Michael Vaughan “completely and categorically” denies the allegation from Azeem Rafiq that he made a racist comment towards him and other Asian players before Yorkshire’s match against Nottinghamshire in 2009; This article contains comments some readers may find upsetting
Sky Sports footage from 2009 shows Michael Vaughan shaking hands with Yorkshire team-mates Azeem Rafiq and Adil Rashid – the match where he allegedly made a racist remark. Vaughan denies the allegations
Sky Sports News has shown the footage to Rafiq, who has reiterated his claim that Vaughan made the comment. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan supports his former team-mate’s claim, although Shahzad has no recollection of the comment.
On Monday, Rashid corroborated Rafiq’s claims, becoming the third player to allege Vaughan made the remark.
“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 said in a statement to The Cricketer.
The clip has also been shown to Vaughan, who denies making the remark.
The new chair of Yorkshire county cricket club, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the club’s handling of his racism case and praised him for speaking out about his experiences at the club The new chair of Yorkshire county cricket club, Lord Kamlesh Patel, has apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the club’s handling of his racism case and praised him for speaking out about his experiences at the club
“I categorically deny saying the words attributed to me by Azeem Rafiq and want to re-state this publicly because the “you lot” comment simply never happened,” he said in a statement on Monday.
“Anyone who has viewed the Sky footage of Yorkshire’s pre-match huddle at the game in question in June 2009, and the interaction between the players, would find it hard to reconcile those scenes with the version of events that has been presented.
“I remember the match clearly because it was the first time in Yorkshire’s history that four players of Asian heritage had been selected in the same team. It was an important milestone for the county and it was also a moment of pride for me personally. At the time, I was a senior professional nearing the end of my career, but, having been the first non-Yorkshire born player signed by the county, it was also a sign of the progress that had been made during my time. I made a point of shaking all four players’ hands that day because I recognised it was a significant moment.
“In 2009, only weeks later, I wrote enthusiastically about this specific match in my autobiography, saying: ‘This is going to be the shape of things to come for Yorkshire, as many of our most promising players come from the Asian community and it ought to be a good thing for our cricket’.”
England all-rounder Moeen Ali says Azeem Rafiq’s actions have made it easier for others to speak out about issues of discrimination and mental health England all-rounder Moeen Ali says Azeem Rafiq’s actions have made it easier for others to speak out about issues of discrimination and mental health
On Tuesday, Rafiq will give evidence to MPs looking into Yorkshire’s handling of his racism claims.