Michael Vaughan cleared of using racist language while at Yorkshire

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Cricket star Michael Vaughan, pictured <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Cricket star Michael Vaughan, pictured (Image: PA)

Cricketer Michael Vaughan has been cleared of an England and Wales Cricket Board charge of using racist and/or discriminatory language during his time at Yorkshire.

The former England captain was alleged to have used the term “you lot” towards a group of four Yorkshire players of Asian ethnicity prior to a T20 match in June 2009.

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This group included Azeem Rafiq, who first spoke out in 2020 about the discrimination he suffered across two stints with the county.

Vaughan wrote on his Instagram account on Friday morning: “The dismissal of the specific charge that concerned me takes nothing away from Azeem’s own lived experiences.”

Vaughan had always denied using the phrase towards Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Ajmal Shahzad as the Yorkshire team broke from their huddle at Trent Bridge.

He appeared in person at a Cricket Discipline Commission hearing which was held in public in London earlier this month to defend himself.

Vaughan’s statement, subsequently issued through his solicitors, began: “It has been both difficult and upsetting to hear about the painful experiences which Azeem has described over the past three years.

“The outcome of these CDC proceedings must not be allowed to detract from the core message that there can be no place for racism in the game of cricket, or in society generally.”

Vaughan’s statement, which was also later issued via his solicitors, continued: “The hearing made public that Azeem and I met 18 months ago, well before the CDC proceedings came into existence.

“I told him then that I am sorry for his unacceptable, negative experiences at the club I love and in the sport I love. We had what I thought was a really positive and constructive discussion.

“We shook hands with a shared intention to work together in order to create positive change in cricket. For my part, nothing has altered in that respect.

“There is still a job to do and I remain keen to help bring about positive change in any way that I can.”

Vaughan criticised the disciplinary process within his statement, adding: “Particularly with an issue such as this, CDC proceedings were an inappropriate, inadequate and backwards step.

“One of many reasons why I hold that view is because CDC proceedings are adversarial. They invite claim and counterclaim. They invite those involved to accuse each other of untruths or of lying.

“The inevitable consequence of the ECB’s decision-making was that three former teammates, one of whom is a current England international player (Rashid), were pitted against one another in what later became a public forum for the world at large to see.”

Rashid had appeared as a witness at the hearing to corroborate Rafiq’s allegation concerning the “you lot” phrase.

Vaughan added: “Despite being criticised by the ECB for not accusing others of lying, I remain of the view that no good can come of that approach. There are no winners in this process and there are better ways – there have to be better ways – for cricket to move forward positively and effectively.”

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