An amateur cricketer has spoken out over the racist treatment he has seen taking place in clubs.

It follows shocking revelations by ex-Yorkshire county cricketer Azeem Rafiq whose powerful testimony to the Government’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee saw him offer up a damning, and damaging, account of his life in the English game.

Rafiq said he wished to become “the voice of the voiceless” as he reflected on cricket’s wider problems around race, making it clear that he felt the shortcomings go right to the very top.

An ECB (English Cricket Board) coach from Clitheroe who works extensively in Blackburn said sometimes Asian and Black families were reluctant ‘to challenge the discrimination as they don’t wish to jeopardise their child’s cricketing future’.

One player, who played semi-professional cricket in Lancashire, said the level of racism in local clubs would shock modern players.

The player, who did not wish to be named, now 45, said he played at several clubs.

He said: “It was acceptable in some clubs. It is probably why you would not see Asian players wanting to compete for local clubs.

“I went to some trials at one club as a young lad and when a few throws went wayward the coach said “Why are you P**** blind?’ It was like it was common language. We walked away but I could see others just putting up with it as they wanted to play cricket.

“At another club in the changing rooms one team-mate would put bacon between his buttocks and then drop the bacon into my cricket bag.

“It was funny to them apparently. I mean how can you react to that? To some of the players it was a joke. It was all acceptable levels of racism.

“We would just get on with it because you just wanted to play cricket.”

He said drinking culture had much to do with how people behaved.

“If you hit a ton or a fifty a team-mate would go round the ground to collect tips from the crowd.

“This would be for jugs of beer for the team. Team-mates would then force the drink on to a player or pour it over the guy who hit the runs. Either they were completely ignorant of other people’s beliefs or they just didn’t care.”

He said the belief was that cricket clubs were off limits to Asian players.

“The semi-professional clubs were run like they have been for years. Talent did not come into it. People just didn’t want talented Asian players coming into the club because it meant others who had history or affiliation with the team would get dropped.”

Another player said young cricketers were put off joining semi-professional clubs due to the in-built attitudes. “People want to fit in with their team-mates. It does not just happen in cricket but in other sports. If you don’t then you can be seen as an outsider.

“Some clubs were really good at stamping out racism and team-mates would speak out.”

Farouk Hussain, who has coached at a number of levels, said the Azeem Rafiq disclosures have highlighted the amount of progress cricket still has to make to create a level playing field for those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

He said: “Despite the attention being centred on those playing or administrating the professional game in this sorry state of affairs, one must take a deeper look at the origins of such archaic attitudes and behaviours.

“The recreational game is where a cricketers journey begins and in light of the current situation, it cannot simply look the other way and claim that it does not have any issues to address.

“Racism within cricket sows its vile seeds in the amateur club dressing rooms and bars, where often it is allowed to blossom due to the fact that the vast majority of administrators are of white background and the minority Asian/ Black families reluctant to challenge the discrimination as they don’t wish to jeopardise their child’s cricketing future.”

Farouk, of East Lancs Eagles, is an ECB coach and said it was time to stamp out ‘dated practices’.

He said: “Only in the last 10 years have we seen the introduction of Club Welfare Officers but how many of them (predominantly white middle class volunteers) actually been approached with reports of racist behaviour.

“Many hours are spent in the dressing room with team-mates and it’s the perfect opportunity for those with such bigoted views to flex their muscles in front of supportive peers whilst the victim is helpless and unable to respond due to fear of exacerbating the situation and more punishments being dished out.

“Kit soaked in alcohol, ham sandwiches placed discretely in his kit bag, a beer shampoo whilst he’s showering in accordance with his religious beliefs to name but a few of the 'banter' based actions.

“The increasing Asian community represents 33% of the recreational game … a figure that will continue to rise. It’s time for clubs and leagues to stand up and show their support in stamping out these dated practices.”

During his testimony Rafiq revealed that as an aspiring 15-year-old club cricketer he had been restrained in a car and force-fed alcohol by a former Yorkshire and Hampshire player. As a Muslim this contravened his religious beliefs, though he later admitted he took up drinking at Yorkshire.

“I got pinned down at my local cricket club and had red wine poured down my throat, literally down my throat,” he said.

“I (then) didn’t touch alcohol until about 2012 and around that time I felt I had to do that to fit in. I wasn’t perfect, there are things I did which I felt I had to do to achieve my dreams. I deeply regret that but it has nothing to do with racism. The game as a whole has a problem, with listening to the victim. There is no ‘yeah, but’ with racism; there is no ‘two sides’ to racism.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board has appointed an independent commission for equity in cricket (ICEC), chaired by Cindy Butts, charged with examining the issue of race in the game. Its call for evidence is now open, but Azeem Rafiq said: “Action is needed and needed now. To be honest, we are sick and tired of these equity commissions and inquiries.”

He added: “Do I believe I lost my career to racism? Yes I do. I hope in five years’ time we are going to see a big change, that I did something far bigger than any runs or any wickets I got.”

New Yorkshire chairman Lord Patel gave evidence to the DCMS committee after Rafiq’s testimony, and said: “The emotion of Azeem Rafiq’s compelling testimony at the select committee today was plain to see, and his experiences are harrowing and upsetting.

“Azeem’s courage in speaking up should be praised, and nobody should underestimate how difficult it would have been to relive all of this in public. His wish to bring a ‘voice to the voiceless’ should be an inspiration to provoke real change in the sport.

“I repeat our apology to Azeem for what he has gone through, it should never have happened and that is something that the club has to recognise. There is no quick fix to the clear problems which have been identified, and the issues are complex, not least the charge of institutional racism which must be addressed head on.”