Rehana Azib, barrister and employment law specialist and Helen Hyde, former Personnel Director at Waitrose, join the investigation panel set up earlier this month to review the findings of the Squire Patton Boggs investigation into the allegations of racism made by former player Azeem Rafiq.
The investigation is now underway and will address directly the specific complaints made by Azeem Rafiq. In addition, and at the request of the Board, the investigation will also conduct a review of the club’s internal policies and culture with regards to discriminatory conduct.
The investigation panel chaired by Dr. Samir Pathak, surgeon, former England Universities wicketkeeper/batsmen and trustee of the MCC Foundation, will oversee and assist the investigation team and provide recommendations on further steps the club should take.
The Board of Yorkshire County Cricket Club has committed to sharing the findings of the investigation and the recommendations of the panel. The investigation has now begun and the Board have been clear that these matters are to be investigated thoroughly and with urgency. It is expected that the investigation will be completed within three months.
Other investigation panel members include Chairman of the National Asian Cricket Council, Gulfraz Riaz and Stephen Willis, Chief Financial Officer of Durham University and the Senior Independent Director of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Former sub-committee member Hanif Mallik has stepped down from the committee.
Commenting on the new appointments Dr. Samir Pathak said: “Rehana and Helen both have a broad background of considerable expertise and experience on which the panel can draw on during the course of the investigation.
“We remain committed to conducting a fair and impartial process and both Rehana and Helen’s extensive knowledge of the legal implications of these types of grievance procedures will be of great benefit to our review of the findings of the investigation.
“All organisations need to be diverse and inclusive, there is no space for inequality in sport or society and it is the responsibility of this committee to ensure that the investigation is conducted fairly and impartially.”
Rehana Azib said: “This is an important and significant time for both Mr Rafiq and Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
“It is essential that the allegations are investigated fully, objectively and rigorously. I look forward to working with the other members of the panel to ensure that the investigation is conducted comprehensively and fairly, and that any recommendations that may arise out of it are transparent, effective and properly implemented.
Helen Hyde commented: “As a cricket fan of longstanding, the sport is close to my heart but so is the notion that it must be a sport of inclusion and fairness. I look forward to working with the other panel members to ensure that the findings of the investigation are dealt with quickly and decisively.”