Azim Rafiq accused of sending obscene messages to teenager six years ago

Former Yorkshire spinner Azim Rafique, who is at the center of a racism controversy in English cricket, has been accused of sending “obscene” messages to a teenager six years ago, reports the Yorkshire Post.

Gayatri Ajith was only 16 when she met Rafiq, but said he told her she was 17 to look “a little older”.

She said, as per reports, that the cricketer sent her inappropriate WhatsApp messages in December 2015, three months after they met on a flight from Manchester to Dubai. Moreover, she also turned down Rafiq’s invitation for dinner in Dubai.

A screenshot of messages from Rafiq’s number sent in December 2015 read: “You know what I wanted to do on the plane?” and “I want to hold you, push you against the wall and kiss you”.

“I was shocked by the brutality of those messages. They were so obscene,” she told the ‘Yorkshire Post’, describing the messages as “scary”.

Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson for Rafiq told the English daily: “This was put to us late on Friday evening. We need to look into this, so can’t comment any more on this right now.” The allegations came true after Rafiq was accused of making anti-Semitic remarks during a text exchange with a fellow Asian player in 2011. He has apologized for it.

The woman, who is now 22 and lives in Yorkshire, raised some questions over Rafiq’s allegations of racism against her former club. “I’m not disputing any of his racism claims, because I’m sure those are very true experiences. But some aspects of what he said really don’t fit with me.

“If he was being forced to drink by his peers, that certainly wouldn’t mean he would be drinking alone on a flight and encouraging a 17-year-old girl to drink with him.” She said: “Her behavior towards me was actually a direct contradiction of what was said in her testimony.

“He is calling for equality and respect, but why is he not including it in all aspects? Especially in his tone towards women. This is hypocrisy.” He should be put in this position to instigate systemic change. But he is actually contributing to the problem of obscene attitude towards women. His whole nature doesn’t go well with me.”

Shedding tears, Rafiq told British lawmakers on Tuesday that he believed he lost his career because of racism. Rafiq recalled the “abusive behavior” he had received at the club, saying that racism in English cricket was institutionalized.

An independent report found that the Pakistan-born player was the victim of “racial harassment and bullying”, while Rafiq himself said that he had suicidal thoughts about the way he was treated.


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