Azeem Rafiq returns to Headingley for first time since testimony over racism

Azeem Rafiq attended day three of the Headingley Test as Yorkshire’s guest, returning to the ground for the first time since he went public with claims of institutional racism at the club.

Rafiq watched from a balcony at the Pavilion End, having accepted the club’s invitation to take in a game that was almost relocated at the height of the racism scandal set in motion by his whistleblowing. Yorkshire’s right to host international fixtures was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board after Rafiq’s harrowing testimony in front of a parliamentary select committee last year. The sanction was only lifted four months ago, in recognition of a new leadership regime led by Lord Kamlesh Patel and the work it had done to address failures of the past.

The 31-year-old was also present at Lord’s for the first Test of the summer but it is understood concerns were raised about him advertising his return to Headingley. He sent a solitary tweet in the morning, with just one word: “nervous”.