Ex-cricket player Azeem Rafiq leaves UK after ‘abuse and threat’ following racism scandal: report

New Delhi: Yorkshire-Pakistan-born cricketer Azeem Rafiq, whose accusations of racism in Yorkshire have sparked a huge uproar in English cricket, is considering leaving England to protect his family from threats and abuse, the ‘Cricketer.com’ reported. By September last year, Rafiq had made some sensational claims about Yorkshire’s bullying and racist culture, including by former English cricketers, leading to many individuals and the Yorkshire club being charged by the ECB in June this year.

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“The cricketer, whose family moved to the UK from Pakistan after a business partner of his father was killed in a botched kidnapping attempt, has been subjected to assault and threats,” Cricketer.com reports.

“From the moment I spoke about my experience at YCCC, my family and I have been subjected to threats, attacks and intimidation,” Rafiq wrote on Twitter. Absolutely no person or their family should feel unsafe and I urge people to respect that,” Rafiq tweeted earlier this year.

“Rafiq has recently received a series of threats both online and in person and in one case, captured by CCTV earlier this month, a person was seen pooping in the yard of the house where his parents live. In another case, a masked intruder was seen prowling around the outside of the property,” the report said.

Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance, who captained Azeem Rafiq during his second stint at the club, had admitted making racist remarks about his former team-mate Rafiq before being banned from England indefinitely.

Rafiq and four others were recently reprimanded by the English Cricket Discipline Commission for using “anti-Semitic language” on social media in 2011. Rafiq accepted the reprimand, apologized to the Jewish community and said he was ashamed.

(with PTI inputs)

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