Need to educate, unify and reset to see change- Joe Root on Yorkshire- Azeem Rafiq racism row

Fans protested outside Yorkshire County Cricket Club's Headingley Stadium in support of Rafiq | Getty Images

England Test captain Joe Root has demanded change after Azeem Rafiq’s racism case against the Yorkshire Cricket County Club continued to make headlines, saying that the racial discrimination “fractured our game and torn lives apart”.

On Thursday, November 11, Root issued his statement following weeks of Rafiq’s shocking revelations during his time at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, which the skipper has represented since childhood.

Notably, many people have been taking part in a protest outside Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Headingley Stadium in Leeds, in support of Azeem Rafiq following his revelations about the racism and bullying he suffered over two spells at Yorkshire.

Root said in a statement: “In my capacity as England captain and as a senior player at Yorkshire, I feel compelled to address the current situation that has consumed the sport and YCCC. I just want the sport to be a place where everyone is enjoying it for the beautiful game it is and feels equal and safe.”

Describing racism as “simply intolerable”, the skipper said: “These events have fractured our game and torn lives apart. We must now recover and come back together as fans, players, media, and those who work within cricket. We have an opportunity to make the sport I love better for everyone.”

He concluded, “We need to educate, unify and reset. I want to see change and actions that will see YCCC rise from this with a culture that harnesses a diverse environment with trust across all communities that support cricket in the county.”