England captain Eoin Morgan welcomes action taken by ECB board on Azeem Rafiq situation despite overshadowing World Cup
Eoin Morgan has insisted that his England team’s part in effecting positive change in the game on inclusion and diversity will outweigh any silverware they might capture in the next 10 days.
In a frank and honest interview ahead of England’s game against South Africa tomorrow, Morgan agreed that the ECB board had done the right thing in acting the way they had to show how seriously the game takes issues of racism and discrimination.
“Our culture has been built around inclusivity and diversity,” said Morgan. “It’s actually been quite a strong part of our game.
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“For that period of time we have been active about talking and actioning things that show meaningful change.
“We have spoken about being a part of the significant change that we feel will lead to something that will be bigger than any of our careers or any of the trophies that we win.
“We are very serious about it. We firmly believe that there is no place in our sport for any type of discrimination, and I think the actions of the ECB Board to Yorkshire have indicated how serious they are about dealing with issues like this. Actions speak louder than words.
“Yes, we want to see the sport in a great light but equally if there’s an issue as serious as this we want it dealt with as well.”
Morgan must still try to get his team to focus on the job in hand and continuing their fine form so far in the tournament.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid has been an absolutely central part of that success, but he also finds himself at the heart of the racism row after Michael Vaughan denied referring to him, Rafiq and others as ‘your lot’.
The issue will undoubtedly be playing on Rashid’s mind, but Morgan is confident that he will still be able to deliver on the field thanks to the support he has from the dressing room and his family who are with him.
“Adil is one of our players that in the normal scheme of things doesn’t require a lot of support,” added Morgan. “I think given what’s happened so close to home for him I think it’s great that he does have a great support network around him.
“The team is here, his family are here which is fantastic but there is no indication at the moment that anything out of the ordinary is happening. He’s travelling ok.
“In teams you have to be yourself. It should feel a little bit like being at home. Obviously it won’t feel like being at home, being around your family, but it should be relaxed, and give you that freedom to feel comfortable in your own skin.”