By Powerscourt on 13/11/2023

Howzat?! Powerscourt at the Lord Mayor’s Show

Former England under-19 cricket captain Azeem Rafiq invited Mark Leftly to join MQ Mental Health Research as part of the charity’s parade entry at the Lord Mayor’s Show this weekend. 

Mark led the Powerscourt team that supported Azeem’s campaign to expose racism in cricket, which has seen the game reassess its treatment of people from minority ethnic backgrounds. Azeem is an ambassador for MQ – which was the first major charity to fund mental health research – after his treatment at Yorkshire County Cricket Club brought him close to suicide. 

Powerscourt, a Morrow Sodali company, handled all Azeem’s communications requirements during his three year fight for justice, including media relations and public affairs. Azeem’s emotional testimony before MPs sitting on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in 2021 showed the emotional toll ethnic minority cricketers and coaches suffered and led the news for days. 

Azeem said: “The support I received from Powerscourt and MQ during the past few years was vital. As a whistleblower, you are constantly subjected to abuse by those who do not want anything to change, no matter how bad the existing situation. I wouldn’t have got through this without them, so I was delighted to draw MQ and Powerscourt together for the Lord Mayor’s Show.” 

Mark said: “One of the great things about working for Powerscourt is supporting clients who are trying to do so much good. What Azeem has done for his sport and ethnic minorities cannot be overstated. He showed extraordinary courage and resilience, standing firm in exposing wrongdoing of an industrial scale.”

Much of Powerscourt’s work is expected to be highlighted in the forthcoming book It’s Not Banter, It’s Racism by Azeem and cricket journalist George Dobell.   

The Lord Mayor’s Show involves around 6,500 participants and the procession dates back more than 800 years. The main ceremonial aspect of the show sees the Lord Mayor of the City of London swear allegiance to the Crown. MQ was announced as a charity partner of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal in November 2022.