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Michael Vaughan last man standing against Azeem Rafiq in Yorkshire racism case

Former England captain Michael Vaughan is the only charged individual still set to appear before a disciplinary hearing next month in relation to racism allegations made by his ex-Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Tuesday that former Yorkshire player and bowling coach Richard Pyrah had told officials he would not be attending, joining Andrew Gale, Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan and John Blain in declining to take part. An independent cricket discipline commission panel will still hear the charges against those five in their absence.

The other man charged, Gary Ballance, who made a Test hundred on his debut for his native Zimbabwe on Tuesday after a career as an England batsman, has admitted a charge of using racially discriminatory language and will not appear, the ECB said.

The ECB revealed Yorkshire had also admitted to four charges, meaning nobody from the club would be required to attend the hearing. Rafiq, 31, first raised allegations of racism and bullying in September 2020, related to his two spells at Yorkshire.

A report from the club the following year found that Rafiq had suffered “racial harassment and bullying” but no player or employee faced disciplinary action, sparking widespread criticism.

Pakistan-born Rafiq has previously alleged Vaughan told him and a group of other players of Asian ethnicity there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” during a huddle before a Yorkshire match in 2009.

England’s Adil Rashid and Pakistan’s Rana Naved-ul-Hasan have corroborated Rafiq’s account of the incident, but Vaughan, 48 has repeatedly denied the allegation.

Rafiq told a British parliamentary committee in December 2022 that the abuse he and his family had faced had forced him to move to Pakistan.

He has consistently called on the CDC hearings to take place in public, with the ECB confirming that reporters will be permitted to view and report on a live feed of the hearing. Hoggard told the BBC the ECB’s disciplinary procedures had “failed everybody”.

Source: eNCA

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