Former England internationals Tim Bresnan and Matthew Hoggard have criticized the disciplinary process surrounding Azeem Rafiq’s racism investigation after withdrawing their cooperation.
The case is to be heard in public by a panel of the Cricket Disciplinary Commission at the beginning of next month.
Both Bresnan and Hoggard face charges from the England and Wales Cricket Board but were the latest witnesses to come forward on Friday.
Bresnan, a former Yorker and former Yorker, told The Times: “I’m willing to let everything go because I’m not out of the process. But they cut right after me. How is that possible without even talking to me?
“It’s like being accused and tried without even being caught. That’s how it feels.
“He (Rafiq) is saying that I used that language (the P-word), along with others, but he did not give any example. There are no witnesses. I strongly deny that. I grew up in a place that is not right.
“Two and a half years of non-stop articles, leaks, tweets, various things coming out with no right of reply. I could not guarantee witnesses that statements they wanted to make in private would not become public.
“We have been ordered to be quiet up to this point now because it could have an impact on the situation. It just didn’t feel right, the whole thing.”
Hoggard agreed with Bresnan’s sentiments and argued that the investigation had failed everyone.
“The process has failed everyone. All parties involved have a problem with the way this process has been handled,” he told BBC Sport.
“Azeem has a problem with it, all the respondents (former Yorkshire chairman Lord Patel) have Yorkshire. There has to be a better way.
“I’m pulling out because I don’t think it’s a fair process.
“There are no winners. It is not an admission of guilt. The people who know the truth, they know the truth. That’s all that matters to me.”
Andrew Gale, another of those charged, announced last year that he was not prepared to face the process, which he described as “tainted”.
The ECB announced last June that it had charged several individuals with inappropriate behavior and alleged breaches of its anti-discrimination code.
Yorkshire were also blamed for their handling of the allegations.
Responding to the latest withdrawal, the ECB said: “Individuals are entitled to choose not to take part in the hearings if they wish, but the cases will still be heard in their absence and we are satisfied that the process disciplinary in this matter both. tough and fair.
“The ECB’s investigative and disciplinary process is overseen by an independent and specialist committee led by the King’s Counsel (KC).
“As with any case before the Cricket Disciplinary Commission, defendants are entitled to a fair hearing by an independent and experienced CDC Panel where they can call witnesses, and can also challenge the supporting evidence the charge, including through cross-examination of. the ECB witnesses.
It is entirely up to the defendants if they choose not to take advantage of this opportunity.
“At the end of the hearing it is up to the independent CDC Panel, not the ECB, to determine guilt or otherwise and any sanction.”
Rafiq said: “Over the last two years I have been verified every now and then.
“This includes a legal investigation which confirmed that I was a victim of racial harassment and bullying; a panel commissioned by Yorkshire to conclude that I suffered discrimination; numerous apologies, both public and private, from people who witnessed or participated in this behavior; and others have come forward to cement the culture in the wider game.
“I was grateful to Matthew Hoggard for calling me to apologize shortly after I went public in 2020. However, it is unfortunate that these defendants are not prepared to go to a public hearing and address what happened. “