The liberal race industry in action: Yorkshire cricket in the dock

Not content with the wave of wokeness that has drowned top-level English football, the race relations industry has now moved on to our true national game – cricket.

Footballers at Premiership grounds across the country ‘took the knee’ yet again this week in a gesture that deliberately overshadows and insults the sacrifices of previous generations whom we are supposed to be honouring in minutes of silence, ‘Last Post’ buglers, and poppy displays this week and next.

The ‘Unknown Soldier’ now counts for little compared with the all-too-well known American criminal George Floyd.

But the big headlines on UK front pages as well as sports pages this week have been about a previously obscure cricketer, Pakistani-born Azeem Rafiq, who played 39 first-class matches for Yorkshire between 2008 and 2018. He took 72 first-class wickets for the county at an average of 39.73, and had just one five-wicket haul in his career. For those H&D readers who don’t understand cricket, that adds up to a modest if perfectly respectable career achievement. By all accounts, he is a player who didn’t quite live up to his youthful potential.

Yet Rafiq’s dossier of complaints about ‘racism’ at Yorkshire have plunged the county cricket club into a media storm and consequent financial crisis. The chairman has resigned and been replaced by former Labour minister Lord Patel, but it seems that the Rafiq saga will rumble on for years to come and become a cricketing equivalent to the endless White abasement that has followed the virtual canonisation of Stephen Lawrence and George Floyd.

Rafiq’s celebrity legal team at Doughty Street Chambers (above) worked alongside ‘PR consultancy’ Powerscourt to promote his cause among the wokerati.

While we can’t comment on the full story (since neither we nor any of the eager media commentators actually know the content of the controversial dossier and report), H&D readers can draw their own conclusions from the fact that almost a year ago Rafiq began to be represented by a celebrity PR and legal team with long experience in promoting previous woke heroes.

This includes Australian ‘human rights lawyer’ Jennifer Robinson from Doughty Street Chambers, whose notable former members include Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Ms Robinson is perhaps most famous for representing another media heroine, actress Amber Heard in her successful libel battle against ex-husband Johnny Depp.

In the Heard case as now in the Rafiq case, Ms Robinson worked alongside the PR consultancy Powerscourt, whose director Mark Leftly boasted: “Team Amber, Team Azeem – these are great causes and we look forward to raising awareness of this case in both the media and in parliament.”

Whether or not these are “great causes” is a matter of opinion, but one thing’s for sure: it’s not cricket!

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