Rashid backs Rafiq racism allegations against Vaughan

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has categorically denied an accusation of racism made against him by former Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq; This article contains comments some readers may find upsetting

Last Updated: 15/11/21 9:19am

Adil Rashid played alongside Michael Vaughan and Azeem Rafiq at Yorkshire

Adil Rashid has corroborated an accusation of racism against former England captain Michael Vaughan made by their former Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq.

Rafiq made allegations of institutional racism against Yorkshire, whom Vaughan formerly captained and Rashid still plays for.

Rafiq claimed that Vaughan said to a group of the team’s Asian players that there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” before a match in 2009.

Vaughan has categorically denied Rafiq’s allegation. Vaughan has been stood down from his BBC 5 Live show.

Former England captain Vaughan has denied Azeem Rafiq’s allegations

Rashid, a key member of England’s limited-overs squads and has been representing his country at the T20 World Cup, has now spoken about the case, which has already led to the resignations of Yorkshire chair Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur.

Rashid told The Cricketer. “I wanted to concentrate as much as possible on my cricket and to avoid distractions to the detriment of the team but I can confirm Azeem Rafiq’s recollection of Michael Vaughan’s comments to a group of us Asian players.”

Sky Sports News has approached Vaughan, Yorkshire and the England and Wales Cricket Board for further comment.

Rashid, who described racism as “a cancer”, says he will be “happy to support” any further official investigations into Rafiq’s claims.

Rafiq’s claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire have led to the resignation of several board members

Rashid is the second of Rafiq’s team-mates to support his allegation, with former Pakistan bowler Rana Naved ul-Hasan having also said he heard Vaughan’s comment.

An independent report commissioned by Yorkshire found Rafiq was the victim of “racial harassment and bullying” during his two spells at the county, the first from 2008-2014 and the second from 2016-2018.

Yorkshire accepted the findings of the report but announced no disciplinary action would be taken against any employees.

The county have been widely criticised for its response, while the ECB suspended their right to host international and major matches at Headingley and a host of major sponsors cut ties with the club.

The government last week vowed to “step in” with “real action” if Yorkshire and the ECB failed to take what they consider to be appropriate measures.

Arthur and Hutton are among six individuals called to give evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Tuesday, a session covered by parliamentary privilege that will begin with Rafiq’s testimony.

Yorkshire first-team coach Andrew Gale has been suspended “pending a disciplinary hearing following a historical tweet”, while the county have also announced director of cricket Martyn Moxon is absent from work due to a “stress-related illness”.

Adil Rashid’s statement in full

“Racism is a cancer in all walks of life and unfortunately in professional sports too, and is something which of course has to be stamped out.

“I wanted to concentrate as much as possible on my cricket and to avoid distractions to the detriment of the team but I can confirm Azeem Rafiq’s recollection of Michael Vaughan’s comments to a group of us Asian players.

Rashid is a key member of England’s limited overs teams

“I’m encouraged by the fact that a parliamentary committee seems to be trying to improve the situation, whether that’s holding people accountable or getting changes made at an institutional level.

“These can only be positive developments. I will of course be more than happy to support any official efforts when the time is right. For now, though, these matters are of an intensely personal nature and I will not be commenting on them further. I ask you to respect my privacy and allow me to focus on my cricket.

“I want to thank the ECB, the fans and especially my teammates for all of their support. We didn’t get the result we wanted in this World Cup, but I hope that the unity of our dressing room and the leadership of our captain will propel us forward to achieve what we deserve in the future.”

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