Azeem Rafiq: Police Launch Hate Crime Inquiry After Man Defecates In Former Cricketer’s Garden
South Yorkshire Police have released an image of a man they wish to identify in relation to an alleged hate crime towards former cricketer Azeem Rafiq.
The man is reported to have defecated in the garden of an address belonging to Rafiq in Barnsley in October.
It is claimed the incident was racially motivated and South Yorkshire Police wish to speak to a man pictured on their website.
“Our Barnsley team is looking to identify the man pictured, in connection with a reported hate crime,” a statement from the force read on Thursday.
“At 6.18pm on October 5, it’s reported that a man defecated in the front garden of an address on Gawber Road, Barnsley.
“It is believed that the incident, which is classed as a public order offence, is racially motivated.
“We are looking to speak to this man as we believe he could help us progress our enquiries.
“Do you recognise him? If you have any information which could assist, please report it to us either online or by calling 101.”
Rafiq forced to leave UK because of abuse
Rafiq told MPs earlier this month that he has not received any support from the England and Wales Cricket Board since he first gave evidence of the racism he faced while at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
The former bowler appeared before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee and said he has been forced to leave the UK because of the abuse he has received.
“I haven’t felt supported at all,” the 31-year-old said. In the last couple of months, I have received 24/7 security, but I have been forced to leave. Providing of security has been good throughout, but there was no protection at times.
“I have felt even the ECB has been involved in the leaking and planting of stories about me. My medical information and data has been shared. I have made that point to the new chair [Richard Thompson, appointed in August 2022].
“I have felt that when there has been any chance to discredit my experiences, I felt like even the ECB has tried to do that. For me, I don’t think it’s about individuals. The structural problems within cricket are a lot bigger.
“If I was to look at 13 months on from me opening my heart out, all that’s changed really is that me and my family have been driven out of the country. And that’s a sad element of it.”
Rafiq recounted some of the abuse he has received, including a man defecating outside his parents’ house.
He added: “The way I’ve been attacked and abused, why would you speak out? I’ve got a little hope in the new (ECB) leadership, but it’s very little at the minute.”