Michael Vaughan to defend himself as Yorkshire racism hearing continues

Former England captain Michael Vaughan will defend himself in front of the Cricket Discipline Commission panel on day three of the public hearing into allegations of racism made by Azeem Rafiq.

Vaughan had been expected to speak on Thursday when his case got under way but instead Adil Rashid, over a video link from Bangladesh, and Rafiq were cross-examined for the majority of the day by his lawyer Christopher Stoner KC.

Both Rashid and Rafiq were questioned over allegations Vaughan told the pair along with fellow ex-Yorkshire team-mates Ajmal Shahzad and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan there were “too many of you lot” ahead of a T20 match at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire on June 22, 2009.

Azeem Rafiq, left, arrives for the second day of the CDC panel hearing
Azeem Rafiq, left, arrives for the second day of the CDC panel hearing (James Manning/PA)

While Rashid and Rafiq were “very clear” Vaughan had used the phrase “too many of you lot”, a discrepancy was highlighted over the second part of a sentence that saw the England and Wales Cricket Board charge the 48-year-old with bringing the game into disrepute.

Vaughan, one of seven individuals charged by the ECB but the only one who will defend himself at this public hearing, was alleged to have said “there’s too many of you lot, we need to do something about it”, according to Rafiq’s account to Squire Patton Boggs, who were investigating allegations of racism at Yorkshire.

However, Vaughan’s lawyer Stoner referenced an interview with Wisden in 2020 in which Rafiq’s recollection of the alleged comment was “there’s too many of you lot, we need to have a word about that.”

Rafiq insisted the second version is the one he remembers but added: “In terms of the statement, there was a clear mistake and I take full responsibility.

Adil Rashid is currently with England's ODI team in Bangladesh
Adil Rashid is currently with England’s ODI team in Bangladesh (Aijaz Rahi/AP)

“I want to emphasise it is very clear on ‘too many of you lot’ which is the discriminatory part against a group of Asian players. The second part is an action.

“Clearly there is a discrepancy.”

England spinner Rashid conceded he could not remember the result of the 2009 match or the weather but asked about Vaughan’s alleged comments, he stated: “I have a very clear recollection.

“I think you already know the words. ‘There’s too many of you lot’.

“There’s too many of you lot, you need to have a word, you need to do something about it. It is the phrase there are too many of you lot.”

Michael Vaughan did not defend himself on Thursday
Michael Vaughan did not defend himself on Thursday (James Manning/PA)

Rashid also insisted he felt Vaughan’s alleged remarks were made more in “bad humour” than to be offensive.

He later refuted allegations by “close friend” Shahzad – said in an interview with the ECB – that Rafiq had pressurised him to speak up.

“No, no. Like I said before I wasn’t pressured by Azeem,” Rashid, during more than an hour in front of the CDC panel, rebuffed.

In Rafiq’s witness statement to the CDC, he claimed Shahzad accused him of “blackmailing” Rashid, which he “categorically” denied.

Vaughan will get the chance to defend himself on Friday.