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Vaughan breaks silence on Rafiq allegation in first BBC interview since axing

Michael Vaughan has said sorry ‘for the hurt’ that Azeem Rafiq went through at Yorkshire, but has reiterated his denial of making a racist comment towards four Asian players.

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Azeem Rafiq gives testimony regarding cricket racism row

Michael Vaughan said he takes ‘some responsibility’ for what Azeem Rafiq went through at Yorkshire but continued to deny an allegation of making a racist remark to some of the club’s Asian players.

The former England captain has broken his silence after being accused by Rafiq, whose claim was supported by Adil Rashid and Rana Naved, of saying “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” before captaining Yorkshire in a match in 2009.

The game represented the first time four Asian players had played for Yorkshire in a first-class match.

Michael Vaughan was interviewed by Dan Walker on BBC 1

Since the claim was made, Vaughan has been stood down by the BBC from his weekly radio show on 5 Live, and from their Ashes TV coverage this winter.

In his first television interview since the scandal broke, Vaughan told the BBC that he had ‘no recollection’ of the incident, but said it ‘hurt’ to see the discrimination Rafiq suffered.

“I don’t [remember], my recollection from that day as I’ve said I was a Yorkshire player for 18 years, I was the first player to sign for that club that was not born in the county, so for 18 years we have gone from me being the first to sign for the club, Sachin Tendulkar being the first from overseas, to players being able to sign from other clubs.

“It was my last few games and I remember it clearly that I was proud as punch that we had four Asian players representing Yorkshire County Cricket Club.”

He did however, slam his former side for the handling of the situation, with chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur two leading figures to have resigned in the wake of the scandal.

Vaughan has denied Azeem Rafiq’s allegation of racism from 2009
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Image:

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‘Yorkshire County Cricket Club in particular has not dealt with this situation at all well. I see a young lad, someone that I played with that has gone through a huge amount of hurt, I have to take some responsibility for that as I played for Yorkshire for 18 years and if in any way, shape or form I am responsible for any of his hurt, I apologise for that.

“Seeing a young person sit in front of a parliamentary committee in tears going through his experiences, that hurts.”

Vaughan, 47, also apologised for sending ‘offensive’ tweets in the past, and admitted to having been privy to offensive “words or conversations” that he would now call out.

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