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Azeem Rafiq accused of sending ‘creepy’ texts to teenage girl

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Cricket whistleblower Azeem Rafiq has been accused of sending ‘creepy’ Whatsapp messages to a teenage girl who has gone public with her allegations.

Gayathri Ajith, 16 at the time, told the Yorkshire Post she received texts from the former Yorkshire cricketer about kissing her and inviting her to dinner after meeting her on a flight from Manchester to Dubai in 2015.

Rafiq last week apologised for sending anti-semitic messages on Facebook after his description of racism he experienced at Yorkshire Cricket Club named several top players at the top of the sport. 

In shocking testimony before MPs, Rafiq broke down in tears as he made racial discrimination claims against Tim Bresnan, Matthew Hoggard, Alex Hales, Gary Ballance and David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd. 

The spin bowler turned racism whistleblower also claimed the word P*** was ‘used constantly’ during his time at Yorkshire CCC as he gave explosive testimony to MPs.

In one shocking claim, he gave a harrowing account of having red wine forced down his throat by older players at his local team when he was 15 and a devout Muslim – before he drank more heavily from 2012 ‘to try to fit in’.  

But Rafiq is now the subject of further claims about his character from local Yorkshire media after his whistleblowing sent shockwaves through the sport. 

Gayathri Ajith said she was 16 when she met Azeem Rafiq on a flight between Manchester and Dubai in 2015 when the cricketer propositioned her while drinking vodka and coke, the Yorkshire Post report

Gayathri Ajith said she was 16 when she met Azeem Rafiq on a flight between Manchester and Dubai in 2015 when the cricketer propositioned her while drinking vodka and coke, the Yorkshire Post report

Ms Ajith claimed she received the messages from the former Yorkshire cricketer, who was then aged 24, in December 2015.  

According to the messages, Mr Rafiq told the girl: ‘u know what I wanted to do on the plane?. 

The message continued: ‘I want to grab you push u up against wall and kiss you.’

Ms Ajith also alleges that Mr Rafiq had asked her to join him for dinner in Dubai. 

She said she had told the cricketer that she was 17 to ‘appear a bit older’ and so she could join him having a vodka and coke while onboard the aircraft. 

After receiving the messages, Ms Ajith responded: ‘Do you realise that I’m only 17?’ 

It is alleged Mr Rafiq responded: ‘Does tht mean it not allowed to want to kiss me… wud u have let me kiss u?’

Ms Ajith, who is now 22, said the messages appeared ‘creepy’. Responding to the proposition, Ms Ajith replied: ‘How do I know that you’re not some absolute pervert?’

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post last night, a spokesperson for Rafiq’s legal team said: ‘This was put to us late on a Friday evening. We need to look into this, so cannot comment further for now.’ 

His legal team have since confirmed they are looking into the case but declined to comment further when pressed by MailOnline. 

Rafiq is now the subject of further claims about his character from local Yorkshire media after his whistleblowing sent shockwaves through the sport

Rafiq is now the subject of further claims about his character from local Yorkshire media after his whistleblowing sent shockwaves through the sport

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Ms Asjith added: ‘I was just kind of shocked by the crudity of those messages. They were just so vulgar.

‘I’m not disputing any of his racism claims, because I’m sure they’re very true experiences. But certain aspects of what he said just don’t really sit right with me.

‘If he was being forced to drink by his teammates, then surely that wouldn’t then mean he would be drinking alone on a flight and encouraging a 17-year-old girl to be drinking with him.’  

The former Yorkshire spinner, widely praised for highlighting racial discrimination in cricket, appeared before a parliamentary select committee this week to lift the lid on his own experience but has been forced to confront his own past shortcomings.

Ahead of a game-wide meeting due to take place at The Oval on Friday, an historic exchange with former Warwickshire and Leicestershire player Ateeq Javid in which Rafiq made offensive remarks was uncovered by The Times.

‘I am ashamed of this exchange and have now deleted it so as not to cause further offence,’ the 30-year-old wrote on Twitter.

Gayathri Ajith claimed she received the messages from the former Yorkshire cricketer in December 2015

Gayathri Ajith claimed she received the messages from the former Yorkshire cricketer in December 2015

‘I was 19 at the time and I hope and believe I am a different person today. I am incredibly angry at myself and I apologise to the Jewish community and everyone who is rightly offended by this.

‘At no point will I ever try and defend the indefensible. For those I have hurt I am sincerely sorry.

‘I will continue to front up and own any more mistakes I have made.’

In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, he said: ‘The circumstances do differ. I don’t think I’ve ever played with anyone Jewish, so it was not exactly the same. But I don’t want to play it down. I’ve hurt people. My genuine feeling is that I deserve the flak. I f***ed up.’

But he told the newspaper that his comments were not equivalent to the racist abuse he suffered, pointing out that he had red wine forced into his mouth when his Muslim faith prevented him from drinking booze.

Rafiq told the JC: ‘I’m deeply sorry. I don’t recall making any other antisemitic remarks, but I’ll go back and think about it. People are going to go through my whole life looking for things I’ve done. I admit I’ve made mistakes.’

 A spokesperson for Mr Rafiq told MailOnline: ‘This was put to us late on a Friday evening. We need to look into this, so cannot comment further for now.’

‘I deserve the flack. I f***ed up’: Azeem Rafiq asks British Jews for forgiveness over his anti-Semitic comments… but insists they were NOT as bad as the racism he suffered in cricket 

Cricketer Azeem Rafiq (pictured) fought back tears as MPs heard bombshell allegations of institutional racism at the heart of the English game

Cricketer Azeem Rafiq (pictured) fought back tears as MPs heard bombshell allegations of institutional racism at the heart of the English game

Azeem Rafiq today begged British Jews to forgive him as he admitted he ‘f***ed up’ and ‘deserves the flak’ over anti-Semitic tropes sent in messages to a teammate – but the ex-cricketer insisted his words ‘do differ’ from the racism he suffered for years at Yorkshire.

Mr Rafiq made the offensive remarks about Atif Sheikh, an Asian cricketer who was playing for Derbyshire, who they accused of not paying a dinner bill because ‘he is a Jew’.

Rafiq, then 19, wrote on Facebook: ‘Hahaha he is a Jew. Probs go after my 2nds again.’ He later added: ‘How wrong is that? Only Jews do that sort of s**t.’ 

In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, he said: ‘The circumstances do differ. I don’t think I’ve ever played with anyone Jewish, so it was not exactly the same. But I don’t want to play it down. I’ve hurt people. My genuine feeling is that I deserve the flak. I f***ed up.’

But he told the newspaper that his comments were not equivalent to the racist abuse he suffered, pointing out that he had red wine forced into his mouth when his Muslim faith prevented him from drinking booze. 

He said: ‘I’m deeply sorry. I don’t recall making any other antisemitic remarks, but I’ll go back and think about it. People are going to go through my whole life looking for things I’ve done. I admit I’ve made mistakes.’ 

 



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