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It's Not Banter, It's Racism with Azeem Rafiq

It's Not Banter, It's Racism with Azeem Rafiq

Join professional Cricketer Azeem Rafiq, who played for Yorkshire CCC for two stints between 2008 and 2018, and MQ Mental Health ambassador, to celebrate the publication of his compelling book It’s Not Banter, It’s Racism – What Cricket’s Dirty Secret Reveals About Our Society.  

Green grass, blue skies, white flannels and the gentle thwack of leather on willow: the quintessential image of Englishness that heralds the start of the cricket season. A so-called gentleman's game developed with the principle of fair play at its heart. All well and true - unless you're a person of colour living in Britain today. Azeem Rafiq, the former Yorkshire cricketer and England youth captain, learnt this the hard way. 

When, on 16 November 2021, Azeem stood up and courageously spoke out about his experiences of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club he was coolly dismissed, told that it was "friendly banter" and that he was a troublemaker. The case blew up, and millions of people voiced their support for Azeem. 

Azeem will provide a bracing look at the moments that led up to, and defined the watershed meeting where he shared his truth. He will share his interviews with key figures involved in the case, and illustrate how the continual denial of racism is sending us backwards as a society. With great sensitivity and determination, Azeem will also unpack his own biases, and encourage building forgiveness and understanding with the communities he has impacted in the past.  

Do not miss this opportunity to hear from Azeem himself, as he discusses his book, his experiences, and his vision for a more inclusive future in cricket and beyond.


The ‘stream and book’ package includes a unique ticket for the stream, and a copy of It’s Racism – What Cricket’s Dirty Secret Reveals About Our Society (RRP £22) deliverable to any UK or international address. 

The event will initially be broadcast on 28 June at 6.30pm UK time. It will be available to view up to two weeks after the event has ended and can be accessed Worldwide. If you live in a time zone that does not suit the initial broadcast time you can watch it at any point after the initial showing for two weeks. 

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] 

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