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ECB issues response to Hoggard, Bresnan’s withdrawal from Yorkshire’s racism hearing

image-ldotdeasHoggard one of three ex-Yorkshire players to pull out (Source: Twitter)

Matthew Hoggard and Tim Bresnan have withdrawn from the disciplinary process in relation to Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of racism at the Yorkshire Cricket Club. The two former English cricketers were joined by ex-Scotland fast bowler John Blain.

The trio of former Yorkshire players were among seven members due to appear before the Cricket Discipline Committee (CDC) in March. In response to their withdrawal, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have now issued a public statement, thus expressing their stance on the matter.

ECB says individuals are entitled to choose their participation

On February 3, the ECB issued a public statement in response to the three former cricketers withdrawing from participating at the racism trials. They said that individuals are entitled to choose not to participate in hearings, and that the hearings will still be conducted in their absence before the CDC. As published on their website, the board stated:

“Individuals are entitled to choose not to participate in the hearings if they wish, but the cases will still be heard in their absence and we are satisfied that the disciplinary process in this matter has been both rigorous and fair.

The cricket board added that the defendants are also entitled to a fair hearing where they can call in witnesses. They also made it clear that the determination of guilt or otherwise will be made by the CDC panel and not the board.

“As with any case before the Cricket Discipline Commission, defendants are entitled to a fair hearing by an independent and experienced CDC Panel where they can call witnesses, and they can also challenge the evidence in support of the charge, including through cross-examination of the ECB’s witnesses. It is entirely the decision of defendants if they choose not to take advantage of this opportunity.

“At the end of the hearing it is for the independent CDC Panel, not the ECB, to determine guilt or otherwise and any sanction.”

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