Nazem Kadri scored a decisive hat-trick for the Colorado Avalanche against the St. Louis Blues in Game 4, having been determined to perform after alleging threats and racist abuse.

Avalanche center Kadri was involved in a collision with Jordan Binnington in Game 3, bringing a premature end to the Blues goaltender's series.

Former NHL player Akim Aliu revealed on Twitter on Sunday he had subsequently spoken to Kadri, who he said had "been subject to so many racist attacks and threats since last night that police had to be brought in".

The Avalanche confirmed they were aware of threats made towards their player – a Muslim of Lebanese descent – and were working with local law enforcement to investigate.

In the meantime, Kadri responded on the ice with three goals in Monday's 6-3 win to put the Avalanche 3-1 up and on the brink of the Western Conference Finals.

"I wanted to come out tonight and really put a mark on this game, especially after what happened," Kadri said. "I tried to do that as best as possible.

"Sometimes you've got to be patient, and you've got to wait. I was able to strike early in the second period and was able to get the mojo going."

He added of the incidents: "People need to be aware this stuff still happens, and it's hurtful."

Speaking ahead of Game 4, Blues coach Craig Berube – who had questioned Kadri's role in Binnington's injury, referencing his "reputation" in an apparent nod to previous postseason suspensions – said of the threats: "I've got no comment on that stuff."

Former South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith has been cleared of racism allegations against him by two independent arbitrators.

Smith was accused of racial bias against black leadership at Cricket South Africa (CSA), discrimination against Proteas wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile and unfair racial treatment surrounding the appointment of Mark Boucher over Enoch Nkwe in 2019.

The former Proteas skipper was under review by Dumisa Ntsebeza SC after CSA's Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) process, with Ntsebeza unable to conclude on "definite findings" in December 2021.

The initial report criticised Smith and former captain AB de Villiers for selection decisions, which it said were prejudicial towards black players, allegations the pair both denied.

That led to further formal processes, with two independent arbitrators Ngwako Maenetje SC and Michael Bishop reviewing the case, before Smith was cleared of the allegations of racism.

Smith, who held the CSA director role between 2019 and 2022 before his contract ended in March this year, has also been reimbursed his costs by CSA on the advice of the arbitration.

Lawson Naidoo, chairman of the CSA Board, said after the decision: "The manner in which these issues have been dealt with and resolved by the arbitration proceedings confirms CSA's commitment to deal with the SJN issues in a manner that treats them with utmost seriousness but also ensures fairness, due process and finality.

"Now that finality on these processes has been reached, it is appropriate to recognise the extraordinary contribution that Graeme has made to South African cricket, first as the longest-serving Test captain in cricket history and then as director of cricket from 2019 to 2022.

"His role as director has been critical in rebuilding the Proteas men's team in particular and has laid a solid foundation for his successor.

"We fully appreciate that after his time as director, Graeme wants new challenges in the commercial and cricket worlds.

"He has a long career ahead of him and we very much hope that he will still work in the cricket world in appropriate capacities going forward."

CSA apologised for the unwarranted public disclosures of Smith's personal information, including his remuneration, during the SJN process, as they thanked the 41-year-old for his efforts in charge.

Pholetsi Moseki, who is CSA's chief executive, added: "On behalf of the executives, staff and players at CSA, I would like to thank Graeme for all that he did as the director of cricket.

"He put up his hand at a particularly tumultuous period for CSA and he has often gone beyond his contracted duties to assist CSA during his term."

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli insisted "four teams can still win the Scudetto" after his side moved back to the top of Serie A with a 1-0 victory over Cagliari, which was marred by abuse directed at Mike Maignan.

The Rossoneri dominated for large parts on Saturday, but a lack of clinical finishing left them frustrated until just before the hour.

Ismael Bennacer stepped up with an exquisite volley into the bottom-left corner to edge Milan past Walter Mazzarri's side, who spurned two great opportunities through Joao Pedro and Keita Balde in response.

Victory meant Milan restored their three-point lead over Napoli, who defeated Udinese 2-1 earlier on Saturday, and they are six ahead of defending champions Inter, who have played a game fewer, after they were held by Fiorentina.

Juventus could cut the gap on the leaders to seven when they host Salernitana on Sunday, and Pioli believes the Scudetto race is far from over with eight games remaining for his side.

"Every game is an important crossroads now. I liked the team, even when we didn't score in the first half, as we played with quality and intensity," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

"Cagliari caused us problems, but that's inevitable when you have two teams with such strong motivation."

Milan's triumph was their third straight win by a 1-0 scoreline and, while delighted with the result, Pioli would look to see his team be more ruthless in front of goal.

"We would like to score more and went close again several times today, but the important thing is to win," he added.

"We're doing great things, but we also know there are four sides that could still win the Scudetto. There's no point looking too far ahead, there's a long way to go and we need to concentrate only on our own path."

Milan's win was tainted, however. There was a commotion between the players after the final whistle, and Pioli confirmed that goalkeeper Mike Maignan had made claims he was racially abused by some Cagliari fans.

"Mike told me there was racist abuse from behind the goal," Pioli responded when asked about the scenes at full-time.

"It's always sad when these things happen, nobody deserves that."

Michail Antonio believes West Ham team-mate Kurt Zouma's punishment for abusing his cat should not be more severe than the sanctions handed out to those convicted of racist abuse.

Zouma was filmed kicking and slapping his cat, prompting West Ham to issue the defender a £250,000 fine – which will be donated to charity – while animal charity RSPCA removed the Frenchman's cats.

However, the 27-year-old was not dropped from the Hammers' starting line-up, with manager David Moyes selecting him in the 1-0 win over Watford in their subsequent fixture.

Zouma's presence on the pitch was met with criticism, but Antonio feels those calling for the centre-back to be sacked are going too far in light of the punishments put in place for players that are found guilty of using racist language.

"I've got a question for you," Antonio said to a Sky Sports reporter. "Do you think what he's done is worse than racism?

"I'm not condoning a thing that [Zouma] has done. I don't agree with what he's done at all.

"But, there's people that have been convicted, caught for racism and have played football afterwards. They got punished, they got an eight-game punishment or something like that.

"But people are now calling for people to be sacked, for them to lose their livelihood. I've just got to ask this question to everyone out there: Is what he's done worse than what the people have done that [have been] convicted for racism?"

West Ham's next fixture is a Premier League game against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday as the Hammers compete to finish in the top four.

Vincent Kompany said he was “disgusted” after being racially abused during Anderlecht's 2-2 draw with Club Brugge on Sunday.

The former Manchester City captain, now manager of Anderlecht, stated after the game that players and coaches were verbally abused throughout.

"I go home disgusted and disappointed. My players, my staff and I were victims of racist insults," the 35-year-old told broadcaster Eleven Sports.

"I want to get together with my staff, to be with the people who matter to me. We should not still have to experience this today."

Club Brugge, who were in the same Champions League group as Manchester City this season, released a statement after the game condemning the actions of their fans, saying: "Club Brugge, its fans, staff, players and board, strongly condemn any form of racism.

"These individuals are not representative of the values and norms of our club, and do not have their place at Jan Breydel Stadium."

On Monday, Club Brugge said the club would do all they can to identify those responsible and seek to impose stadium bans.

Kompany won two Belgian league titles as a player at Anderlecht before going on to win four Premier League titles with City, as well as two FA Cups and four EFL Cups during his time at the Etihad Stadium, before heading back to Anderlecht as player-coach in 2019. He retired from playing in 2020 to focus on managerial duties.

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku posted support for his former Belgium team-mate on Instagram, and demanded a firm response from the football authorities.

"An icon like Vincent Kompany has been insulted because of his skin colour," Lukaku wrote. "Enough is enough ... take real action now."F

Darren Gough has been appointed as managing director of Yorkshire on an interim basis following the Azeem Rafiq racism crisis, the club has confirmed.

Ex-England bowler Gough will relinquish his current media duties to take the role at his former county, initially until the conclusion of the 2022 season, as Yorkshire look to rebuild in the wake of the revelations by Rafiq.

A 100-page independent report in early November upheld claims by Rafiq that he had been the victim of "racial harassment and bullying" during his time at Yorkshire.

Former chairman Roger Hutton resigned with immediate effect over Yorkshire's handling of the investigation, with new chair Kamlesh Patel stepping into the role.

Chief executive Mark Arthur then followed Hutton in resigning, while Yorkshire announced on Friday that they were parting ways with their entire coaching and medical team, including first-team coach Andrew Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon.

Gough, who enjoyed two spells at Headingley as a player, will oversee the recruitment of a new coaching team as his immediate priority.

On his appointment, Gough told Yorkshire's official website: "Yorkshire County Cricket Club has been part of my life since my earliest days in cricket when I made my debut in 1989, and I spent 15 happy years at the club. 

"Like many, I have followed how the club handled the recent racism allegations with sadness and anger.

"I want to play my part in rebuilding cricket in Yorkshire and I am looking forward to working with the exceptionally talented group of players here. 

"I am also aware of my wider responsibility to listen to everyone and ensure that every person who is associated with this club feels welcome, instilling values we want associated with the White Rose: honesty, straight talking, hard work, integrity and excellence.

"I share [Kamlesh] Patel's vision for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and the collective determination to face the issues head on with a series of positive actions. Change will not happen overnight, but I am certain that we can make Headingley roar again."

Gough retired from professional cricket in 2008 but travelled to New Zealand in 2019 as a mentor for England's seamers on tour.

Current England captain Joe Root, who worked with Gough on that tour and is a lifelong Yorkshire player, has backed the 51-year-old to succeed in his new role.

Speaking ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, Root – before the appointment was confirmed – said: "It's news to me, but if that is the case he's a good man and I'm sure he'll be looking to put his stamp on things at the club.

"From my experience of spending time with Goughie, he's obviously very passionate and knowledgeable about the game. His love for it is clear for everyone to see. 

"I'm sure he'll want to bring all of that to the fore, all of his experience and achievements in the game and pass them on to the group if he is the man to take over."

Yorkshire's director of cricket Martyn Moxon, first-team coach Andrew Gale and all members of the coaching staff have left the club following Azeem Rafiq's racism allegations.

A 100-page independent report in early November upheld that Rafiq had been victim of "racial harassment and bullying" during his time at Yorkshire.

Former chairman Roger Hutton resigned with immediate effect over Yorkshire's response to the investigation, with new chair Kamlesh Patel tasked with changing the culture at the club.

Chief executive Mark Arthur resigned from his position last month, before Gale was suspended pending investigation over a historical tweet, while Moxon took sick leave due to stress.

Yorkshire announced on Friday that Moxon and Gale have left the club, in addition to all members of the coaching staff and the backroom medical team.

A new director of cricket is the immediate priority, according to Patel, who is also recruiting an entire new coaching team for the upcoming season.

"Significant change is required at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and we are committed to taking whatever action is necessary to regain trust," Patel said in a statement on the county's official website.

"The decisions announced today were difficult to make but are in the best interests of the club. Without making important changes to how we are run, we cannot move on from the past to become a culture which is progressive and inclusive.

"We want to make Yorkshire County Cricket Club a place for everyone, from all backgrounds. To do this, we need to rebuild our culture and instil positive values in everyone associated with Yorkshire. 

"We are determined to learn from the mistakes of the past to become a club which people can trust.

"We are hoping to announce a new director of cricket in the coming days. We have a huge rebuilding job to do but we are confident that this heralds a step forward towards a brighter future."

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.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief Tom Harrison said it felt like "an earthquake" had hit the English game following the allegations of institutional racism within the sport.

Over recent weeks, Yorkshire's dismal handling of Azeem Rafiq's allegations of racism have brought cricket under the spotlight.

The ECB were also criticised by Rafiq, who told Sky Sports: "the ECB know they messed up."

In the first media briefing since last week's select committee hearing at Westminster, ECB chief executive Harrison said: "It feels like an earthquake has hit us.

"The last few weeks have been very, very tough for cricket. Our game has been portrayed in the worst possible way in the world's media, and testimony from others has revealed serious issues which we've collectively not dealt with as a game for many decades, as well as more recently."

Harrison's appearance in front of the media came as the ECB released its action plan to tackle racism within cricket.

The ECB's plan was split into five main aims: understanding and educating more; addressing dressing-room culture; removing barriers in talent pathways; creating welcoming environments for all, and publishing localised action plans on a six-month deadline.

Each heading has several sub-aims, including a vow to have "a standardised approach to reporting, investigating, and responding to complaints, allegations, and whistleblowing across the game" instilled within three months. 

The ECB also promised to hold "a full review of dressing-room culture in all mens' and women's professional teams, both domestic and international."

A review of governance and regulation in cricket to identify any opportunities to strengthen the structures and processes across the game will also be carried out, while the ECB pledged £25million of strategic funding over five years in support of Ethnicity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) actions.

A new anti-discrimination unit will be established within six months, as well as the immediate inclusion of EDI minimum standards. These standards will be upheld by a direct link to funding, with any central distributions able to be withheld if necessary.

Barry O'Brien, ECB Interim Chair, said: "This is a critical moment for cricket. At the all-game meeting last week, we agreed with one voice on the need to act decisively. 

"Whilst change is required urgently, we also recognise that sustained action and improvements will be required over months and years if we are to become the most welcoming and diverse sport in the country. We begin today and will hold ourselves to account at each step of the way."

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."

Azeem Rafiq has apologised and described himself as "ashamed" after anti-Semitic messages he sent in 2011 resurfaced.

The former Yorkshire cricketer, who this week made an emotional appearance in front of a parliamentary select committee amid claims of institutionalised racism in English cricket, posted an apology on Twitter on Thursday in the wake of his own offensive remarks circulating on social media.

The 30-year-old confirmed the messages, which were part of an exchange with another cricketer, were written by him but insisted "I am a different person today", having posted them at the age of 19.

"I was sent an image of this exchange from early 2011 today," said Rafiq. "I have gone back to check my account and it is me – I have absolutely no excuses.

"I am ashamed of this exchange and have deleted it so as not to cause further offence. I was 19 at the time and I hope and believe I am a different person today."

In the note, posted on his Twitter account, Rafiq added: "I am incredibly angry at myself and I apologise to the Jewish community and everyone who is rightly offended by this."

Rafiq was found to have suffered racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire.

David Lloyd was the only person to contact Azeem Rafiq and apologise on Tuesday, following the latter's emotional appearance in front of a parliamentary select committee.

Rafiq, who was found to have suffered racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire, gave evidence in Tuesday's hearing.

He accused Yorkshire and English cricket in general of being institutionally racist.

Former England head coach Lloyd, who is a leading commentator for Sky Sports and is commonly known by his nickname 'Bumble', was implicated by Rafiq, who also made allegations against former Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance and current head coach Andrew Gale.

The county's director of cricket Martyn Moxon was also said to have heard the abuse, while former chairman Roger Hutton admitted the county failed to act accordingly.

Rafiq claimed Lloyd had made offensive remarks over text message to a third party, but he claimed the commentator was the only person to have apologised to him directly since the hearing.

Asked if Gale, Ballance – who has publicly apologised for any offence he caused – or Moxon had been in touch, Rafiq told Sky Sports: "No, I don't expect them to be. I still don't think any of them think they've done anything wrong.

"It just shows them for what they are. The arrogance there and the complete disregard of anyone else but themselves and their views.

"A lot of people have known. That's why some of the apologies – anyone who's apologised, I accept, that's all I've ever wanted – but it does make you think, you've known this for 14 months, if you were genuinely sorry, you would have done it. But anyone who's apologised deserves a second chance."

Moxon is on leave from Yorkshire due to a stress-related issue, while Gale has been suspended pending an investigation into a Twitter exchange with a former Leeds United executive that is alleged to have included an anti-Semitic slur.

Sky confirmed on Tuesday that they would open an investigation into the remarks attributed to Lloyd, who also used his official Twitter account to apologise to Rafiq and the Asian cricket community.

"He rang me last night, I told him honestly what I thought about his comments," Rafiq added. 

"They were completely out of order. He told me was briefed by somebody close to the club, which is disappointing because even that gentleman doesn't know me that well.

"But he rang, he apologised, I accepted his apology and he committed to make a difference and that's a positive."

Current England Test captain Joe Root was also brought up in Tuesday's hearing. Rafiq said Root was "a good man" and stressed the batsman had never took part in any abuse.

However, he was concerned by Root's comment that he had not heard any racist language used at Yorkshire.

"Rooty is a good man but it just shows how bad that institution and environment was that even a good man like him didn't see it, didn't feel like it was right to stop it probably and doesn't remember it probably because it won't mean anything to him," Rafiq said.

"The bystanders – from now on – if you continue to just be bystanders you're as much of a problem as the guys who are perpetrators."

Azeem Rafiq believes that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have "realised they messed up" in handling recent allegations of bullying and racism in cricket.

A day after delivering emotional testimony to the DCMS select committee on the abuse and bullying he suffered during his time at Yorkshire, Rafiq spoke to Sky Sports about the potential repercussions, including his opinion that the national governing body for cricket is unlikely to allow similar occurrences again.

The 30-year-old also expressed his belief that the "floodgates" may now open for similar complaints from within the game, and that these must be taken more seriously than his own allegations were.

"I do feel now it's going to be floodgates [opening] and a lot of victims of abuse are going to come forward and we need to listen to them, hear them, support them and work out a plan to make sure this doesn't happen again," he said.

"I think you're going to get [complaints] into the hundreds and thousands, possibly, and I think it's the way they handle it. We've got here because of Yorkshire's handling of this.

"Yes, what happened was completely unacceptable but the way they've handled it has made it a lot bigger and showed them for what they are, so it depends how the game and individual counties handle it.

"I think the ECB have realised they messed up as well and they're not going to let another episode like this occur."

Rafiq also said he feels the positions of Yorkshire's director of cricket Martyn Moxon, and head coach Andrew Gale, are untenable, but there is potentially a route back for his former team-mate Gary Ballance.

All three were named by Rafiq during his testimony to the committee on Tuesday.

"They need to hear from me the effect their behaviour left me in, and I'd like to hear from them why. Why they felt that was all right but it's important we don't go to individuals and think about the institution, because these guys came into this place and were shaped by the culture and the environment," he added.

"I don't think Martyn and Andrew can [continue in their roles]. I think Gary – if he apologises properly and has some sort of acceptance and accountability – he should be allowed to play.

"But in terms of Andrew and Martyn, I don't think it's possible for Yorkshire to move forward with them still in there knowing full well what sort of role they played in that institution."

Former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq has told a parliamentary select committee he believes English cricket has a racism problem "up and down the country".

Rafiq's recent allegations against Yorkshire were followed by the resignations of chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur, and when asked by the committee on Tuesday if he believes English cricket is "institutionally racist", he replied: "Yes".

The 30-year-old was close to tears on numerous occasions during his testimony, adding that he feels he lost his career to racism, but hopes that by speaking out, the game can achieve "massive change" in future.

"I just wanted to live my dream and my family's dream," Rafiq told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee.

"I felt isolated, humiliated at times. On tour, Gary Ballance walked over and said, 'Why are you talking to him?'. Going past a corner shop, I was asked if my uncle owned it.

"Martyn Moxon [current Yorkshire director of cricket] and Andrew Gale [current Yorkshire head coach] were there. It never got stamped out."

The committee raised sections of Yorkshire's independent report into the matter that described Rafiq as a heavy drinker.

"I have been clear from the offset that I wasn't perfect. There were things I did that I felt I had to do to fit in, and I am not proud of them," Rafiq said.

"But that has no relation to racism. I should never, ever have been treated the way I was. When I spoke, I should have been listened to.

"But Yorkshire CCC, and the game as a whole, has a problem listening to the victim. There is no 'yeah, but...' to racism. There is no two sides to racism.

"My first incident of drinking, I was 15, I got pinned down at my local cricket club and had red wine poured down my throat.

"I felt like I had to drink to fit in. I regret that massively, but it has no bearing on the things I was called."

When asked if it would be fair to say what he has seen at Yorkshire is replicated at other counties, Rafiq said: "Without a shadow of a doubt. This is replicated up and down the country.

"I would like to see it as progress that people feel they can come forward and not be smeared against and discredited."

Representatives of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were also giving evidence on Tuesday.

Rafiq was also asked where he found the strength to come forward in the first place, and added: "I have a bit of Karachi and a bit of Barnsley in me. The pain I went through those few months, no one can put me through that again.

"I thought there may be some humanity left, but no. It was all about discredit, discredit, discredit.

"All I wanted was an acceptance, an apology, an understanding, and let's try and work together to ensure it never happens again.

"If Yorkshire had seen this as an opportunity to make a real difference in society and the game, this could have gone in a completely different direction.

"They didn't do that, and that is why we are where we are."

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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