England’s T20 World Cup captain Eoin Morgan says there’s only so much they can do as a team in the fight against racism.
English cricket has been plunged into chaos after Pakistan-born off-spinner Azeem Rafiq accused Yorkshire of failing to deal adequately with allegations of racism when he played for the club.
The ECB has now suspended international matches at their Headingley ground in Leeds after branding the club’s handling of the Rafiq case “wholly unacceptable” and the matter “abhorrent”.
Morgan’s team at the World Cup, which contains current Yorkshire player Adil Rashid who has Pakistan roots, have been taking the knee as an ongoing anti-racism and equality commitment.
“There’s only so much that we can do as a team,” said Morgan. “I’ve been a part of the significant change that we feel will lead to something that will be bigger than any of our careers or any trophies that we win.”
Rashid (33) is key to England’s hopes of adding the T20 title to the 50-over World Cup they captured in 2019.
A Yorkshire player since 2006, he found himself unwittingly caught up in the Rafiq affair on Thursday.
Former England and Yorkshire captain Michael Vaughan used his newspaper column to deny telling Rashid, Rafiq, Ajmal Shahzad and Rana Naveed at a club game in 2009: “Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it.”
Vaughan wrote: “I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words. I will fight to the end to prove I am not that person.”
Morgan said that he “is not concerned at all” that Rashid’s role at the World Cup will be hampered by the controversy back home.
“Adil is one of our players that on a normal scheme of things doesn’t require a lot of support,” explained Morgan.
“There’s no indication that anything out of the ordinary is happening. But certainly he’s a guy that is very close with Azeem Rafiq having grown up at Yorkshire, but he’s travelling OK at the moment.”
© Agence France-Presse