Azeem Rafiq

Azeem Rafiq

Azeem Rafiq is an Asian British cricketer who played professionally and was the first Asian person to captain a Yorkshire side, as well as being the youngest man to do so.

He made his senior debut at 17 years of age and he captained the England under-15 and under-19 teams.

While at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Azeem suffered racism and bullying and it took him many years to fully understand the impact of his suffering.

In 2020, he spoke out about the discrimination that not only he faced but discrimination across the game and took legal action against the club hoping to create change across the sport.

His brave actions forced an overhaul of the toxic culture and behaviour both present at the Yorkshire County Cricket Clube  and in the sport more widely.

Azeem is keen to use his experience to help society to understand the lived experience and impact of conscious and unconscious bias as well as having a renewed purpose and mission to campaign for a meaningful change in global sport.

An experienced and confident speaker, Azeem has worked with companies such as EE, Network Rail, Linklaters, Google, Boots and Mishcon de Reya discussing topics like the importance of speaking up,  navigating cultural barriers and the power of resilience.

Contact Great British Speakers today to book former professional cricket player, author and campaigner against racism in sport Azeem Rafiq for your next event.

Type Of Speaker


“Azeem was phenomenal and we have had such positive feedback not only from attendees but also our CEO and COO. Azeem was so great at being able to articulate how he felt when going through adversity and how his faith helped him to overcome these challenges. Azeem was the star of the conference and we would host him again and again and again and again. He truly is remarkable”

“The keynote address was delivered by Azeem Rafiq, former professional cricketer for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Azeem courageously presented an unfiltered account of the challenges he faced, vividly detailing his encounters with racism, Islamophobia, harassment, and bullying during his tenure with Yorkshire. In a compelling narrative, he took the delegates on his subsequent journey, which was marked by a commitment to raising awareness and instigating positive change within the sporting community.

Azeem’s keynote address not only served as a powerful testament to the importance of addressing issues of discrimination but also highlighted the power of faith in fostering resilience and promoting positive change.”

Nafisa Nathani, HR DE&I Project Manager, Network Rail

“Thank you very much, it’s been absolutely wonderful. It’s been one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in this NHS Trust. It’s very powerful stuff and I hope you do see the change that you deserve to see”

Jeremy Vanes, Chair at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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