No point dwelling on racism scandal; we need to move on: New Yorkshire skipper Shan Masood

New Yorkshire skipper Shan Masood has said there is no point dwelling on the past and there was a need to “move on” as the county side aims to recover from the racism scandal that rocked them following disclosures by former player Azeem Rafiq before UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) last year.

Rafiq, who played for Yorkshire between 2008 and 2018, claimed that the racial abuse he suffered left him close to committing suicide and that his reports of abuse were “ignored” by the club at the time.

Masood, the 32-year-old Pakistan international left Derbyshire to become one of Yorkshire’s two overseas players. He has joined Yorkshire on a two-year deal. The left-hand batter takes over from Steve Patterson, who has announced that he is will leave the club at the end of the season.

Indicating that the county side will have to move on from the Azeem Rafiq saga, Masood told Daily Mail that, “There’s no point dwelling on the past, you need to move on, to keep moving forward, that’s the game, I feel too often as cricketers we get stuck in the past, nothing’s permanent, we’ve seen mighty teams fall, and we’ve seen people at ground level go all the way up.”

Yorkshire were relegated to Division Two of the County Championship at the end of a tumultuous year in the wake of the Rafiq scandal, and Masood said he will do his best to get the side its pride of place. The Pakistan cricketer is only the second overseas club captain in 159 years, after Darren Lehmann.

Masood also said he does not want to get into what happened before him and would rather prefer to talk about the future of the club.

“I want to be a role model, because those things matter more to me… and also to a playing group who had their established backroom staff support system ripped away from them via the mass coaching sackings 10 months ago (in the wake of the racism scandal). Talk to people on the county circuit about him (Rafiq) and you receive a common ‘good bloke’, response.

“I hope that I’m accepted as Shan Masood and not anyone else. I don’t want to get into what’s happened. What’s happened has happened, but I want to go there and make a difference through me as a player and me as a person, and I hope that Yorkshire can be known for the kind of cricket they play,” he added.

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