Yorkshire’s racism incident has become murkier with a leading administrator in the region going into a personal attack on Azeem Rafiq.
Roger Pugh, the chairman of ECB Yorkshire South Premier League, said Rafiq is “discourteous and disrespectful" in his chairman’s blog dated September 3 and posted the following day.
This comes days after Rafiq’s statements about “institutional racism" at Yorkshire.
Pugh said that he was “not in a position to comment on" Rafiq’s allegations, but claimed that he had found Rafiq “very difficult to deal with" before invoking a “biblical quote" in response to learning of the former player’s comments.
“Yesterday, I read that Azeem Rafiq had made allegations of ‘institutional racism’ at Yorkshire CCC," Pugh wrote in his blog. “Of course, I am not in a position to comment on these allegations, but that they should come from him does not surprise me.
“I have had contact with Azeem both as an umpire and an administrator, and found him very difficult to deal with - being both discourteous and disrespectful. Indeed, over the five years in which we have been in existence, he is the only person in our league that I have had any issues with.
“Several of our umpires and one of our clubs also had problems with him in 2016, when he was back with YCCC, and I wrote to the club to draw attention to his behaviour - a step not taken lightly. I am not a religious man, but a biblical quote seems to me apt here. It is, ‘as ye sow, so shall ye reap.'"
On Thursday, Yorkshire promised a full independent probe into Rafiq’s allegations and a wider review into their policies in a statement quoting chairman Roger Hutton as saying: “Any allegation of this nature is hugely concerning to everyone from the board to the playing staff here, and we take the reports very seriously."
Yorkshire on Saturday said that it had “asked independent law firm, Squire Patton Boggs (Squire) to lead an investigation and review of these matters."
“As The Yorkshire County Cricket Club have previously indicated, it takes the matters aired by Azeem Rafiq very seriously," the statement said. “Squire has extensive expertise and has begun the work to ensure a thorough investigation and review is conducted."