Tim Bresnan withdraws from disciplinary proceedings at Yorkshire CC

Former England Cricketer Tim Bresnan withdraws from disciplinary proceedings into allegations of racism at Yorkshire Cricket Club, saying his ‘trust in the ECB to provide a fair process’ had been ‘shattered’ amid claims of a ‘one-sided investigation’

  • Tim Bresnan has withdrawn from the disciplinary proceedings into racism allegations at Yorkshire Cricket Club
  • The former England international is one of several ex-players to have withdrawn
  • The all-rounder admitted his ‘trust in the ECB’ had been ‘shattered  

Ashes winners Tim Bresnan and Matthew Hoggard were among a trio of former Yorkshire stars to withdraw yesterday from the disciplinary process into allegations of racism at the club.

Bresnan told Sportsmail it felt like he had been ‘prosecuted before being arrested’.

Bresnan, Hoggard and the former Scotland international John Blain were due to go before the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) next month but lost confidence that they would get a fair hearing after the ECB refused to disclose crucial evidence to the players accused of racism by Azeem Rafiq. 

Tim Bresnan (pictured) and Matthew Hoggard have withdrawn from disciplinary hearings into alleged proceedings into racism allegations at Yorkshire Cricket Club

Azeem Rafiq had made allegations that he was subject to racism during his time at Yorkshire

As Sportsmail revealed last week, lawyers acting for the seven players, who also include two former England stars in Michael Vaughan and Gary Ballance, were repeatedly denied access to interviews and statements from key witnesses by the governing body, and in other instances encountered lengthy delays.

Vaughan, Ballance and former Yorkshire bowling coach Rich Pyrah are the only ones who remain in the CDC procedure.

Andrew Gale met the news that he was being charged with bringing the game into disrepute by the ECB last year by refusing to engage in the process. Yesterday, others followed suit, amid claims that a ‘one-sided investigation’ in which the accused were not formally interviewed before being charged would reach a ‘foregone conclusion’.

Bresnan played all formats of cricket for England, notably winning the Ashes twice 

While Bresnan has withdrawn, Michael Vaughan and Gary Balance remain in the procedure

Bresnan said: ‘As a retired player I had no obligation to participate, but I did so in good faith and with nothing to hide. I put my trust and confidence in the ECB to conduct a fair process. Both have been shattered.

‘Mr Rafiq’s allegations exploded in the public domain before I was even aware of the nature of his complaints.

‘Those accusations became the subject of an investigation at Yorkshire, followed by a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport inquiry through a parliamentary select committee and the formation of the ECB’s Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket.

‘This all occurred without anyone having any right of challenge or even a say in response to the complaints being made. The allegations were effectively treated as being wholly true without ever being forensically examined.’

Hoggard, who faces four charges, told BBC Sport: ‘The process has failed everybody. Every party involved has a problem with the way this process has been dealt with.

‘Azeem Rafiq has a problem with it, all the respondents have, (former Yorkshire chairman) Lord Patel has, Yorkshire have. There has got to be a better way.’

Matthew Hoggard (right) faces four charges and said: ‘the process has failed everybody’

The ECB responded that those charged had been invited to provide written witness statements.

‘Individuals are entitled to choose not to participate if they wish, but the cases will still be heard in their absence and we are satisfied that the disciplinary process has been rigorous and fair,’ the governing body continued.

‘Defendants are entitled to …challenge the evidence in support of the charge, including through cross-examination of the ECB’s witnesses.’

The trio are also aggrieved that some of their witnesses had agreed to give evidence on the basis that the hearing was private, something prevented when Rafiq successfully challenged for it to be made public last November. In many cases, Rafiq is the only witness for the ECB.

Rafiq said: ‘It is regrettable these defendants are not willing to go to a public hearing and face what happened.’

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