ENGLAND captain Eoin Morgan says Azeem Rafiq’s racism claims “need to be met head-on”.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has stripped Yorkshire of the right to host international fixtures in a move welcomed by its limited-overs captain Morgan, who insisted affairs of this magnitude cannot take a back seat.

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“In matters of an extreme or serious nature like these are, they need to be met head-on,” Morgan said.

“For us as a team, that’s exactly what we want to see.

“The (ECB) investigation’s ongoing and live at the moment so only time will tell what happens but I think the actions by the board have demonstrated how seriously the ECB are taking how this has been handled.

“Yes, we want to see the sport in a great light but equally if there’s an issue as serious as this we want it dealt with as well.”

Morgan’s side are seeking to become the first nation to hold both limited-overs World Cups, having gone all the way in the 50-over edition in 2019, and take on South Africa in their final group game of the T20 World Cup campaign in Sharjah on Saturday.

But Morgan is adamant he places winning competitions second to making lasting change in the country in an England side that features players from different racial and religious backgrounds.

“First and foremost, probably more so for the last two to three years, our culture has been built around inclusivity and diversity,” Morgan said. “It’s actually been quite a strong part of our game.

“For that period of time we have been active about talking and actioning things that show meaningful change. We are very serious about it. We firmly believe that there is no place in our sport for any type of discrimination.

“There is only so much we can do as a team. We have been a part of the significant change that we feel will lead to something that will be bigger than any of our careers or any of the trophies that we win.

“What we do at the moment to try and achieve that, it’s not perfect, but we are making good ground towards change that we want implemented.

“In teams you have to be yourself. It should feel a bit like being at home. It won’t feel like being at home, being around your family, but it should be relaxed, and given that freedom to feel comfortable in your own skin.”