Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan has seen racism charges against him dismissed – with the Ashes winner saying allegations made against him by Azeem Rafiq almost made him ‘fall in love with cricket’.
Vaughan was accused by the England and Wales Cricket Broad of making a racist remark to Yorkshire teammates of Asian descent Azeem Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Ajmal Shahzad before a match in 2009.
It was alleged that Vaughan told them, “There are too many of you, we need to talk about that.”
However, the Cricket Disciplinary Commission dismissed charges against 2005 Ashes winner Vaughan in a verdict announced Friday morning.
In a statement posted to his Instagram account shortly before the official verdict was released, Vaughan wrote: ‘Sometimes this process has brought me to the point of not loving cricket anymore.
Michael Vaughan has seen racism charges dropped against him, revealing the news in an Instagram statement just before the official findings were published
Azeem Rafiq was one of those Yorkshire players of Asian descent who were reportedly the subject of Vaughan’s comments in 2009
“I won’t go into the toll it has taken on me and my family here, but I have no doubt it has also been incredibly stressful for everyone else involved.
“I hope that an inclusive healing process can now begin for them and for cricket.
“Now that the ECB’s charges against me have been dismissed, I would like to thank the panel for their careful attention in very difficult circumstances and thank everyone who has supported me during an incredibly difficult time in my life.”
Vaughan has always categorically denied using racist language.
The CDC said in its ruling, “The panel is not satisfied with the likelihood that these words were spoken by MV [Vaughan] at that time and in the specified specific circumstances.’
It added that there were “significant inconsistencies” in the evidence provided by primary witnesses Rafiq and Rashid.
It added that its findings “do not in any way undermine Rafiq’s wider claims” about racism at Yorkshire CCC.
Vaughan’s statement continued, “It has been both difficult and disturbing to hear about the painful experiences Azeem has described over the past three years.
“The outcome of this CDC proceeding should not detract from the core message that there should be no place for racism in the game of cricket, or in society at large.
Vaughan revealed the outcome of the Cricket Disciplinary Commission ruling in a lengthy statement released on his Instagram account Friday morning
‘As with others who have spoken of their time in Yorkshire, I can only speak of my own experience and my own time there. The dismissal of the specific charge that concerns me does not detract from Azeem’s own lived experiences.
‘The public hearing that Azeem and I met a year and a half ago, well before the GGD procedure started.
“I then told him I was sorry for his unacceptable, negative experience at the club I love and in the sport I love. We had what I thought was a very positive and constructive conversation.
“We shake hands with a shared intention to work together to create positive change in cricket.
“As far as I’m concerned, nothing has changed in that regard. There is still work to be done and I remain committed to making positive change in any way I can. Cricket has been my life. Especially on a matter like this, the CDC procedure was an inappropriate, inadequate backward step.
“One of the many reasons I hold that view is that CDC procedures are adversarial. They invite claim and counterclaim. They invite those involved to accuse each other of untruths or lying.
Vaughan allegedly made the racist comments ahead of Yorkshire’s Twenty20 Cup match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in June 2009
The inevitable consequence of the ECB’s decision was three former teammates, one of whom is a current England international, going head to head in what later became a public forum for the whole world to watch.
Despite the ECB’s criticism for not accusing others of lying. I continue to believe that nothing good can come of this approach. There are no winners in this process and there are better ways – there must be better ways – for cricket to move forward positively and effectively.
“I’ve never wanted to do anything that goes against sincere efforts to clean up the game of cricket. I really hope people can understand why, on a personal level, I couldn’t just accept or apologize, which I know I didn’t do.’
Five others were also charged, including former England players Matthew Hoggard and Tim Bresnan, plus former Yorkshire coaches Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah, and ex-Scotland international John Blain.
But Vaughan, 48, was the only one who appeared to defend himself against the charges and attended a hearing in early March.
Vaughan was withdrawn from BBC coverage of England’s Ashes series in Australia after Rafiq made the accusation in November 2021. He also left his own BBC radio show.
The BBC said it “would not be appropriate for Vaughan to play a part in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at this time.”