Ex-Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton says he will not take part in disciplinary proceedings over charges resulting from racism allegations at the county.
Hutton said it was because the process was “unfair” and he lacked “confidence” in the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The ECB’s Discipline Commission said the hearings would take place in public from 28 November.
Yorkshire and seven individuals have been charged as a result of accusations made by former player Azeem Rafiq.
Rafiq first detailed the allegations in September 2020, saying racism at the club had left him feeling suicidal.
The Cricket Disciplinary Commission usually operates in private, but the ECB announced earlier this month that proceedings will take place in public – though parties involved have the right to appeal against that decision.
Hutton has called for the disciplinary hearings to be held in private, contrary to Rafiq’s view that all the evidence heard should be made public.
In a letter to Yorkshire, which has been seen by the BBC, Hutton said he was “pleased to provide the club with all information of relevance”.
However, he added: “After careful consideration, I will not be taking part in the Yorkshire statement or any other aspects of the panel.
“I simply do not have confidence in the ECB, its governance or its agenda and who notably escape all scrutiny themselves.
“Its own conduct is not included within the scope of inquiry – this underlines the clearly unfair and biased ECB inquiry and serves only to reinforce the reluctance of cricket to take seriously racism in the game.”
An ECB spokesperson said: “This has been a thorough and extensive investigation into allegations of racism and the way they were handled by Yorkshire CCC, and we look forward to the case being heard by the Cricket Discipline Commission.”
Following Rafiq’s allegations, Yorkshire launched “a formal investigation” and, a year later, an independent panel upheld seven of the 43 allegations made by Rafiq.
However, the panel’s report was not published and no player, employee or executive faced disciplinary action as a result of its findings.
Hutton resigned over Yorkshire’s handling of the scandal in November 2021 and apologised “unreservedly” to Rafiq.
In his letter to Yorkshire, Hutton added: “Since my resignation last year, I have had no part to play in the club.
“It remains my strong view that Yorkshire had no ability or willingness to deal with racism and that the ECB, despite calls from the Commons Committee ‘that cricket cleans up its act’, has no appetite to deal with racism in the game.
“I strongly believe that cricket is long overdue real action and not further ECB deliberation.
“As I made clear 12 months ago, I look forward to the time when Yorkshire is a great club again and that meaningful change happens today to challenge the fundamental problem of racism in the game.”
Hutton was also critical of the ECB last year when giving evidence to a parliamentary committee, claiming they could have done more to help the county look into Rafiq’s allegations.
Hutton said the ECB’s statement that it had “repeatedly offered to help” through the investigation “couldn’t be further from the truth”.
The ECB said it had to act independently of any club investigations because of its role as regulator across the game.
“The reason why our governance is structured in this manner, is perfectly demonstrated in the way that these issues have played out at Yorkshire,” it said.
Yorkshire were charged in June of this year, alongside former England internationals Michael Vaughan, Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan, Gary Ballance, ex-Scotland international John Blain, and former Yorkshire coaches Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah.
After the ECB opened disciplinary proceedings against them, Hutton called the governing body’s investigation “deeply disappointing”.
Since Rafiq’s accusations became public, 16 members of staff have left Yorkshire in a widespread overhaul of its senior leadership. Gale has already said he will not engage with the process. In September, he and Pyrah agreed compensation with Yorkshire after their “unfair” sackings.
In June the ECB said it had carried out a “thorough and complex” investigation to establish the grounds for the charges against both the county and the individuals involved.
It said the charges arose from alleged breaches of a directive regarding “conduct which is improper or which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any cricketer into disrepute”, and its anti-discrimination code.
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