Professional Cricketers’ Association chief executive Rob Lynch has accepted the union made failings with its support to Azeem Rafiq but insisted it made a safe and well check to the police about him due to genuine concerns.

Former spinner Rafiq described the organisation as “incredibly inept” during an appearance in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee in November, when he laid bare his racism claims against Yorkshire.

In addition to criticism of the PCA for making him feel isolated and being told by its lawyers he did not have a case, Rafiq questioned why he received a phone call from the police telling him he had been reported missing.

Lynch told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday: “Look, we had some failings in our dealings with Azeem Rafiq and have learnt a lot of lessons from the last 12 months with Azeem.

“We applaud Azeem for his courage and bravery in being the whistleblower coming forward to create the necessary change within the game.

“The PCA has offered support to Azeem throughout his career but clearly in this dispute with Yorkshire we did not meet the standards we would have wished to. We have apologised, both Julian (Metherell) and I, directly to Azeem for where we went wrong.”

During Rafiq’s harrowing evidence in November, which contributed towards a 12-point action plan being released to help cricket tackle its problem with racism, he reflected about being in a dark place and how once when sat with his family he received a call from the police.

The ex-England Under-19 captain alleged the PCA had reported him to be a missing person and speculated whether it had been done to “tick a box just in case I killed myself.”

But Lynch insisted: “The action we took was borne from nothing other than genuine worry for Azeem’s welfare at a time when he was under a lot of pressure and scrutiny.

“There was a decision made to ask the police for a safe and secure (sic) check, which is different to a missing person’s check. That is a factually incorrect statement that was made to this committee.

“I don’t feel it appropriate to go into the exact details that led us to making that decision. I would like to keep them in confidence but we were genuinely concerned before we took that action. It was absolutely out of no other driver than Azeem’s safety.”

The PCA are set to recruit a director of equality, inclusion and diversity and will put in place its own whistleblower hotline.

Lynch acknowledged the member on member dispute created “extraordinary challenges” and there is now a legal panel of seven barristers in place if a similar situation were to arise again.

“I specifically learned that we needed to voice our pressure more publicly and more quickly on what in this instance was Yorkshire and the ECB. If I was in a similar situation again, we would do that,” the PCA chief executive noted.

“What we did, which was wrong, was put too much faith in the process that Yorkshire were undertaking or at least telling us they were undertaking.”

Derbyshire all-rounder Anuj Dal, vice-chair at the PCA, reflected on his own experiences of racism in the sport but declined when asked by the committee to name specific counties.

He backed calls for a truth and reconciliation commission to occur in cricket and revealed an unnamed former team-mate had messaged to apologise for comments made to him within a dressing room.

“There are issues within the game as a whole, as I have experienced personally, and clearly it is not just at Yorkshire,” Dal added.

Rafiq is set to work on the union’s education programme and on a new code of conduct focused on discrimination.

PCA non-executive chair Metherell said: “I have been speaking to Azeem quite regularly since November and I have agreed we will work with Azeem on the education programme going forward.

“One of Azeem’s very constructive criticisms is that we have been giving EDI training to the first class counties but some of what is said goes in one ear and out the other, so how do we make this training stick?

“One of the things we don’t have in cricket today is a code of conduct. There is a clear code of conduct on gambling, on drugs and it is zero tolerance and every player knows what the policy is and what the sanction is.

“We don’t have that today on discrimination. We have to have that.”

Rafiq later praised Metherell, writing on Twitter: “Watching today’s DCMS session has been (a) refreshing experience.

“To hear someone in the game show leadership in the manner Julian Metherell has gives me some hope for the future.

“He’s clearly someone that should be considered heavily for the ECB chairman’s role.”

Metherell was asked about the ECB’s dual-role as promotor and regular for cricket amidst continued talk an independent regulator could be brought in.

“We are still supportive of the ECB as promoter and regulator,” he said.

“This action plan and governance review is the ECB and cricket’s chance to show they can perform both roles.

“I think we agree with this committee that if we fail to implement this action plan and governance review effectively, we will be back in this room discussing the independent regulator for the game.”