Yorkshire cricket coaching team leave club after racism crisis

Director and head coach become latest high-profile figures to leave

The Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds. The county announced a clear-out on Friday which includes the entire coaching team and made a pledge to appoint successors 'imminently'. AFP
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Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s long-serving director of cricket, and head coach Andrew Gale have become the latest high-profile departures following the Azeem Rafiq racism investigation.

The county announced a clear-out on Friday which includes the entire coaching team and made a pledge to appoint successors “imminently”.

But Gale says he will take legal action over his dismissal, saying in a statement to BBC Sport: “The decision has come as a surprise to me.

“The players knew about it before I did and I will be fighting the decision legally.”

Moxon had been signed off from work due to a stress-related illness since November 9 when Gale was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing into a historical social media post.

Their departures follow those of club president Roger Hutton, who stepped down on November 5, and chief executive Mark Arthur, who resigned a week later following widespread condemnation of Yorkshire over its handling of a racism investigation and the treatment of former player Rafiq.

Moxon, 61, was an opening batter for Yorkshire from 1980-97 and returned to become director of cricket in 2007.

Gale, 38, was also a batter and captained the team until his retirement at the end of the 2016 season when he was appointed as coach.

Both Moxon and Gale were heavily criticised at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) hearing at Westminster while Rafiq repeated his call for Arthur and Moxon to step down from their roles at the club.

“I don’t think Martyn and Andrew can [continue],” Rafiq said a month ago. “I don’t think it’s possible for Yorkshire to move forward with them in there, with them knowing full well what role they played in that institution.”

Yorkshire say the total number of departures is 16, including six members of the back-room medical team provided by Pavilion Physiotherapy Clinic, and that an interim medical team is in the process of being appointed.

Watch: former Yorkshire cricketer describes racism he faced at his club

Lord Patel, Yorkshire chair, said: “Significant change is required at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and we are committed to taking whatever action is necessary to regain trust.

“The decisions announced today were difficult to make, but are in the best interests of the club. Without making important changes to how we are run, we cannot move on from the past to become a culture which is progressive and inclusive.

“We want to make Yorkshire County Cricket Club a place for everyone, from all backgrounds. To do this, we need to rebuild our culture and instil positive values in everyone associated with Yorkshire.

“We are determined to learn from the mistakes of the past to become a club which people can trust.

“We are hoping to announce a new director of cricket in the coming days. We have a huge rebuilding job to do but we are confident that this heralds a step forward towards a brighter future.”

DCMS Committee chair Julian Knight MP said: “We welcome the announcement by Yorkshire County Cricket Club on the departure of its entire coaching staff.

“The experience of Azeem Rafiq at YCCC demanded no less.

“On Tuesday, we will be discussing racism in cricket with the National Asian Cricket Council and considering the ECB’s 12-point plan to tackle it.”

Updated: December 03, 2021, 11:01 PM
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