Former Yorkshire head coach Gale blasts ECB over ‘tainted’ disciplinary action | Yorkshire

Andrew Gale, the former Yorkshire head coach, has launched an attack on the England and Wales Cricket Board after confirming that he will not engage with the disciplinary process that has followed Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of racism at the club.

Gale was among 16 members of the backroom staff sacked by Yorkshire last December when Lord Patel of Bradford took over as chair, as well as one of seven individuals charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the ECB after what the governing body called “a thorough and complex” investigation.

Breaking his silence on the matter on Wednesday, Gale said he had “no faith” in what he viewed as a “tainted” ECB process. The 38-year-old said he will not respond to any ECB requests relating to the disciplinary process and will focus instead on his employment tribunal case against Yorkshire.

In a statement issued on Wednesday before a deadline to submit responses to the Cricket Discipline Commission, Gale said he denied “each and every allegation” that Rafiq had raised with Yorkshire and the ECB, including a claim that he used racist language and had bullied Rafiq during their time together. He also said the ECB had not even interviewed him before laying the charge.

“I am today informing the ECB that I will not be attending the disciplinary hearing as I have no faith in that process,” he said. “I have cooperated with the previous investigations. In each case the only evidence related on has been Azeem’s. On two occasions I have been informed that no allegations were upheld against me and I had no case to answer. Bearing in mind that I don’t consider the ECB investigation to be anywhere near as thorough as [Yorkshire’s original] investigation – particularly based on the fact that I have not been interviewed – I have no faith that a fair and just outcome will be the result if I engage in the process.”

Gale, who captained Yorkshire to County Championship title wins in 2014 and 2015, said his only difference in opinion with Rafiq was over cricketing matters, and added that his career in professional cricket had been “destroyed” after the club sacked him.

“It would appear that the ECB needs to find somebody guilty of something in order to substantiate Yorkshire’s undoubted ‘guilty’ plea,” he said. “Lord Patel has embraced the entirely false allegation that YCCC was an institutionally racist organisation. Even if that were true, which is denied, his ‘clear out’ of staff was only limited to the coaching and medical staff, and utterly ignored the players and the other departments within YCCC.

“Indeed, the latest ECB investigation has only resulted in a small number of people being charged. I believe that we are being put forward as scapegoats and I simply will not cooperate in that process.

“Lord Patel saw fit to place Azeem on a pedestal and immediately lost face as Azeem’s anti-Semitic language came into the public domain. Having taken that stance I am sure that Lord Patel feels obliged to carry on with a crusade against the former staff, as to acknowledge his own errors would no doubt make his own position as chairman untenable.”

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Gale’s robust response comes a day after Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, announced that he is stepping away from his commentary duties – probably until the end of the summer at least. Vaughan’s decision came after BBC Sport’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic group sent an email to staff at the corporation criticizing his retention by Test Match Special as “totally inexcusable”.

Vaughan is another among the seven facing an ECB charge – the hearings for which are due in September and October – after being accused of saying “there are too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” to a group of four Asian -heritage teammates before a Twenty20 match in 2009. Vaughan denies the allegation.

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