Michael Vaughan: Racism allegations in Yorkshire cricket are a “bad picture for the game.”

The disciplinary inquiry investigating the charges of racism at Yorkshire, according to former England captain Michael Vaughan, is a “bad look” for cricket.

Azeem Rafiq and three other Asian players are said to have heard Vaughan say, “There’s too many of you lot, we need to have a discussion about it,” before a T20 encounter in Yorkshire in 2009.

The claim has been “totally and absolutely” refuted by Vaughan, who reiterated this position when testifying for the first time during the hearing on Friday.

The 48-year-old was skeptical of the process and said he contacted Rafiq in November 2021 because “the whole scenario was spiraling out of control”.

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In the meeting, Vaughan apologized to Rafiq for the pain the former Yorkshire spinner had felt, but he refused to acknowledge that he had made the alleged remark.

Rafiq claimed on Thursday that he felt “naive” in light of Vaughan’s following conduct.

On cross-examination by Jane Mulcahy KC, the attorney for the England and Wales Cricket Board, Vaughan stated, “It’s not been easy for anybody” (ECB).

“This is not the proper procedure to handle remarks made 14 years ago that used words against each other.

“Ex-teammates fighting over hearsay is a terrible look for the game and a really awful look on how cricket has handled this problem,” said a cricket official.

During the hearing, Vaughan makes a “Question of Sport” joke.
Yorkshire has agreed to four modified accusations from the ECB, including the admission that Rafiq’s career-long club used “systematic” racial or derogatory language.

Matthew Hoggard, a former bowler for Yorkshire and England, has acknowledged using a phrase that is insulting in South Africa and a racial slur related to someone of Pakistani descent while at the club.

Vaughan always denied hearing such racial epithets while studying at Yorkshire.

It’s like Question of Sport, this, Vaughan said in jest when asked to provide specifics about how long he had played alongside Hoggard for both Yorkshire and England.

After retiring in 2009, the former batter began working as a BBC pundit, and he claimed to have a “very clear mind” of the match in issue against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on June 22, 2009.

He claimed that he “knows” he didn’t say what was purported to have been said to Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Ajmal Shahzad, and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan because he was “happy” that Yorkshire had four Asian players in the same lineup for the first time ever, which demonstrated how far the county had progressed.

He admitted that the remark was offensive and racist, but he argued that he did not say it because, among other things, it would have had a negative impact on his team members’ spirits and perhaps their performance.

Moreover, Vaughan denied making the claimed remark in jest.

Mulcahy brought up Vaughan’s earlier comments, which had been brought up in his BBC interview from November 2021, and the former England captain apologized once more for the “disgusting” tweets.

In response to Mulcahy’s assertion that the “tweets are eerily similar in tone to the complaint,” Vaughan disputed this.

The hearing keeps going.

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