Michael Vaughan denies making racist comment to Asian players

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Michael Vaughan captained England for 51 of his 82 Tests

Rana Naved-ul-Hasan confirmed Azeem Rafiq’s claim that Michael Vaughan made racist comments to a group Asian players. This claim Vaughan "totally rejects".

Former England captain claimed he was named by Yorkshire's Rafiq investigation. External-link

Vaughan is said to have told Rafiq, Naved, and other Asian players: "Too many of your lot, we need do something about it."

ESPN reported that Naved, an ex-Pakistan bowler, also heard the comment.

The BBC pundit wrote in his Daily Telegraph column Thursday that he "completely, categorically denied" such a statement.

He told the Press Association on Friday that he had done his piece last night, and that he stands by what he said. I am certain that I have never spoken anything racist to anyone in my entire life. That's why I stand by it."

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

Naved, who claimed that "systematic taunting" took place at the club in September 2020, became the second player to accuse Yorkshire of racism.

Naved represented Yorkshire in 2008-2009, and Sussex and Derbyshire in 2009.

Vaughan said, "This really hit me hard. It was almost 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 that I could 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. He added: "I felt uncomfortable about it all emerging and they would be asked some awkward question."

He also included previously unpublished extracts from the report in his Telegraph column.

Yorkshire began investigating Rafiq, a former player at the club who claimed that he was subject to "institutional racism".

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".

Roger Hutton, Yorkshire chairman, resigned then on Friday.

Nike Kit Suppliers and a number of sponsors have severed ties to the club.