Following the news that MPs are investigating claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire Cricket Club, leading sponsors Emerald Publishing and Yorkshire Tea have severed their ties with Yorkshire Cricket Club.
This latest fall-out comes as news came out that former player, Azeem Rafiq, will be giving evidence in person (to MPs) into a report about allegations of racism he made against the club.
The report highlighted that Rafiq was a victim of racial harassment and bullying whilst there – Yorkshire’s reply was that no disciplinary action was set to be taken.
Emerald Publishing said that while it was withdrawing its brand association, it would continue a financial commitment to the club’s home (Headingley) stadium.
As Yorkshire Tea ended its affiliation with the club, leisure club operator David Lloyd said it has chosen not to reinstate its partnership. Tetley's beer said it had informed Yorkshire C.C.C. that its sponsorship would not be extended beyond the end of the current contractual agreement.
Solihull MP, Julian Knight, has called on the club’s board to resign after a leaked report was said to contain details of the investigation into the treatment of Rafiq. "It’s one of the most repellent and disturbing episodes in modern cricket history," he said.
Senior Yorkshire officials have also been called to attend the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing on November 16.
Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton will be questioned by MPs, along with chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon. Witnesses who give evidence to select committees are protected by parliamentary privilege, which means they are immune from the threat of civil or criminal proceedings relating to what they say.
Last year, Rafiq made claims of institutional racism at the club which, he said: “left me close to taking my own life.”