Speaking from England’s Ashes touring base in Queensland, Root said that the revelations around Yorkshire’s investigation into allegations of institutional racism by former team-mate Azeem Rafiq had “fractured our game and torn lives apart”, adding that the situation had hurt him personally but that he wanted to be part of the solution.
Yorkshire’s chair, Roger Hutton, subsequently stepped down, with the ECB appointing a QC to look into the club’s handling of the report.
Root, who said that he could not recall having observed any racism first-hand during his time at Yorkshire, said it was important to acknowledge the problem before seeking answers.
“It’s obviously deeply hurtful that it’s happened at a club that I’m so close to,” he said. “It means so much for me to go and play for Yorkshire. In terms of my position – if you’re not at the club how can you make any change? How can you help move things forward? As I said, I look forward to speaking to Lord Patel at some point in the future about how I can help move things forward. That’s my position on things and we’ll see how that happens in the future.
“The most important thing that we have to look at right now how we move forward as a sport, how we move forward as a society as well. I think this is deeper than just cricket,” Root added. “I think what we need to do is address what’s happened and find ways of educating moving forward, and really looking at areas in which we as a as a sport and beyond that as well.
“It’s really important that we recognise what has happened [and] we make sure that moving forward we never see this happen again. And whether it’s in Yorkshire, whether it’s in club cricket, whether it’s in the street, or whatever. We’ve got to find a way of confronting this and stopping it and making sure that, absolutely, we are getting rid of racism from society.”
“These events have fractured our game and torn lives apart,” he wrote. “We must now recover and come back together as fans, players, media, and those who work within cricket. We have an opportunity to make the sport I love better for everyone.
“I want to see change and actions that will see YCCC rise from this with a culture that harnesses a diverse environment with trust across all communities that support cricket in the county.”
Although describing it as a “societal issue”, Root urged the ECB, counties, players and officials to do more to tackle discrimination within cricket. “I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I think we need to educate more and earlier; we must call it out straight away and have our eyes and ears open more,” he wrote.
“In my capacity as England captain and as a senior player at Yorkshire, I feel compelled to address the current situation that has consumed the sport and YCCC.
“I just want the sport to be a place where everyone is enjoying it for the beautiful game it is and feels equal and safe. It hurts knowing this has happened at YCCC so close to home. It’s my club that I care passionately about it. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting. There is no debate about racism, no one side or other. It is simply intolerable.
“These events have fractured our game and torn lives apart. We must now recover and come back together as fans, players, media, and those who work within cricket. We have an opportunity to make the sport I love better for everyone.
“I want to see change and actions that will see YCCC rise from this with a culture that harnesses a diverse environment with trust across all communities that support cricket in the county.
“We need to educate, unify and reset. I will reach out to YCCC new chair, Lord Patel, to offer support however I’m able.
“We have to find a way to move forward and make sure this never happens again. In my opinion, this is a societal issue and needs addressing further afield than just cricket.
“That being said, we, as a sport, all have to do more. How can we all help shape things moving forward positively? What can everyone from myself, the ECB, counties, players, officials and others in the sport do to improve the state of the game? I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I think we need to educate more and earlier; we must call it out straight away and have our eyes and ears open more.
“Inclusivity, diversity and anti-discrimination is something over the past few years the England teams I have been involved in have spent a lot of time talking about and are very passionate about improving and making a big difference. It’s a big part of our culture, and we want to celebrate our diversity. We are representing England, and in that, we are representing the multicultural society we live in. We want all the fans to be able to enjoy what we do on the field and feel proud about who’s representing them.
“With the Ashes fast approaching, I’d really like the fans back home to unite and get behind us as a team. We will be playing for you all.”
Ban vs Pak 1st Test
Nurul Hasan was named as Yasir’s concussion substitute, although he won’t be allowed to keep wicket
The incident occurred at the end of the 30th over when Yasir ducked into a Shaheen Shah Afridi bouncer. Yasir briefly took his eye away from the delivery while getting under the ball, and was hit on the helmet.
Bangladesh’s physio Bayejidul Islam checked Yasir immediately, and he went back to batting. But an over later, Bayejid came back to check on Yasir during the drinks break, after which he walked off.
The team director Khaled Mahmud confirmed a few minutes later that Yasir was out of the Test match, with Nurul as his replacement. Yasir has been taken to Imperial Hospital for a CT scan. A BCB statement said later that “he is medically stable. However, as a precaution, he will be observed for 24 hours at the hospital.”
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
Recent Match Report – Sri Lanka vs West Indies 2nd Test 2021/22
Roston Chase dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne late in the day, but not before another century opening stand
Sri Lanka 113 for 1 (Nissanka 61*, Karunaratne 42, Chase 1-33) vs West Indies
Nissanka was positive almost from the outset. He drilled a full Jason Holder ball down the ground for four to begin the second over, carved Roach past the slip cordon soon after, and although occasionally beaten by deliveries that jagged past his outside edge, was on a constant hunt for runs, moving to 20 off his first 30 balls. Karunaratne was typically conservative by comparison – defending and leaving the majority of deliveries he faced from the seamers, making just 4 from his first 30 deliveries.
Eventually though, Holder and Roach wrapped up their spells, and batting seemed to get easier. Kyle Mayers was hit for three fours – twice through the leg side by Karunaratne – in his first two overs, the only two he bowled on the first day. Nissanka attempted to dominate the left-arm spin of Veerasammy Permaul, who was playing his first Test since 2015, coming down the track in Permaul’s second over to launch him into the sightscreen.
Soon, Captain Kraigg Brathwaite had spinners bowling from both ends, and although they prompted the occasional mistake, the batters largely settled into a rhythm against them, with Nissanka scoring primarily through the off side, and Karunaratne favouring the leg side, as he often does. Nissanka got to fifty – his third in Tests, and second in the series – off the 74th ball he faced.
Karunaratne’s dismissal came against the run of play. Earlier in that Chase over, he had played a late cut and a flick through midwicket, both of which went for four. But Chase found some rip off the last delivery of that over, and turned a ball more than the batter expected, which produced a return catch off the inside half of the bat as Karunaratne attempted to drive him down the ground.
If he had got to fifty, Karunaratne would have made seven Test half-centuries in as many innings, a feat only six batters had accomplished. In any case, his last seven scores read 42, 83, 147, 66, 118, 244 and 75.
Oshada Fernando survived ten balls before the players went off for bad light. Nissanka was 61 not out off 109 balls, his scoring rate having slowed as the light faded.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf
Ray Illingworth reveals cancer diagnosis amid support for assisted dying
Former England captain wants law changed to prevent the suffering of terminally ill patients
Illingworth, who captained England to victory in Australia in 1970-71 and went on to become English cricket’s most powerful figure in the mid-1990s, says that he has undergone two rounds of radiotherapy and hopes to hear a positive prognosis when his condition is reassessed next month.
“They got rid of a lot of the tumour but there were still two centimetres left, originally it was eight,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “They are just hoping to get rid of the last bit with extra double doses. I will see how these next two doses go, keep my fingers crossed and hope I have a bit of luck.”
However, having cared for his wife for the final years of her life, prior to her death in March, Illingworth has lent his support to the Assisted Dying Bill, which received its second reading in the House of Lords in October, and would enable mentally competent adults to make the decision to end their own lives.
At present, the 1961 Suicide Act states that anyone who is found to have assisted a person to take their own life could face up to 14 years’ imprisonment. However, earlier this month, Jersey became the first British parliament to approve assisted dying, with the prospect for a draft law by 2023.
“I don’t want to have the last 12 months that my wife had. She had a terrible time going from hospital to hospital and in pain. I don’t want that,” Illingworth said. “I would rather go peacefully. I believe in assisted dying. The way my wife was, there was no pleasure in life in the last 12 months and I don’t see the point of living like that, to be honest.
“But we don’t have assisted dying in England yet so you don’t have the option do you? They are debating it and I think it will come eventually. A lot of doctors are against it but if they had to live like my wife did in her last 12 months they might change their minds.”
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