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Racism In English Cricket

Andrew Gale labels racism investigation a ‘witch-hunt’ and says that he is ‘not willing to engage in a tainted process’

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Former Yorkshire captain and coach Andrew Gale has confirmed that he will not engage in the ECB disciplinary process after he was charged following allegations of racism from his time at the county.

Gale – alongside the club’s entire coaching staff at the time – was sacked bv Yorkshire in 2021 in the wake of racism allegations initially made by their former off-spinner, Azeem Rafiq. Gale, 38, has since won an unfair dismissal claim. Yorkshire’s clear-out of their coaching staff was supported by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee chair Julian Knight MP.

In a statement, Gale said: “I was very disappointed when Azeem’s original allegations were first brought to my attention.

“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.”

Gale was mentioned 106 times in Rafiq’s 57-page witness statement that was submitted prior to his appearance at a DCMS hearing last winter. Rafiq alleged: “Throughout my time at YCCC, Andrew called me ‘Raffa the Kaffir’, ‘P—’ and so on. But it was the discriminatory treatment and bullying I felt from him that was harder for me than the name calling.” Prior to his dismissal, Gale had been suspended by Yorkshire for an anti-semitic social media post he made in 2010.

In his statement today, Gale labelled the ECB’s handling of the racism scandal as a “witch-hunt”. “Let’s be frank, the ECB, by charging me without interview, are clearly looking to do that whatever happens,” Gale said. “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.”

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