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Root stands by claim he did not witness racist abuse at Yorkshire


J

oe Root today stood by his insistence he never witnessed instances of racism at Yorkshire.

Former teammate Azeem Rafiq said he had been “incredibly hurt” by Root’s previous comments. The England captain said they had exchanged messages since and planned to meet on his return from the Ashes.

But Root said: “I stand by what I said. I don’t recall those instances. If they are oversights on my part, that’s an area we all have to learn from.

“There are instances on the cricket field where I think I have stepped in and called things out. There’s still further education I need to undergo and develop.”

As well as a planned meeting with Rafiq, Root is also planning a face-to-face with new Yorkshire chairman Lord Patel.

Root would not, however, comment on the suggestion by Rafiq in Parliament earlier this month that it was an open secret that the term Kevin was used to describe non-white players in the England dressing room.

“I’m not able to discuss matters on that because of that investigation,” said Root. “Clearly that phrase is and should never be used in an dressing room or part of society. I can’t go into that specifically. I think the ECB have an ongoing investigation.”

Root said he hoped the conversations currently ongoing would translate into real action in the future.

“I think there’s a huge amount of learning that has to be done off the back of it,” he said. “We have to make sure in the game this isn’t something that happens again. There are things that have happened… that are clearly unacceptable. We can’t change the post but, moving forward, we shape the future… make sure no one feels they are treated differently.”


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