Former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq, who raised his voice against racism in recent times has been accused of sending vulgar messages to a teenage girl six years ago. The victim, who is now 22 and lives in Yorkshire stated that Rafiq had sent inappropriate WhatsApp messages to her in December 2015.
Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq recently revealed to a British parliamentary committee that he lost his career to racism. Later, the ECB has banned Yorkshire from hosting international and major matches, including The Hundred final, owing to the club's handling of allegations of racism from their former player. Meanwhile, Rafiq, who is at the centre of controversy in England cricket right now has been accused of sending vulgar messages to a 16-year-old girl six years ago according to the Yorkshire Post.
According to the report, Rafiq and the teenage girl met on a flight from Manchester to Dubai, and three months later, Rafiq sent inappropriate WhatsApp messages to the girl in December 2015.
Screenshots of messages from a number belonging to Rafiq, sent in December 2015, read: “u know what I wanted to do on the plane?” and “I want to grab you push u up against wall and kiss you.”
The girl stated that she was shocked by the crudity of messages.
“I was just kind of shocked by the crudity of those messages. They were just so vulgar,” she said.
The woman who has turned 22 also said that the cricketer’s racism claims might be true but some of his allegations do not sit right with her.
“I’m not disputing any of his racism claims, because I’m sure they’re very true experiences. But certain aspects of what he said just don’t really sit right with me,” she stated.
“If he was being forced to drink by his teammates, then surely that wouldn’t then mean he would be drinking alone on a flight and encouraging a 17-year-old girl to be drinking with him. His behaviour towards me was a direct contradiction really of what he said in his testimony.”
“He’s calling for equality and respect, but why is he not embodying that in all aspects? Especially in his tone towards women. It’s hypocrisy. “He is being put on this pedestal for inciting systemic change, but he’s really contributing to the problem of the vulgar attitudes towards women.”
Rafiq was also accused of making anti-Semitic remarks in a chat with an Asian player in 2011. The cricketer later apologized for his actions. Responding to the allegation of sending inappropriate Whatsapp messages to the teenage girl six years ago, a spokesperson for Rafiq commented that they need to look into this and cannot comment about the matter at the moment.
“This was put to us late on a Friday evening. We need to look into this, so cannot comment further for now,” he said.