

"I deeply regret my actions, and I apologise most sincerely to Azeem and to the Asian cricket community for doing this, and for any offence caused." Lloyd said he is "strongly committed to making cricket a more inclusive sport." "It is very obvious now that more work needs to be done and I will do everything I can to remove discrimination from the sport I love, and the sport that has been my life for over 50 years."

Rafiq called Lloyd a "closet racist", saying it was "disturbing" as his employers Sky were doing "amazing work on bringing racism to the front".

Sky, on their part, have decided to probe the comments made by Lloyd.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 2:16:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/tim-bresnan-denies-racism-claim-but-apologises-to-azeem-rafiq-for-bullying/article37538175.ece

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