Vaughan denies making a racist comment

Michael Vaughan was England captain in 51 of his 82 events

Former England captain Michael Vaughan says he was named in the Yorkshire Azeem Rafiq report, but “totally denies any accusations of racism.”

An investigation found that Rafiq had been the victim of “racial harassment and intimidation” while at the club.

Vaughan says the report says he told a group of Asian players, including Rafiq: “Too many of you, we have to do something about it.”

But Vaughan says he “completely and categorically denies” saying that.

He said the comments were allegedly made in 2009 when he was still a player in Yorkshire before a game against Nottinghamshire.

Writing in your Daily Telegraph columnExternal link, the BBC expert added: “This hit me really hard. It was like getting hit on the head with a brick.

“I have been involved in cricket for 30 years and have never been charged with any remotely similar incident or disciplinary offense as a player or commentator.

“I have nothing to hide. The ‘you many’ comment never happened. Anyone who tries to remember the words spoken 10 years ago will be fallible, but I am convinced that those words were not used.

“If Rafiq believes that something was said at the time that upset him, then that is what he believes. It is difficult to comment on that, except to say that it hurts me enormously to think that I potentially affected someone.”

“I take it as the most serious accusation that has been presented to me and I will fight to the end to prove that I am not that person.”

Vaughan said he was asked to speak to the investigation in December 2020.

He said that over the summer he told his BBC colleagues “that these accusations had been made against me” and added: “I felt uncomfortable that it might come up and have some uncomfortable questions being asked.”

His Telegraph column also includes unpublished excerpts from the report.

The Yorkshire investigations began in 2020 after Rafiq claimed that “institutional racism” at the club left him on the brink of taking his own life.

After more than a year, and after being asked by MPs, Yorkshire released the findings of an independent report in September that confirmed seven of the 43 allegations made by Rafiq.

But the club said no player, coach or executive would face disciplinary action following the club’s own investigation into the report’s findings.

The fallout from Yorkshire’s response to the racism report intensified on Monday when ESPN Cricinfo reported that a racist term was regularly used about Rafiq’s Pakistani heritage, but the investigation concluded it was “a good-natured and friendly joke.”

On Thursday Yorkshire they were suspended from hosting England matches by the Cricket Board of England and Wales.

The ECB board says the ban will last until the club has “clearly demonstrated that it can meet the expected standards.”

Kit suppliers Nike and several sponsors have cut ties with the club, while a senior MP has called for the resignation of the Yorkshire board.

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