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Azeem Rafiq: Michael Vaughan says ‘sorry’ for pain former Yorkshire team-mate has experienced

Azeem Rafiq told MPs earlier this month of the “inhuman” treatment he suffered during his time at Yorkshire, with Michael Vaughan among a number of figures implicated in the case; Vaughan has denied claims he said “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it”

Last Updated: 27/11/21 8:01am



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Rob Jones reports that Michael Vaughan has been left out of the BBC commentary team for the Ashes tour, after he was implicated in allegations of racism made by Azeem Rafiq, which Vaughan strongly denies

Rob Jones reports that Michael Vaughan has been left out of the BBC commentary team for the Ashes tour, after he was implicated in allegations of racism made by Azeem Rafiq, which Vaughan strongly denies

Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan says he is “sorry” for the pain Azeem Rafiq has experienced amid his former Yorkshire team-mate’s allegations of racism.

Rafiq told MPs earlier this month of the “inhuman” treatment he suffered during his time at Yorkshire, with Vaughan among a number of figures implicated in the case.

Vaughan has denied claims he said “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” to Rafiq and three other Asian players before a Yorkshire match in 2009, while he has been left out of the BBC team for the upcoming Ashes tour of Australia due to a potential “conflict of interest”.

Sky Sports footage from 2009 shows Michael Vaughan shaking hands with Yorkshire teammates Azeem Rafiq and Adil Rashid - the match where he allegedly made a racist remark. Vaughan denies the allegations

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Sky Sports footage from 2009 shows Michael Vaughan shaking hands with Yorkshire teammates Azeem Rafiq and Adil Rashid – the match where he allegedly made a racist remark. Vaughan denies the allegations

Sky Sports footage from 2009 shows Michael Vaughan shaking hands with Yorkshire teammates Azeem Rafiq and Adil Rashid – the match where he allegedly made a racist remark. Vaughan denies the allegations

In an interview with BBC Breakfast shown on Saturday morning, Vaughan said: “I’m sorry for the hurt (Rafiq’s) gone through.

“Time I don’t think can ever be a healer in the situation that he’s gone through.

“But hopefully time can be a way of us making sure that Yorkshire County Cricket Club never goes through this situation again and never puts themselves in a position of denial that they treated a player so badly.

He added: “It hurts deeply, hurts me that a player has gone through so much and be treated so badly at the club I love.

“I have to take some responsibility for that because I played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club for 18 years and if in any way shape or form I’m responsible for any of his hurt, I apologise for that.”

Asked if he ever made any racist comments during his time at Yorkshire, he said: “No I didn’t. No.”

Azeem Rafiq says Michael Vaughan may not remember making a racist comment towards a group of Yorkshire's Asian players in 2009 - an accusation Vaughan strongly denies

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Azeem Rafiq says Michael Vaughan may not remember making a racist comment towards a group of Yorkshire’s Asian players in 2009 – an accusation Vaughan strongly denies

Azeem Rafiq says Michael Vaughan may not remember making a racist comment towards a group of Yorkshire’s Asian players in 2009 – an accusation Vaughan strongly denies

Rafiq alleged Vaughan said “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” to him and three other players during a match for Yorkshire in 2009, an allegation Vaughan strongly denies.

Rafiq recently told a committee of MPs that English cricket is “institutionally racist” and said racist language was used “constantly” during his time at Yorkshire.

Vaughan played his entire domestic career at Yorkshire between 1993 and 2009 and retired during Rafiq’s second season as a professional at the club. He says he never heard racist language used in the dressing room.

“I heard plenty of things in my 18 years as a player in a dressing room which you would not even consider to be acceptable now,” Vaughan said.

Dr Thomas Fletcher, Leeds Beckett Uni Race, Equality & Diversity Co-Chair, says racism in cricket is a 'national issue' across the UK

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Dr Thomas Fletcher, Leeds Beckett Uni Race, Equality & Diversity Co-Chair, says racism in cricket is a ‘national issue’ across the UK

Dr Thomas Fletcher, Leeds Beckett Uni Race, Equality & Diversity Co-Chair, says racism in cricket is a ‘national issue’ across the UK

“I would say any sportsperson that’s out there from that era that says otherwise, I don’t think they’re telling the truth.

“There were things said and back in the day. It wasn’t deemed to be offensive. It would be now.”

He added: “I can apologise if I was involved in any way, shape or form with a dressing room that had a culture that wasn’t inclusive for everyone.

“My recollections are all the dressing rooms that I played in that we were inclusive to everyone. But I’m more than happy for people to come forward and say ‘you know what that wasn’t the case’.”


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