Michael Vaughan cleared of ECB racism charge

By Sports Desk March 31, 2023

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been cleared of bringing cricket into disrepute by using racist language.

The 48-year-old former batter had been accused of saying there were "too many of you lot", referring to Asian players prior to Yorkshire's T20 match against Nottinghamshire in 2009.

Vaughan's lawyers had accused the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) of being biased in their investigation into the allegations, with cricket discipline commission (CDC) hearings ending in early March.

Now the former Yorkshire player has seen the charge against him dismissed, with the CDC saying the claims Vaughan faced were "not proved".

The case against Vaughan was made amid Azeem Rafiq's allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire, which have led to major cultural and personnel changes at Headingley.

Vaughan repeatedly and categorically denied the allegations he faced, which had been supported by former Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and current England white-ball specialist Adil Rashid.

Vaughan said on Friday: "It has been both difficult and upsetting to hear about the painful experiences which Azeem has described over the past three years. The outcome of these CDC proceedings must not be allowed to detract from the core message that there can be no place for racism in the game of cricket, or in society generally.

"As with others who have spoken about their time at Yorkshire, I can only speak of my own experiences and of my own time there. The dismissal of the specific charge that concerned me takes nothing away from Azeem's own lived experiences.

"The hearing made public that Azeem and I met 18 months ago, well before the CDC proceedings came into existence. I told him then that I am sorry for his unacceptable, negative experiences at the club I love and in the sport I love.

"We had what I thought was a really positive and constructive discussion. We shook hands with a shared intention to work together in order to create positive change in cricket. For my part, nothing has altered in that respect. There is still a job to do and I remain keen to help bring about positive change in any way that I can."

Vaughan added: "Now that the ECB's charge against me has been dismissed, I want to thank the panel for their careful attention in very difficult circumstances and to thank all of those who have given me their support during an incredibly difficult period in my life."

The CDC disciplinary panel said in its decision: "The panel is not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that these words were spoken by MV [Vaughan] at the time and in the specific circumstances alleged."

It added: "The panel has been required to concentrate on the focussed evidence presented to it by both parties in respect of one comment, made in two parts, on an afternoon now nearly 14 years ago.

"This is not a case which necessitated a conclusion from the panel that anyone has lied or acted out of malice. Far from it, the panel had to consider whether the case as presented to it by the ECB, in light of all the evidence, was sufficiently accurate and reliable, on the balance of probabilities, to rule out mistake. It was not."

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