Nasser Hussain says Ben Stokes' one-day international retirement came as a "massive surprise" but is understandable due an "absolutely crazy" schedule.

Stokes has announced he will bow out from the 50-over format on his home ground The Riverside on Tuesday, when England start a three-match series against South Africa.

The news came on the back of Stokes announcing he would sit out the T20s versus with Proteas and The Hundred with Northern Superchargers, following a dream start to his Test captaincy.

It follows ex-skipper Eoin Morgan's decision to retire from the international game, and leaves successor Jos Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott with another conundrum in the world champions' middle order.

Stokes said playing all three formats for his country was "unsustainable" for him and although former England skipper Hussain was taken aback by his announcement, he can understand it. 

"It came as a surprise, to be honest," he wrote in his Sky Sports column. "To completely knock 50-over cricket on the head is a massive surprise.

"You thought he would be looked after, in terms of being rested from various white-ball tournaments and formats - he'd already announced he was going to miss white-ball series', and The Hundred. 

"I guess it's the schedule. The cricketing schedule is absolutely crazy at the moment. If you just play in the one format - say Test matches - it's absolutely fine.

"But if you're a multi-format, multi-dimensional player, and even a Test match captain like Stokes, who throws himself into his job 100 per cent on and off the field, eventually something's going to have to give.

"For Ben, it is 50-over cricket, which is a real shame because he gave us and England fans their greatest day for a very long time in 2019, a day we'll never forget with that World Cup final win.

"He's a very bright, smart cricketer, he's a winner and he's a fighter."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes Jos Buttler is the ideal candidate to replace Eoin Morgan as white-ball skipper.

Morgan is expected to step down as captain on Tuesday, with a news conference at Lord's having been arranged.

It is thought Buttler, the vice-captain, will replace Morgan, who has been in charge since 2014. He has led England to World Cup glory, as well as the T20 World Cup final.

The Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum red-ball tenure started with a 3-0 series win over New Zealand, but while new white-ball coach Matthew Mott saw his team claim an easy series victory in the Netherlands earlier in June, Morgan is now set to quit his post and retire from international cricket, having passed 50 just once in his last eight ODI outings.

Vaughan believes England will forever be indebted to Morgan, writing in The Telegraph: "There have been many Test captains who have made an impact on the history of English cricket during their time in charge, but there has only been one white-ball captain that has done so – Eoin Morgan.

"The freedom and fearless approach that he's given this white-ball team is going to be with England forever. He's going to be remembered forever and can now sit back and be very proud of what he's achieved as an individual leader. 

"English cricket is in an exciting place – you've got this white-ball group of players that is so deep and so full of power, and the question is how many are going to be left out that should be in the side. And a lot of that is down to what Morgan has put in place."

 

And Vaughan feels Buttler, fresh off some wonderful displays against the Netherlands and in the Indian Premier League, is the perfect replacement.

"For me it's a no-brainer that Jos Buttler takes over that role. He's the best white-ball player in the world, he's got a very smart cricket brain, and he's got that calmness you need," Vaughan wrote.

"I guess his personality might be different from Eoin. The one thing that Jos will have to be very, very good at is staying the same when he doesn't have a good game or two. That has been Eoin's massive strength – he has never changed and even last week in Holland after getting two noughts, I bet he was still the same person in the dressing room."

Vaughan also believes Buttler could provide the solution to a major weakness in England's Test side.

"That might not be all Jos could do for England, though. Kumar Sangakkara said something this week, which I thought was ridiculous the first 10 minutes I thought about it: Buttler should be England's Test match opener," Vaughan continued.

"And then it hit me that with this Test match team and the way that they're playing: this might be an idea worth exploring. England have this fearless, aggressive nature. If something as radical Buttler as Test opener was ever going to work it would be now, under this management group of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

"I wouldn't say it's a sensible option – because it's not sensible. But I don't think some of the decisions that this Test match team are going to be making are going to be sensible.

"What's the most aggressive, radical thing that we could think of? Let's go. Jos opening in Test cricket is quite radical. Just go for it."

Buttler has not featured for England in a Test since the 2021-22 Ashes in Australia, where he failed to impress with the bat, top-scoring with a 39 in Brisbane.

The cricket world is grieving another loss of an Australian great after former Test star Andrew Symonds was killed on Saturday.

The 46-year-old was involved a single-vehicle accident at Hervey Range, approximately 50km from Townsville in Queensland.

Symonds' death continues a devastating year for Australian cricket, after the passings of legends Rod Marsh and Shane Warne from heart attacks in March.

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor said it was "another tragic day" for cricket.

"Unfortunately, I've been here too often, this year, under these circumstances," he told the Nine Network. "I can't quite believe it, to be honest. Another tragic day for cricket."

"He was an entertainer with the bat when it came to cricket and as you say he was an imposing guy, he was a big lad."

Tributes on social media flowed for the man affectionately known as "Roy", who was an instrumental figure in Australia's cricketing dominance across the Test and short-form versions of the game of the 2000s.

Former Australia teammate Adam Gilchrist wrote on Twitter how Symonds' passing "really hurts", while Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar tweeted how he was "devastated" at the news.

Michael Vaughan also posted on Twitter how it "didn't feel real", while former Australian Test captain and colleague on Fox Cricket, Allan Border, spoke on his distinct style on and off the pitch.

"He hit the ball a long way and just wanted to entertain," Border told the Nine Network. "He was, in a way, a little bit of an old-fashioned cricketer.

"He was an adventurer. Loved his fishing, he loved hiking, camping. People liked his very laid-back style.

"Symo away from the cameras and away from the spotlight, loved, I think, a bit of solitude and that is why he loved his fishing. Loved his own time."

Ben Stokes is the only candidate to replace Joe Root as England's Test captain, according to former skipper Michael Vaughan.

Root's record-breaking stint as captain was ended on Friday when he stepped down after a dismal run of results.

England have lost five consecutive Test series, winning just one of their past 17 matches under Root.

Root, who will remain in the team as one of cricket's elite batsmen, has overseen more Test matches (64), wins (27) and losses (26) than any other England skipper.

Attention is now turning to who might take on the role next, but England's poor performances and inconsistent team selections provide few obvious alternatives.

Superstar all-rounder Stokes is among the favourites, though, and that is who Vaughan would turn to.

"I don't see anyone else who could take the position and be guaranteed of their place in the side," Vaughan told the BBC's Test Match Special podcast.

"In Ben Stokes, you have clearly got someone who has got a smart cricket brain, he's going to give it everything, he is certainly going to have the respect of the players around him."

However, Vaughan added a word of caution: "Stokes is everything in a person and a player that you would want, but he will need a lot of support around him, because when you have got that all-rounder tag and they've got that persona, they think they can do everything.

"You need a senior core around him to give him a few pointers.

"You need to have someone say, 'listen Ben, just concentrate on what you're really good at', and that's out on the field, making decisions and trying to just give us your best performance.

"If he performs like we know he can, he will lead the team by example."

Stokes has captained England in only a single Test match previously, scoring 43 and 46 with the bat while taking 4-49 and 2-39 with the ball in a four-wicket defeat at home to West Indies in July 2020.

Ben Stokes has thanked Joe Root for his "sacrifices" after the England Test captain stepped down from the role.

Root was appointed as the successor to Alastair Cook in 2017 and holds the record for most wins as an England captain in the longest format of the game (27).

However, disappointing returns in recent outings, with England winless in five Test series, brought Root's tenure into question, and the Yorkshireman announced he had stepped down with immediate effect on Friday.

Stokes is among the favourites to replace Root and took to Instagram shortly after the announcement to show his appreciation.

"Been a great ride with you my friend," Stokes wrote. "Watching one of my great mates lead us all out on to the field was a privilege.

"You have given everything to English cricket and we all want to say thank you for your sacrifices and hard work."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan also had words of praise for Root, despite being counted among his critics in recent times.

Following the series defeat to West Indies last month, the 47-year-old told BBC Radio Five Live: "If [Root] rings me in the next week and asks for some advice, I'll be dead honest: I'd tell him to step down."

Vaughan posted on Twitter on Friday: "He gave it everything with very little support for the red ball team under his watch... then he had to deal with COVID times.

"He still is and will [be] the game's best role model for many, many years. Now enjoy being the senior player for many more seasons."

Michael Vaughan believes Joe Root should step down as England captain after another Test series defeat.

England's dismal 10-wicket defeat to West Indies in the third Test in Grenada meant a 1-0 series reverse, coming off the back of a 4-0 Ashes thrashing at the turn of the year.

Those are two of five consecutive Test series defeats for England, who had won four in a row before then. They have not endured a worse such run since six without a win between 1987 and 1990.

England are also winless in nine Test matches, their worst sequence since a barren stretch of 10 between 2013 and 2014.

Alastair Cook survived that spell as skipper, but Root – the only man to captain England in more Tests (64 for Root, 59 for Cook) – is now under intense pressure.

And Vaughan, fourth on the list of matches as England captain (51), suggests the time has come for one of the world's best batsmen to focus solely on his own game.

"He's taken it as far as he possibly can," Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"If he rings me in the next week and asks for some advice, I'll be dead honest: I'd tell him to step down.

"Will England be any worse off not having him as a captain? I don't think they would, because they are going to get his runs and a senior player.

"They'll get a great role model – I don't think there is a better role model in English cricket."

Root has averaged 46.4 with the bat as captain, down from 52.8 up to that point, with all 53 prior matches coming under Cook.

Only in 2013 (34.5) has his batting average been lower across a calendar year than his 35.8 so far in 2022.

Joe Root's tactics against West Indies "fell a long way short", according to Michael Vaughan, who warned England "may go further backwards" before going forwards.

England were held to consecutive draws across Tests in Antigua and Barbados before faltering in the winner-takes-all decider in Grenada.

Root's tourists recovered from 90-8 to 204 in the first innings, but were never ahead in the game as Kraigg Braithwaite's side mustered 297 before again bowling England out for just 120.

That left Brathwaite and opening partner John Campbell to secure a 10-wicket victory as they required just 4.5 overs to chase down 28 on Sunday, condemning England to a fourth consecutive series defeat.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests and are winless in their last nine red-ball outings, their longest such streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

Questions over Root's captaincy remain prominent with the ECB searching for a new managing director and coach, and Vaughan believes his fellow Yorkshireman needs to take some time to consider his future.

"Let Joe Root sleep on it for a week or so," Vaughan said to BT Sport of Root's future at the helm.

"I fear this red-ball team might go further backwards before it goes forward and you're going to have to have a lot of energy as a leader, a captain you're going to have to have a huge amount of energy to wake up every morning to captain this side.

"Generally in English conditions, the Test match team win lots of games, win lots of series – well last summer they lost to New Zealand and they were losing to India, so I don't see this Test match side suddenly becoming a team that consistently wins series after series and that's in English conditions. 

"So Joe is going to have to find a huge amount of energy and he's also going to have to improve, because tactically in this game he was a long way short. The England side fell a long way short.

"I don't see too many players, out of this England Test team, who can suddenly come in and spark England into getting 450 consistently against the better opposition, when the ball is moving about.

"That's why I do think there could be some darker days ahead and it's going to take a leader with a lot of energy to try and get this Test match team right."

 

Paul Collingwood took temporary charge for the series in the Caribbean after Chris Silverwood was dismissed following Ashes disappointment, but the identity of England's next permanent coach remains unclear.

Vaughan would like to see England appoint former Australian coach Justin Langer, who guided his country to T20 World Cup success at the end of last year before lifting the Ashes.

"I would personally go for Justin Langer – he's the sort of leader that England need at the moment," he added.

"Then it is a conversation with Joe Root to see if he's still got the energy to take England forward and even then I'd debate it.

"You could give it to Ben Stokes to the end of next year's Ashes and then hope that a younger player like Zak Crawley is ready."

Joe Root should be asked again if he truly wants to stay on as England captain, according to former skipper Michael Vaughan.

As England toiled in the early stages of day three of the third Test against West Indies, Vaughan said England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chiefs should sit down with Root after the series in the Caribbean.

The ECB is advertising for an England men's team managing director, but Vaughan says a priority should be the captaincy.

England's bowlers struggled to make inroads in the latter stages of West Indies' innings on Saturday, allowing Joshua Da Silva to reach a maiden Test century and the hosts to open a 93-run first-innings lead.

Vaughan questioned the vitality of the England players, a number of whom are still carrying scars from the team's 4-0 Ashes drubbing.

Interim managing director Andrew Strauss said after England's Ashes calamity that Root was "absolutely clear" he wanted to keep the captaincy. However, Vaughan thinks the time has come to ask again.

"I think the biggest meeting first and foremost is to sit with Joe Root, and really look him in the eyes and say, 'Have you got the energy?'," Vaughan said on BT Sport.

"There comes that moment as England captain that the energy is not with you. You're still going out there, you're still trying your best, but you've not got the energy. If he has got the energy, then I would stick with him. But if he's lost that energy and the real drive and that desire… As a captain, you have to wake up every morning and it's got to be your love, captaining the England side.

"If you've lost that ounce of any kind of loving it, you've got to give it up. If he's lost that desire and love to captain England, just be the batter, because he'll score as many runs, and he'll still be a great leader in the side.

"I can see an England captain that looks a little bit drained."

Vaughan said of England's morning performance, as West Indies advanced from 232-8 to 297 all out: "It looked an England side, and England captain, that looked very, very tired."

He praised the home team's efforts in frustrating the tourists, but added: "I'm pretty sure there'll be a lot of England fans out there watching the telly, throwing things at the screen and thinking, 'I could do a lot better than that'.

"It was just a little bit of a lack of imagination. It concerned me a bit about the skipper this morning, I didn't think he tried enough, didn't try himself early enough."

Part-time spinner Root eventually brought himself on to bowl and took the final wicket, having Jayden Seales caught and bowled.

"As a captain in those kinds of situations, you've got to be so energised, you've got to be on your bowlers, you've got to be on your team, you've got to be creating ideas, creating angles," said Vaughan. "I didn't see enough of that this morning."

Root's difficult day got worse after lunch when he was caught at slip for five off Kyle Mayers to leave England 27-2 in their second innings.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan expressed disbelief following the death of Shane Warne, describing his Ashes rival as the "greatest ever cricketer".

Warne has died at the age of 52, having been found unresponsive in his villa in Thailand on Friday.

Tributes have flooded in from across the cricketing world, with Sachin Tendulkar, Ian Botham and Ben Stokes among those to post their memories of the Australian superstar.

Warne ranks second for most Test dismissals, with his 708 wickets only bettered by fellow spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, and he claimed 195 victims in Ashes outings alone. He was also a victor in seven such series.

Vaughan and Warne memorably faced off in the 2005 Ashes, with England getting the better of a star-studded line-up before Australia regained the urn in 2006-07.

While the pair were regularly embroiled in a battle on the pitch, Vaughan reflected on the friendship he developed with Warne after the two finished their playing days and moved into the commentary box.

"I can't tell you how hard it is to get this down in words," Vaughan wrote on Instagram. "It just doesn't feel real to be talking about someone who once was an enemy on the pitch to one who became a great friend off it.

"Shane was the greatest ever cricketer but more than that his character lit up every dressing room, comm box, bar, golf club and friendship group. His energy and positivity was beyond anyone I have ever known.

"He was loyal beyond loyal, at a time I needed support he was the first to pick up the phone and offer advice and help, and the utmost support.

"I will never ever forget the warmth he and his family gave me this winter when I was down under for Christmas alone. To say I spent Warney's last Xmas with him and his family is so sad but one I will cherish."

Vaughan fondly recalled how Warne tucked in to lasagne sandwiches while everyone else had a traditional Christmas lunch.

He added: "That's Warney. The superstar, the greatest, friends to world superstars, everyone wanted to be around him, but ultimately he was just a normal guy who could do incredible things.

"Leg spin is the hardest skill in our game and he mastered it. He became a great poker player as he loved gambling, but it was more the competition and trying to put the psych into his opponents that he loved. Just like when he bowled."

Vaughan said his thoughts went out to Warne's parents and his three children.

"We are all thinking of you. I am absolutely gutted to have lost a great friend," Vaughan added. "One thing is for sure heaven will be a lively place now the King has arrived. Love ya Shane."

Michael Vaughan remains under contract with the BBC, who "expect to work" with the former England captain again after standing him down from their Ashes coverage following Azeem Rafiq's racism allegations.

Vaughan was named in a report this month investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire, but has repeatedly and categorically denied the allegations.

The 47-year-old, who played for Yorkshire between 1993 and 2009, allegedly told a group of team-mates in 2009 there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Those claims were corroborated by then Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and current England white-ball specialist Adil Rashid.

Vaughan has since been stood down from his BBC Radio 5 Live Show before being removed from the broadcaster's Ashes coverage due to his involvement in a "significant story" representing a "conflict of interest".

The BBC reiterated their stance on Wednesday, as they informed that Vaughan – who led England to Ashes glory in 2005 – would play no role in their upcoming coverage, though they look set to work with him in the future.

"We're in regular contact with Michael and have had positive conversations with him in recent days," read a statement from the BBC.

"Our contributors are required to talk about relevant issues, so Michael's involvement in a story of such significance means it's not possible for him to be part of our Ashes coverage or wider cricket coverage at the moment.

"We're pleased with how our conversations are going and expect to work with Michael again in the future. He remains on contract to the BBC."

Vaughan said after the BBC's decision he was "very disappointed not to be commentating on the Ashes" but added he was looking forward to working on the series for Fox Sports in Australia.

Managing director of the England men's cricket team Ashley Giles believes second chances are key to solving the racism crisis following Azeem Rafiq's allegations.

Rafiq suffered racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire, which was eventually brought to light and taken in front of a parliamentary select committee on November 16.

He also accused Yorkshire and England of being institutionally racist, while Michael Vaughan has been stood down from his BBC Radio 5 Live show and the BBC's upcoming Ashes coverage amid Rafiq's allegations.

Vaughan, who allegedly said there were "too many of you lot" towards Asian Yorkshire players, has repeatedly strongly denied the allegations and recently apologised to Rafiq for the "hurt he has gone through".

Former England spinner Giles, who played alongside Vaughan in the 2005 Ashes win, believes people must be offered a second chance and an opportunity to educate themselves for cricket to move forward.

Asked specifically about Vaughan during a news conference, Giles responded: "I can't comment on what the BBC should do with one of their employees. But I think tolerance is really important.

"We all do make mistakes and we will again. But we have to be able to tolerate, educate and rehabilitate otherwise people aren't going to open up and share their experiences and learn.

"Does zero tolerance mean we shouldn't accept discrimination and racism? Absolutely. But not giving people second chances, I'm not sure that's a healthy way forward for us because it's certainly not going to bring people forward to either share their positive or negative experiences or even bring people forward to say, 'I just don't know – I don’t know how to react in this environment', or what to say.

"We all know that this can be a bit of a minefield. Even the language we use around this area almost changes by the month. 

"So for me we've got to educate more, we've got to call it out in the dressing room much more effectively if we see it because perhaps all of us in the past – and I'm not just talking about cricket – have let things go. 

"We've got to be prepared to call them out and by that I don't mean we kick chairs and tables over and start a fight. 

"We just make it very clear that those sorts of behaviours aren't right in our dressing rooms or environments and actually in all workplaces because, although cricket has an opportunity to do something very strong, I don't believe for one minute these same issues don't exist in society. 

"So I think it’s a collective responsibility for all of us to do something about this."

Joe Root's England side are already well into their preparations for the first Ashes Test in Australia on December 8 at the Gabba.

While aware of the boisterous crowds and lively occasions an Ashes Test can be, Giles insisted he has given his backing for Root to remove his players from the field should his team-mates be abused based on their nationality or race.

"We know crowds can be lively here – I've experienced that myself as a player," he added as he spoke from Australia.

"But I'd certainly trust Joe Root to do what is right on the field. If he chose to bring the team into the middle of the field and stop the game while that was investigated, then absolutely. 

"I don't think any of our players should be subject to any abuse actually but discrimination and racism particularly."

Michael Vaughan has apologised "for the hurt Azeem Rafiq has gone through" amid his former Yorkshire team-mate's allegations of racism. 

Former England captain Vaughan was this month named in a report investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at the county club.

The 47-year-old, who played for Yorkshire from 1993 to 2009 and led England to Ashes glory in 2005, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events have been supported by Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.

Vaughan, who was stood down from the BBC's coverage of the Ashes in wake of the allegations, has again denied the accusations made against him.

"I'm sorry for the hurt [Rafiq's] gone through," he told the BBC. "Time, I don't think, can ever be a healer in the situation that he's gone through.

"But hopefully time can be a way of us making sure that Yorkshire County Cricket Club never goes through this situation again and never puts themselves in a position of denial that they treated a player so badly."

He added: "It hurts deeply, hurts me that a player has gone through so much and be treated so badly at the club I love.

"I have to take some responsibility for that because I played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club for 18 years and if in any way shape or form I'm responsible for any of his hurt, I apologise for that."

Asked if he made any racist comments during his time at Yorkshire, Vaughan said: "No I didn't. No."

However, Vaughan, whose playing career spanned 18 years and saw him represent England for a decade, accepts there were many things he heard in dressing rooms that he "would not even consider to be acceptable now".

He added: "I would say any sportsperson that's out there from that era that says otherwise, I don't think they're telling the truth. There were things said and back in the day, it wasn't deemed to be offensive. It would be now.

"I can apologise if I was involved in any way, shape or form with a dressing room that had a culture that wasn't inclusive for everyone.

"My recollections are all the dressing rooms that I played in that we were inclusive to everyone. But I'm more than happy for people to come forward and say, 'you know what that wasn't the case'."

Michael Vaughan has been stood down from the BBC's coverage of the Ashes due to "a conflict of interest" amid recent allegations of racism made by ex-Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq.

The former England captain was this month named in a report investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire.

Vaughan, who played for Yorkshire from 1993 to 2009 and led England to Ashes glory in 2005, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events have been supported by Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, but Vaughan has strongly denied the allegations made against him.

The BBC withdrew Vaughan from his Radio 5 Live show three weeks ago and the corporation has now confirmed the 47-year-old – who first joined their radio team as a summariser in 2009 – will not form part of their upcoming Ashes coverage.

"While he is involved in a significant story in cricket, for editorial reasons we do not believe that it would be appropriate for Michael Vaughan to have a role in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at the moment," said a BBC statement.

"We require our contributors to talk about relevant topics and his involvement in the Yorkshire story represents a conflict of interest."

Vaughan is also contracted to commentate for Australia's Fox network for the five-Test series, which begins in Brisbane on December 8.

In a statement made earlier this month, Vaughan said: "I categorically deny saying the words attributed to me by Azeem Rafiq and want to restate this publicly because the 'you lot' comment simply never happened.

"It is extremely upsetting that this completely false accusation has been made against me by a former team-mate, apparently supported by two other players.

"I have been in contact with the six other players from that team and not one of them has any recollection of the remark being made."

Adil Rashid has backed Azeem Rafiq's accusation that former England captain Michael Vaughan made a racist remark during the trio's time together at Yorkshire.

Vaughan revealed earlier in November that his name appears in a 100-page report into institutional racism at Yorkshire but strongly denies the allegations against him.

Rafiq brought allegations against Yorkshire, which has already led to the resignations of chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur.

Vaughan, who played for Yorkshire between 1993 and 2009, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates that there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events were supported by fellow former Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hassan and now England star Rashid, who had been playing at the T20 World Cup, says he heard Vaughan's alleged comment as well.

In a statement to The Cricketer, Rashid – a Yorkshire player since 2006 – said: "Racism is a cancer in all walks of life and unfortunately in professional sports too, and is something which of course has to be stamped out.

"I wanted to concentrate as much as possible on my cricket and to avoid distractions to the detriment of the team but I can confirm Azeem Rafiq's recollection of Michael Vaughan's comments to a group of us Asian players.

"I'm encouraged by the fact that a parliamentary committee seems to be trying to improve the situation, whether that's holding people accountable or getting changes made at an institutional level.

"These can only be positive developments. I will of course be more than happy to support any official efforts when the time is right.

"For now, though, these matters are of an intensely personal nature and I will not be commenting on them further. I ask you to respect my privacy and allow me to focus on my cricket.

"I want to thank the ECB, the fans and especially my teammates for all of their support. We didn't get the result we wanted in this World Cup, but I hope that the unity of our dressing room and the leadership of our captain will propel us forward to achieve what we deserve in the future."

Stats Perform has approached Yorkshire, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Vaughan's representation for further comment.

Rafiq is expected to give evidence in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee on Tuesday.

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