Middlesex cricket club chairman slammed for saying ‘Black people prefer football’ during racism inquiry

The chairman of Middlesex County Cricket Club has faced backlash after making ‘controversial’ comments during an inquiry into racism in cricket.

During the sports governance inquiry, which was presented in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Mike O’Farrell was one of the officials questioned alongside the English and Wales Cricket Board.

The inquiry to look at progress being made, took place today, January 25, following the public accusations from former cricketer Azeem Rafiq, who says he faced racism during his time at Yorkshire Cricket Club.

READ MORE: Jahid Ahmed accuses players of racism at Essex County Cricket club leaving his ‘dreams shattered’



Jahid Ahmed spoke about his experiences in cricket to MyLondon

Following this, Essex Cricket Club player Jahid Ahmed also spoke out about his experience as South Asian player.

In a clip which was live streamed by the BBC, Mike said: “The football and rugby world becomes much more attractive to the Afro-Caribbean community.

“In terms of the South Asian community, there is a moment where we’re finding that they do not want to necessarily commit the same time that is necessary to go to the next step, because they prefer to go into other educational fields and then cricket becomes secondary.

“Part of that is because it’s a rather more time consuming sport than some others.”

Following his comments, which were not challenged by the DCMS, Azeem Rafiq alongside others took to Twitter to call him out.

He tweeted: “This has just confirmed what an endemic problem the game has. I actually can’t believe what I am listening to.”



Unzela Khan, Race and Diversity

Now that you’re here – let me introduce myself.

I am the Race and Diversity Correspondent for MyLondon, and I enjoy writing about stories to do with ethnic minorities.

The stories I’m most proud of are ones where I can get an insight into the experiences of individuals, such as this powerful independent woman who fled Eritrea and ended up opening her own salon in Brixton.

I also love supporting ethnic minority owned businesses and finding out about owners’ own experiences and inspirations behind their menus, for example the story of this Chinese bakery.

My own interests and experiences also weave into my stories so that readers can get an insight into my South Asian heritage, as you can see from this story about Karak Chai which I’m ever so passionate about!

Although I was born and raised in London, I would say I’m very connected to my own culture as a British Pakistani who is fluent in Urdu.

This year I became a finalist for the British Muslim Awards in the Media Achiever of the Year category – and I hope to make a difference every single year with my work.

Got a story? If so, get in touch by emailing unzela.khan@reachplc.com

In November 2021, former cricketer Azeem Rafiq gave evidence in front of the DCMS about the racism he faced during his time at the club.

Since then, a number of ethnic minority ex-cricketers have spoken out about racism in the sport and their own experiences.

Do you have a story you think we should be covering? If so, email unzela.khan@reachplc.com

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