Martyn Moxon, Andrew Gale removed as Yorkshire replace entire coaching staff


Club lets go 16 members of staff in wake of public outcry over handling of Azeem Rafiq racism inquiry

Yorkshire have announced the removal of Martyn Moxon and Andrew Gale from their positions as director of cricket and head coach respectively, part of a cull of the entire coaching staff following public outcry over the club’s handling of allegations of institutional racism.

In all, 16 members of staff have been let go, including the backroom medical team and some administrative employees.

Lord Patel of Bradford, Yorkshire’s chair, said that the changes were necessary in order to “move on from the past and become a culture which is progressive and inclusive”. A replacement director of cricket is expected to be announced “in the coming days”.

Rich Pyrah, the club’s bowling coach, Paul Grayson, the batting coach, and Ian Dews, in charge of the 2nd team, are among those understood to have left Yorkshire. Six were employed externally by Pavilion Physiotherapy Clinic, which is headed by Wayne Morton, Yorkshire’s director of medical services.

However, news of the sackings has seemingly not been well received in the dressing room, with the Times and the Telegraph reporting that several players may now agitate to leave the club in protest.

Mark Arthur, the club’s former chief executive who was criticised for his handling of the investigation, resigned ahead of Rafiq’s appearance in parliament.

Moxon and Arthur were among those called to give evidence at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee hearing, but chose not to attend. Roger Hutton, the former chairman, had told the committee he was “deeply disappointed” that Yorkshire’s current representatives chose not to appear.

Yorkshire admitted in September that Rafiq had been a victim of “racial harassment” while at the club, but subsequently decided not to take any further action. ESPNcricinfo’s revelation that the report had excused use of the word “P**i” on the grounds that it was good-natured “banter” between friends triggered intervention from government.

“Significant change is required at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and we are committed to taking whatever action is necessary to regain trust,” Lord Patel said. “The decisions announced today were difficult to make, but are in the best interests of the Club. Without making important changes to how we are run, we cannot move on from the past to become a culture which is progressive and inclusive.

“We want to make Yorkshire County Cricket Club a place for everyone, from all backgrounds. To do this, we need to rebuild our culture and instill positive values in everyone associated with Yorkshire. We are determined to learn from the mistakes of the past to become a club which people can trust.

“We are hoping to announce a new director of cricket in the coming days. We have a huge rebuilding job to do but we are confident that this heralds a step forward towards a brighter future.”

Several counties have joined Yorkshire in inviting those who were victims of racism during their time in the game to report their experiences, while the ECB’s Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket launched an online survey to collect similar evidence of discrimination.

On Thursday, Yorkshire announced that they had appointed the Good Governance Institute to conduct an independent review of the way the club is run. “The independent governance review will be essential in helping us shape how we move forward as a club following the recent challenges we have faced,” Lord Patel said. “It is clear that many have been failed by our leadership and how we operate as a club. We must look closely at our processes and procedures, and I am determined that we go above and beyond gold standard both on paper and in practice.”

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