Azeem Rafiq on tackling racism in cricket, losing his son, and facing his own failures
In 2017, Azeem Rafiq’s world collapsed around him. He lost his baby son, and shortly after, the career that he had worked his entire life for, after he blew the whistle on racism and bullying at Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Azeem found himself at the centre of a long-running scandal which unlocked a long process which is now international. In the years that followed, Rafiq’s grief, his battle with the club, and numerous allegations of poor behaviour against himself, saw him reach the lowest of lows - struggling for money, often staying in bed for days at a time. Fast forward to 2023, Azeem has written a new book, “It’s Not Banter, It’s Racism: What Cricket’s Dirty Secret Reveals About Our Society”, and is looking ahead to a brighter future; hoping to get back into the game that he has devoted his life too, and campaigning for meaningful change in sport. In today’s episode of Ways to Change the World, Azeem looks back at several years of pain and growth, and tells Krishnan Guru-Murthy about his hopes for the future. Produced by Freya Pickford, Imahn Robertson and Alice Wagstaffe. Warning: this episode includes offensive language.