England captain Joe Root has stood by his claim that he cannot recall witnessing racism at Yorkshire, amid the ongoing Azeem Rafiq scandal.

Root, who has spent his entire professional career at Yorkshire, denied ever hearing racist language at the club earlier this month.

Rafiq disputed Root's claims while giving evidence to the DCMS committee, stating that he found the England captain's denial "hurtful".

"Rooty is a good man," Rafiq said. "He has never engaged in racist language. I found it [his denial] hurtful because Rooty was not only Gary [Ballance]'s housemate but Rooty was involved in a lot of socialising nights out where I've been called a p***."

England captain Joe Root (


Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

However, Root has once again insisted that he has never heard racist language used at Yorkshire, saying: "I stand by what I said.

"I don’t recall those incidences and if there are oversights on my part then that’s an area which we all have to learn from and allow us to learn from."

Root added that he has exchanged messages with Rafiq following his appearance at the DCMS committee and he has also spoken to Yorkshire's new chairman Lord Patel.

"I think a huge amount of learning has to be done off the back of it," he added.

"We have to make sure within the game that this isn’t something that happens again, and we have to do everything we can to make sure that cricket is as inclusive as it possibly can be.

"We clearly have to keep looking to get better and really look to better our sport as much as we can individually, and have those conversations, those difficult conversations, those uncomfortable conversations which will make this a much better process."

The ECB announced a new 12-point action plan to tackle racism within cricket last week, with chief executive Tom Harrison insisting the sport is committed to "tangible action and meaningful change".

"For cricket truly to ‘connect communities and improve lives’ – our stated aim at the ECB – we must start by accepting that not enough has happened to make our game better, both inside our own walls and across the wider game," Harrison said.

"That is the only possible reaction to the powerful testimony of Azeem Rafiq and others in recent weeks.

"I am delighted that this plan represents the whole game coming together to commit to tangible action and meaningful change.

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