County side Yorkshire in deep crisis as first-team players seek exit, says report

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The crisis in county side Yorkshire, following Pakistan-origin cricketer Azeem Rafiq’s claims of institutional racism in the club, is far from over with the entire first team reportedly seeking permission to speak to other clubs regardless of their contract status.

In the aftermath of Rafiq’s allegations, several sponsors cut their ties with the club and 16 members of the coaching staff, including previous director of cricket, Martyn Moxon, and head coach Andrew Gale, were forced to leave the club.

Yorkshire has now announced the appointment of former England pacer Darren Gough as the managing director of cricket at the club on an interim basis. While his appointment is seen as a huge positive in the backdrop of the racism scandal, the club’s entire first team wants to part ways either because they are unhappy with the treatment meted out to their coaches and medics, or because they are apprehensive that the reputation of the club would get tarnished in the wake of the scandal.

“The entire first-team squad are contemplating putting their names to correspondence asking for the right to speak to other clubs regardless of current contract status. Managing director Darren Gough has held multiple video meetings with players,” said a report in The Mail on Sunday.

The report added that, “the entire first-team squad at Yorkshire are contemplating speaking to other clubs. Some are understood to be extremely upset by the treatment of coaches and medics they were close to while others are fearful of their reputations being tarred by association after Yorkshire’s former chairman, Roger Hutton, told a Select Committee last month that institutional racism existed at Headingley.”

Reportedly, the club has been left with bare minimum staff, which has forced them to limit their training programme to yoga and fitness sessions with the help of “outside specialists”, while net practice is unlikely to start before the third week of January.

The report further said that the county was making “open call for candidates to apply for the vacant head coach’s job”, but the process with take time.

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