Cricket-Yorkshire apologise for 'inappropriate behaviour' towards former player

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FILE PHOTO: NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day

(Reuters) - Yorkshire have issued an apology to former player Azeem Rafiq following an independent investigation into claims of institutional racism found he was a "victim of inappropriate behaviour", the club said on Thursday.

The investigation was initiated in September last year to look into allegations made by the off-spinner stretching back to 2008.

Rafiq, a player of Pakistani descent and a former captain of the England Under-19 side, last year said that he was made to feel like an "outsider" at Yorkshire and even contemplated taking his own life.

"Many of the allegations were not upheld... it is right, however, to acknowledge from the outset that several of the allegations made by Azeem were upheld and that sadly, historically, Azeem was the victim of inappropriate behaviour," Yorkshire said in a statement.

"This is clearly unacceptable. We would like to express our profound apologies for this."

Rafiq, however, took to Twitter to express his disappointment at the findings, calling for Yorkshire to clearly spell out that he was the subject of racist abuse.

"'Inappropriate behaviour', are you sure about that @YorkshireCCC? You carry on playing with your words & fudging this best way possible... It's not going away," he wrote.

The 30-year-old on Wednesday had called on the England and Wales Cricket Board and politicians to intervene after Yorkshire had delayed the publication of the report.

Rafiq played for Yorkshire from 2008 to 2018 and became their youngest-ever captain after he led the county in a Twenty20 game against Durham in 2012.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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