The 31-year-old Azeem Rafiq raised a serious allegation of racism against a few of his teammates at Yorkshire for which the court will start a public hearing on November 28 of this year. As per the rules, it is going to be a public hearing – something that the cricketer believes will make it worse for his family. However, if any of the involved parties successfully appeal before the court, the decision will reverse and it will be a private hearing come November 28.
The cricketer also revealed his intention of not participating in case it’s a public hearing. The 31-year-old briefly explained how unkind the journey has been so far and the kind of difficulties he faced since complaining about it to the England and Wales Cricket board.
“My view is I’ve gone through all these processes and been vindicated, yet I and my family continue to be put through some very awful situations. So I’ll go in another room and I will be vindicated again, I’ve got absolutely no doubt whatsoever. But will that change my life? I actually think it’ll make things worse. But we need to have these conversations for transparency and for closure. Let the world see it, what’s there to hide? I’ve got nothing to hide,” Azeem Rafiq said ahead of the hearing.
Every time I open my mouth, I am damaging myself: Rafiq
Azeem Rafiq is very much convinced that a public hearing will damage his reputation further. He also believes that racism is still part of the sport and there has been no progress so far in the gentlemen’s game.
“Is it going to be easy for me? Of course it’s not. I’m going to be cross-examined by seven or eight different legal teams. But I just don’t see an end unless that happens. Every time I open my mouth, I am damaging myself – mentally, professionally. But my view is that at some point in life, you’ve got to look past your own nose,” the 31-year said.
“People actually don’t know what institutional racism is – one of the definitions is not having the procedures and processes (in place) to deal with grievances or allegations.The fact that we’re still here two years on and there are still question marks as to what’s happening and what’s not happening, just shows that is the case,” he added.