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Sports

Updated on: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 10:19 AM IST

'Players urinated on my head, desecrated another Muslim player's prayer mat and used racist language'

Ex-Yorkshire academy player recalls harrowing racial abuse experienced as a 16-year-old
Yorkshire club's new chairman Lord Patel | Photo: Twitter

Yorkshire club's new chairman Lord Patel | Photo: Twitter

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Tabassum Bhatti, a former Yorkshire academy player has spoken about experiencing alleged racisim from teammates at the club as a 14-year-old.

Bhatti told BBC Sport that players urinated on his head, desecrated another Muslim player's prayer mat and used racist language aimed at his Pakistani heritage.

Bhatti had signed for Yorkshire at the age of 14 in 1998.

"Something needs to be done. Enough is enough," he said.

In a statement on Tuesday, the club's new chairman Lord Patel said: "We need to listen to anyone who has experienced racism, discrimination and abuse at this cricket club, and I urge others to come forward to share their experiences.

Read the full statement here:

"We are aware that, since I spoke yesterday, a number of allegations have been made from individuals about their experiences in the media. These need to be properly investigated.

"I announced that an independent whistleblowing hotline will be set up as quickly as possible, as a safe space for people to come forward with disclosures.

"Once it is operational - and I have asked for this to happen by the end of this week - this will be the first step to a new and dedicated process to receive and to respond directly to all allegations and concerns.

"We want anyone who may have suffered issues to come forward, and these will be considered carefully and with due diligence."

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I was in my room just minding my own business. I was on the phone to somebody leaning out of the hotel bedroom window and there were players in the hotel room above who decided to urinate on my head. I actually dropped the phone out of my hand and dropped down two or three storeys and they did then go and try and find the phone but, yeah they urinated on my head from their window above

Tabassum Bhatti told BBC sport

Bhatti told BBC that comments "were fairly regular" during his time at the club as players "made fun of my appearance; skin colour".

He says while the specific racial slur targeted towards his Pakistani heritage was not said to his face, he "could hear players talking about me, talking about a black fellow player as well".

Bhatti recalled analleged incident which took place at a hotel during an away game: "I was in my room just minding my own business. I was on the phone to somebody leaning out of the hotel bedroom window and there were players in the hotel room above who decided to urinate on my head.

"I actually dropped the phone out of my hand and dropped down two or three storeys and they did then go and try and find the phone but, yeah they urinated on my head from their window above."

Bhatti says he knew who the players were as they visited his room afterwards, adding: "I did mention it to the coach at the time he said 'no look, don't worry about it, I'll deal with it' - obviously not."

The 37-year-old says he also heard "conversations between players about desecrating another Muslim player's prayer mat," adding: "This was like a joke to them."

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Published on: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 10:19 AM IST
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