Michael Holding tells discrimination victims ‘now is your time to be heard’

Azeem Rafiq
Azeem Rafiq played for Yorkshire between 2008-2014, 2016 and 2018 before making his allegations in 2020

West Indies great Michael Holding has urged individuals to “share your story” of discrimination in cricket as a wide-ranging inquiry begins.

It follows criticism of how Yorkshire handled racism and bullying allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq.

The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) has opened a call for evidence from the elite and grassroots game.

“Now is your time to be heard,” said Holding.

An online survey opens on Tuesday with submissions invited until 21 December.

Written evidence can also be submitted to the commission, with more information on how to do so to be shared on its website next month.

Equality campaigner Holding said: “This is a game that I love and have dedicated my life to.

“I urge anyone who has experienced racism, sexism, elitism, or any kind of unfair treatment in cricket, anyone who has a story to share about being included, welcomed, or supported to respond to the commission’s call for evidence.

“Now is your time to be heard, to share your story and be a part of the change the game so desperately needs.”

Cindy Butts, chair of the ICEC, said the call for evidence came at “a timely moment” given the attention on Yorkshire’s handling of the Rafiq investigation.

“We know he is not the only one. The commission is new but the issue is not new,” she told BBC Sport.

“We will be absolutely unflinching in holding a mirror up to cricket and saying ‘this is what it feels like for people who are involved’, whether they are coaches, players, former players, fans, volunteers.”

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