England cricket director Ashley Giles pleads for ‘second chance’ in racism scandal

England’s managing director Ashley Giles says cricket needs to do much better to tackle racism, but pleaded for those who made a “mistake” to be given a second chance. English cricket has been shaken by the damaging revelations of racism by former Pakistan-born Yorkshire player Azim Rafiq, who made several allegations against high-profile figures in the game.

One allegation is that former England captain Vaughan told Rafiq and other Yorkshire players of Asian descent that there were “too many of you” during a county match. Vaughan, who had “categorically denied” the allegations, later pulled out of the BBC. Commentary team for Ashes to avoid “conflict of interest”.

Giles, speaking to British reporters from Team Base in Australia on Sunday, said the England team had considered Rafiq’s issue and it was “hard to hear” his story. The former Test bowler said that cricket had to “do much better”. … discrimination in any form is not acceptable” but he also emphasized that it is important to give people a second chance.

“To me if zero tolerance means we cut people off, we don’t give people a second chance, we don’t give people a chance to rehabilitate then I think we have a problem,” he said. “We all make mistakes and we will do it again but we have to be able to tolerate and educate and rehabilitate, otherwise people aren’t going to open up, they’re not going to share their experiences.”

Giles said several teams touring England had heard Rafiq’s testimony to British lawmakers about their experiences earlier this month.

“I’ve been involved in the sport over the past 30 years and I’m sure there will be incidents and things I’ve said that I wouldn’t be proud of in a different time and in a different context,” he said. I am sure cricket is not alone in those experiences, but it is clear that we need to create an environment where people can come forward and share those experiences and we can talk about these issues. And to do that we need to educate, we need to share and I also think we need to tolerate.”

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