ICEC Report Confirms Racism, Sexism and Class-Based Discrimination in Cricket

Today, 27 June 2023, The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (“ICEC”) released its 317 page report titled “Holding Up A Mirror To Cricket”. In the report, Chair of the ICEC, Cindy Butts acknowledges Azeem Rafiq’s experience of racism during his time as a player as well as the evidence he had given to the DCMS committee in November 2021, which resulted in increased media and public interest in the work of the ICEC.

Paras Gorasia, Jennifer Robinson and Margherita Cornaglia advised Mr Rafiq in respect of the investigation undertaken by YCCC and acted for him in his claim against YCCC for direct discrimination and harassment on the grounds of race, as well as victimisation and protected disclosure (whistleblower) detriment as a result of his efforts to address racism at the club. They also advised Mr Rafiq in relation to his evidence to the DCMS Committee in 2021 and all aspects of reputation management and legal risks associated with speaking out and campaigning about racism in cricket.

Mr Rafiq contributed to the ICEC report (along with some 4000 respondents). The resulting report itself makes 44 recommendations including:

 “…that the ECB makes an unqualified public apology for its own failings and those of the game it governs. The apology should acknowledge that racism, sexism, elitism and class-based discrimination have existed, and still exist, in the game, and recognise the impact on victims of discrimination...”

The report makes for disturbing reading and references the view that “Racism, in all its forms, continues to shape the experience of, and opportunities for, many in the game”, that “Women receive an embarrassingly small amount compared to men … the average salary for England Women is 20.6% of the average salary for England Men.” and that there is “a prevalence of elitism and class-based discrimination in cricket.”

Upon publication of the ICEC report, Mr Rafiq told the Guardian:

“I hope that reading this report will be some closure to all the people that have contributed. All of these people were brave enough to speak the commission and I know there are a lot more out there suffering in silence. I just hope that this report reflects their voice and gives them a path to closure.”

Mr Rafiq spoke out about the racism he suffered at YCCC in 2020. His case against YCCC and evidence to the DCMS Committee, as well as its aftermath,  has attracted significant national and international press attention and has shined a spotlight on racism in professional cricket. A sample of press reporting can be found here:

BBC Sport:


The Guardian: 

ESPN Cricinfo: 

Sky Sports: 

Al Jazeera: 

The Telegraph: 

The Independent:  

Please contact Callum Stebbing ( or Sam Cooper ( for more details about this case and/or the practices of Paras, Jen and Margherita.