#sports ECB find insufficient evidence over new Azeem Rafiq race claim 

#sports ECB find insufficient evidence over new Azeem Rafiq race claim 

#sports activities ECB find insufficient evidence over new Azeem Rafiq race declare 

A former Derbyshire quick bowler has strongly denied allegations of historic racism and bullying which were made towards him.

Sportsmail has realized that Mark Beardshall, who performed for the county in 1987, was accused by former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq of dragging him into the showers and racially abusing him at Driffield Town Cricket Club in Yorkshire in 2006.

Rafiq was contacted by the ECB final December after his highly effective testimony at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee listening to the earlier month, when he detailed the racism and bullying he had skilled at Yorkshire.

An unbiased report commissioned by Yorkshire upheld seven of Rafiq’s 43 allegations towards the membership, who awarded him round £200,000 in compensation final November.

Rafiq is known to have outlined a number of different incidents of alleged racism and bullying that weren’t in his case towards Yorkshire to the ECB, who launched an investigation into allegations towards Beardshall and reported them to South Yorkshire Police.

No prices have been introduced, with the ECB safeguarding workforce concluding that whereas the criticism met the evidential threshold required to set off an investigation, there was insufficient evidence to refer it to their self-discipline fee.

Azeem Rafiq’s complaint centred on an alleged incident after a match in 2006

Azeem Rafiq’s criticism centred on an alleged incident after a match in 2006

South Yorkshire Police additionally determined to not pursue the case after conducting an interview with Beardshall, who’s sad with how he was handled, notably the truth that his identify leaked earlier than he was interviewed by the ECB. ‘This was a horrible thing to be accused of and deeply traumatic,’ Beardshall advised Sportsmail.

Two different former Barnsley gamers have been additionally interviewed by South Yorkshire Police after allegations from Rafiq that he was pressured to drink alcohol as an adolescent, which he made public on the Select Committee listening to, however that case was additionally dropped on account of ‘evidential difficulties.’

A spokesperson for Rafiq declined to remark, however the 31-year-old is known to face by all the allegations.

Rafiq’s new criticism centred on an alleged incident after a match between Barnsley and Driffield on July 8, 2006 within the Yorkshire Premier League.

Rafiq alleged that Beardshall dragged him into the showers towards his will within the presence of his team-mates, stripped him off and held him underneath the water, in addition to making racial slurs. Rafiq was 15 on the time.

Yorkshire Cricket Club awarded Rafiq around £200,000 in compensation last November

Yorkshire Cricket Club awarded Rafiq round £200,000 in compensation final November

Beardshall was first made conscious of the allegations when he obtained a telephone name from South Yorkshire Police on March 2 of this yr and was requested to attend an interview.

Beardshall gave a written assertion denying the allegations earlier than being interviewed underneath warning. He then obtained a letter from his solicitor saying that the police had confirmed there was no case to reply.

The ECB additionally carried out an investigation with the opposite 9 Barnsley gamers interviewed and requested if that they had seen another examples of inappropriate behaviour from Beardshall, who has performed and coached at Barnsley for 30 years.

All 9 are understood to have stated that they had no recollection of the alleged incident.

Beardshall was interviewed by an ECB safeguarding officer in May and in addition despatched a witness assertion to the ECB during which he stated he had no data of the alleged incident.

South Yorkshire Police and the ECB have both decided not to pursue the case

South Yorkshire Police and the ECB have each determined to not pursue the case

That seems to have been the top of the ECB probe, though Beardshall has not been advised that the case is closed.

Beardshall, 60, is sad with the ECB that he was subjected to an investigation on the premise of a single historic criticism.

He can also be involved concerning the ECB’s processes, notably relating to confidentiality, as he obtained calls from former team-mates asking him concerning the allegations.

It is customary observe for the ECB to advise suspects that an investigation has begun into their behaviour, however exceptions could be made the place evidence gathering from different witnesses is required to help the allegation. The ECB declined to remark.

‘I have no knowledge of the alleged incident,’ Beardshall advised Sportsmail. ‘As an ECB-qualified coach since 1980 safeguarding has always been important to me.

‘For the last 15 years I have been a qualified ECB tutor trusted with delivering safeguarding modules — further showing my commitment to ensuring that best practices are followed at all levels.

‘I didn’t say a phrase after I used to be interviewed by police, however two months later I began getting calls from former team-mates.

‘My name had slipped out. This could have destroyed my reputation. The ECB appear willing to throw anyone under a bus to survive the current storm.’

The ECB have been criticised over the Rafiq affair, together with by Rafiq himself, who described the governing physique as ‘not fit for purpose’.

They initially refused to become involved when Rafiq made allegations towards Yorkshire in 2020 however modified their place after politicians together with Sajid Javid demanded that ‘heads must roll’ at Headingley final yr.

The ECB then stripped Yorkshire of worldwide matches and launched investigations into historic circumstances, together with the one involving Beardshall.

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