Adil Rashid backs Azeem Rafiq's racism claims against Vaughan

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15 Nov 2021 | 01:17 PM staff

Adil Rashid backs Azeem Rafiq's racism claims against Vaughan

England leg-spinner corroborated former Yorkshire allrounder's allegation against Michael Vaughan's comment directed at Asian players

 England leg-spinner Adil Rashid has backed former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq's racism allegations against Michael Vaughan, confirming that the former Ashes-winning captain's comments were directed at Asian players in the team.

Last year, Rafiq remembered racism he faced within Yorkshire at multiple levels, which also included former county captain Vaughan saying that there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it" before a match in 2009. Rashid, while confirming that the comment was directed the club's Asian player, lent his support to any investigation.

"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, according to ESPNcricinfo.

"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," Rashid said.

Vaughan had admitted that he was implicated in the investigation into Rafiq's allegations of institutional racism but denied the charges against him. Following this, Vaughan was axed from BBC's commentary panel before being reinstated for the upcoming Ashes in Australia. 

"I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words. I have nothing to hide. The 'you lot' comment never happened," Vaughan wrote in a newspaper column.

"Anyone trying to recollect words said 10 years ago will be fallible but I am adamant those words were not used. If Rafiq believes something was said at the time to upset him then that is what he believes."

Yorkshire kicked up a storm after it announced in October that no disciplinary action was necessary against its members after launching an investigation. In November, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) suspended the county from hosting any international or major cricket matches and launched an investigation as the regulatory body. The Board also banned batter Gary Ballance from England selection for an indefinite period after he admitted using a racial slur against Rafiq.

The move triggered resignations of Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur after multiple sponsors cut ties with the club.

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

"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," Rashid said.

"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."

The crisis in Yorkshire had a domino effect in the England's domestic circuit as Essex chairman John Faragher, last Friday, resigned amid allegations of racist language used in a board meeting in 2017.

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