"When something as big as this happens, you have a chat about it" - Paul Collingwood says England have discussed the Azeem Rafiq saga

Paul Collingwood. (Image Credits: Getty)
Paul Collingwood. (Image Credits: Getty)

England assistant coach Paul Collingwood has declared that the players have spoken about the ongoing Azeem Rafiq-Yorskshire fiasco. Paul Collingwood also revealed they all enjoy a close bond and that the dressing room fosters a non-discriminatory environment.

Azeem Rafiq, whose racism allegations against the Yorkshire County Cricket Club surfaced in September 2020, has now built a strong case. Yorkshire's investigation report has named Gary Ballance, who admitted to using racial slurs on Rafiq when playing alongside him for the club.

Wow just when you think this club couldn’t get more embarrassing you find a way 👏🏽👏🏽Still awaiting the FULL report Thanks for mentioning the people that have provided your PROTECTION & given green light to RACISM Interesting timing again 🧐…

In light of what happened to Azeem Rafiq, Paul Collingwood emphasized that they have forged a friendly environment in the dressing room. The assistant coach believes every individual gets respected in the Three Lions' dressing room. Collingwood said, as quoted by The Guardian:

"Of course, when something as big as this is in the news you have a chat about it. But over the last few years we’ve done a lot of work in our dressing room to make it a place that everyone wants to be. We’ve worked hard to encourage respect and unity in the dressing room and that’s a motto that we live by. Dressing rooms are special places, you spend a lot of time with each other and you go through some amazing times and you go through lots of hardships."

The ECB on Thursday announced Gary Ballance's indefinite suspension from selection and banned Yorkshire from hosting any international matches. The board stated it was dissatisfied by the club's failure to take stringent action based on its own report.

"I know everybody feels welcome in that dressing room" - Paul Collingwood

England cricket team. (Image Credits: Getty)
England cricket team. (Image Credits: Getty)

Paul Collingwood understands the importance of an inclusive culture for the current crop of players as they have a diverse group. Hence, the 45-year old said they continuously strive to achieve this and Rafiq's case is further education for them.

"I know this group of players, and it’s very important to them that it’s an environment where people feel safe, that people enjoy most of all, and where people are relaxed. We’ve got a very diverse group of players and I know everybody feels welcome in that dressing room. It’s an education for all of us. We keep trying to improve ourselves and our environments, I think it’s important and hopefully, we can create a culture that people look at and are very proud of."

Collingwood, who gave England their first world title in 2010, is quite close to leading them to their second T20 crown. Eoin Morgan and co. will hope to continue their dominance in the 2021 T20 World Cup as the semifinals beckon.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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