Michael Vaughan denies making racist comment to Asian players

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Michael Vaughan captained England for 51 of his 82 Tests

Michael Vaughan, former England captain, claims he was named by Yorkshire's Azeem Rasiq report, but "totally rejects any allegation about racism."

A probe revealed that Rafiq was the victim of racism-related harassment and bullying while at the club.

Vaughan claims that he told Rafiq and a group Asian players: "Too many of your lot, we need do something about it."

Vaughan however, says he "completely & categorically denies” that.

He stated that the comments were made in 2009, while he was still playing at Yorkshire and before a match against Nottinghamshire.

The BBC pundit wrote in his Daily Telegraph column external link: "This hit me very badly. It was like being hit over the head by a brick.

"I have been involved with cricket for over 30 years, and I have never been accused of any similar incident or disciplinary offence as either a commentator or player."

"I have nothing to hide. "You lot" never existed. It is difficult to recall words from 10 years ago, but I insist that those words were never used.

Rafiq is adamant that he believes what was said to him at the time it upset him. It is hard to comment except to say that it hurts me greatly to think I might have affected someone.

"I consider it the most serious allegation I have ever faced and I will fight until the end to prove that I am not."

Vaughan stated that he was asked to testify in the December 2020 investigation.

He stated that he had told BBC colleagues during the summer that "these allegations had been made against" him, adding that he felt uncomfortable about it all emerging and that they would be asking awkward questions.

He also included previously unpublished extracts from the report in his Telegraph column.

Yorkshire began investigating Rafiq's claims of "institutional racism" at his club in 2020. He claimed that he was close to suicide.

Yorkshire has released the September findings of an independent report after more than a year and being asked by MPs. It confirmed seven of the 43 allegations Rafiq made.

However, the club stated that no executives or players would be disciplined following its own investigation.

On Monday, the fallout from Yorkshire’s response to the racist report was intensified when ESPN Cricinfo reported that Rafiq was frequently referred to as a racist because of his Pakistani heritage. However, the investigation found it was friendly and good-natured banter.

The England and Wales Cricket Board suspended Yorkshire's hosting of England matches on Thursday.

According to the ECB board, the ban will be in effect until the club "clearly proves that it can meet expectations".

Kit suppliers Nike, as well as several sponsors, have severed ties with the club. A senior MP has also called for the resignation of the Yorkshire board.