Former captain Andrew Gale hits out at Yorkshire and ECB ‘witch-hunt’



Former Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale says he will not engage with the disciplinary process instigated by the England and Wales Cricket Board over allegations of racism in the county.

The ECB announced earlier this month that Yorkshire and “a number of individuals” had been charged following an investigation into allegations of racism made by Gale’s former teammate Azeem Rafiq, and how those allegations had been handled by the county.

Gale was sacked by Yorkshire last year but earlier this month won an unfair dismissal claim against the club.

The ECB said when announcing the charges that the Cricket Discipline Committee would hear the cases in September and October. Gale has confirmed he has been charged with bringing the game into disrepute, but has indicated he will not engage with the process.

Gale said in a statement on Wednesday: “As a starting point let me say that I was very disappointed when Azeem’s original allegations were first brought to my attention.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, I deny each and every allegation that Azeem raised with YCCC and then via the ECB suggesting that I have used racist language and bullied Azeem. I was originally stunned but I am now angry that he has raised such allegations against me.”

Gale added: “I will always be unhappy with how my career ended but I refuse to have my life defined by unsubstantiated allegations by an embittered former colleague and by a YCCC/ECB witch-hunt.

“Similarly, I refuse to act or be perceived as a perpetual victim despite the fact my treatment from the club was abhorrent.

“On this basis, and bearing in mind my income from cricket ceased on 3 December 2021, I do not intend to spend my limited savings in paying my legal team to represent me at the ECB hearing.

“The ECB governs an industry from which I have been ousted and which has turned its back on me. I will not be attending any hearing or acknowledging the outcome.”

In his evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee last year, Rafiq alleged Gale had discriminated against him and bullied him over an extended period.

Gale, who described Rafiq as a “complex character”, added: “This decision has not been an easy one to make. I know that it makes it very easy for the ECB to side with Azeem and look to impose some form of sanction on me when none is due.

Gale is ‘angry’ about allegations made by Azeem Rafiq

(PA)

“Let’s be frank, the ECB, by charging me without interview, are clearly looking to do that whatever happens. YCCC will no doubt applaud that as it seems to avoid compensating the staff it unfairly dismissed.

“I am not willing to engage in a tainted process when the relationship between the club, certain members of the media and Azeem is as close as it is.

“I have received personal abuse and we have had reason to leave our home on occasions. I was unfairly dismissed, and I will allow the Employment Tribunal to determine what compensation I am entitled to.

“Even a maximum award will not compensate me for the loss I have suffered and will continue to suffer but I will accept what is awarded to me. I also accept that people who read this statement are entitled to believe me or not as they see fit.”

Gale said an Employment Tribunal hearing on 31 October would consider an additional claim for victimization as well as what remedy would be made available to him as a result of his unfair dismissal.


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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