Michael Vaughan left battling to save him reputation

EXCLUSIVE: ‘He was there, I was there and he used those words. He definitely said it’: Michael Vaughan left battling to save his reputation as Rana Naved ul-Hasan supports Azeem Rafiq’s claim that he made racist comment to Asian players

  • Michael Vaughan was battling to save his reputation late on Friday evening 
  • The Ashes-winning captain, Vaughan, was named in the Azeem Rafiq report
  • Vaughan firmly denied the claims that he made a racially insensitive remark
  • But former Yorkshire player Rana Naved ul-Hasan supported Rafiq’s claim
  • Vaughan was stood down from Monday’s Tuffers and Vaughan Show on BBC 

Michael Vaughan was battling to save his reputation on Friday night after former Yorkshire player Rana Naved ul-Hasan supported Azeem Rafiq’s claim that the ex-England captain made a racist comment towards Asian players in 2009.

Vaughan was later stood down from Monday’s Tuffers and Vaughan Show on BBC Radio 5 Live.

All-rounder Rana Naved ul-Hasan played for the county in the 2008-09 season and claims that he was on the field when Vaughan allegedly told a group of Yorkshire’s British Asian stars — said to include Rafiq, Adil Rashid and Ajmal Shahzad — ‘Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it’.

Vaughan completely and categorically denied the accusations on Thursday in his Daily Telegraph column. In the article, he had described reading the allegations that had been made about him as like being struck over the head with a brick.

The differing versions of events mean it is still not known what exactly occurred. But in an exclusive interview with Sportsmail, Naved expressed ‘shock’ at the former England captain’s denial and claimed there are ‘lots of racists at Yorkshire’.

Naved said: ‘Yes, yes, it’s true but he (Vaughan) has denied it. I’m very shocked about that, it’s true what Rafiq has alleged. He (Vaughan) was there, I was there and he used those words and he’s denied it. He definitely said it, I’m sure. 

‘I was really shocked—- why is he denying these things? He was a senior player who played for England as well and he’s a very responsible man, but he’s denying it. Rafiq is right. That’s why I’m backing him, he’s right. I’m not thinking, “Oh I’m Asian, Rafiq’s also Asian so I’ll back him”. No — I’m telling you the truth.’

Michael Vaughan (above) was battling to save his reputation on Friday night after former Yorkshire player Rana Naved ul-Hasan supported Azeem Rafiq’s claim

The former Pakistan star was asked why he did not complain immediately and added: ‘I did nothing at the time because I was a professional player then. As Muslims, we just try and play cricket and be fair. 

‘I’m reacting now because it’s a true story and he’s denied it.

‘He was a senior player at the time, captain or vice-captain as well and we respect the senior people. That’s why I ignored it. Those words are not good for us, especially Asian people.’

Vaughan was named in the Rafiq report — but denied claims that he told a group of Yorkshire players with Asian heritage that there were ‘too many of you lot’

But, former Yorkshire player Rana Naved ul-Hasan (above) supported Rafiq’s claim that the ex-England captain made a racist comment towards Asian players in 2009

Sportsmail revealed this week that Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance was the player who had repeatedly called Rafiq a ‘P**i’, which all came to light when parts of Yorkshire’s report into Rafiq’s allegations of racism at the county came out.

Naved also opened up about his negative experience at Yorkshire, where he claimed to have suffered racism and was ‘tortured in every sense’.

‘I was in Scarborough and you can’t imagine the tiny room they gave me that was like the size of one bed,’ he said. ‘They gave me the room because I wasn’t performing well. They tortured me in every sense. I showed that room to Ajmal Shahzad. I said: “Look, this is my room, I’m a pro player”.

‘If you’re performing well they treat you like a hero. If you don’t, they torture you in every sense — in facilities, your transport. There is a lot of people there who are racist and don’t like Asian people.’

On Friday, Vaughan said: ‘We’re in different times. I’ve done my piece (in the Telegraph) and I stand by what I say. I’ve never said anything racist in my life. I have nothing to hide. The ‘‘you lot’’ comment never happened.

Naved also opened up about his negative experience at Yorkshire, where he claimed to have suffered racism and was ‘tortured in every sense’ 

‘Anyone trying to recollect words said 10 years ago will be fallible but I am adamant those words were not used. If Rafiq believes something was said to upset him then that is what he believes. It is difficult to comment except to say it hurts me to think I potentially affected someone. I take it as the most serious allegation ever put in front of me. I will fight to prove I am not that person.’

Which companies have already severed ties with Yorkshire over the toxic racism row?

  • Nike
  • Tetley’s
  • David Lloyd Clubs
  • Emerald Group
  • Yorkshire Tea
  • Anchor Butter
  • Age Partnership
  • Bagnalls
  • Harrogate spring water
  • NIC Services Group  

Pending:

  • JT Ellis (suspended) 
  • Simon Falk eye care (monitoring)
  • Krimpterm (reviewing) 

Vaughan was later stood down by the BBC from Monday’s Tuffers and Vaughan Show. A spokesperson said: ‘The BBC takes any allegations of racism extremely seriously. We have made the editorial decision that Michael won’t appear. The show focuses on topical discussion around cricketing matters and given his personal involvement, we need to ensure we maintain the impartiality.’

Roger Hutton, meanwhile, launched a scathing attack on Yorkshire and the ECB after becoming the first high-profile figure to pay the price for the scandal by resigning.

The Yorkshire chair called for other senior figures at Headingley to go with him in an explosive statement, saying he experienced a ‘culture that refuses to accept change’ and a ‘constant unwillingness from executives on the board and senior management to apologise, accept there was racism and to move on’.

Hutton, who became chair last year — 18 months after Rafiq left the club, said: ‘During my time as chairman I take responsibility for failing to persuade them to take appropriate and timely action. This frustration has been shared by all non-executive members of the board, some of whom have also resigned. I call for those executive members of the board to resign to make way for a new path for the club I love so much.’

Hutton then took aim at the governing body who on Thursday stripped Yorkshire of international cricket, saying: ‘When I was made aware of Azeem Rafiq’s allegations I reached out to the ECB to ask for their help to support a robust inquiry. I was saddened when they declined to help as I felt it was a matter of importance for the game as a whole. It is on record that I expressed my frustration at the ECB’s reluctance to act.’

Sportsmail revealed this week that Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance (above) was the player who had repeatedly called Rafiq a ‘P**i’ 

That put Hutton at loggerheads with ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, who said: ‘I refute that. We were asked to join the Yorkshire panel to be part of the investigation, which we cannot do. We are the regulator. We either run the investigation or we let a stakeholder run it in its entirety themselves. But a quasi kind of involvement is against the role we play.’

Harrison said it was right for Hutton to fall on his sword, adding: ‘Roger has taken the decision to resign and that’s correct.’

Harrison admitted he had still not read the report into Rafiq’s allegations that has come under criticism since it became clear its panel regarded Ballance’s use of the word ‘P**i’ as banter.

Roger Hutton, meanwhile, launched a scathing attack on Yorkshire and the ECB after becoming the first high-profile figure to pay the price for the scandal by resigning

‘I have not read it and that’s important because it must go through a regulatory process,’ said Harrison. ‘My views are not important at this point. I will read it once the investigation is carried out.’

Hutton later said in a BBC interview that there is nobody at the club he would ‘personally consider racist’, but reiterated his belief that the culture of the club is ‘locked in the past’.

An emergency board meeting at Yorkshire on Friday appointed Lord Kamlesh Patel as new chair. He said: ‘This club needs to learn from past errors, regain trust and rebuild relationships with our communities. There is so much work to do.’

How the Yorkshire Cricket Club scandal unfolded and what will happen next

2008-2018: Azeem Rafiq spends 10 years at Yorkshire CCC, becoming their youngest-ever captain and first of Asian origin in 2012.

September 2020: Yorkshire launch investigation as Rafiq reveals that ‘deep-rooted’ racism at the club left him ‘close to committing suicide’. ‘I would regularly come home from training and cry all day,’ he said. Accusations included people saying there was ‘too many of you lot’ referring to Rafiq and Asian team-mates.

December 2020: Rafiq files legal claim against the county, claiming he suffered ‘direct discrimination and harassment on the grounds of race, as well as victimisation and detriment as a result of his efforts to address racism at the club’.

June 2021: Report is delayed and Rafiq’s lawyer says the pushbacks ‘create a lack of faith in the entire process’. Employment tribunal is held but parties fail to resolve the dispute.

August 2021: Yorkshire issue ‘profound apologies’ to Rafiq as report finds he was ‘the victim of inappropriate behaviour’. But they do not accept the claim of institutional racism – Rafiq accuses the county of ‘fudging’ his claims and promised he was ‘not going away’.

September 2021: ECB are ‘very concerned’ with the summary of the panel’s findings, with Yorkshire admitting Rafiq was the victim of ‘racial harassment and bullying’. 

But just seven of the 43 allegations made are upheld, with Yorkshire saying they do not intend to publish a full report.

October 2021: Yorkshire say they will not take disciplinary action against any of its employees following the report. Rafiq writes on Twitter that the club is ’embarrassing’, saying it gives a ‘green light’ to racism.

This week: Details of the report are published by ESPNcricinfo, including a senior player’s admission that he repeatedly used the word ‘P***’ in reference to Rafiq, which was deemed ‘banter’. Health secretary Sajid Javid said ‘heads should roll’, with the Prime Minister asking the ECB to investigate. 

This week: MailOnline reveals the player was Rafiq’s former Yorkshire team-mate, England batsman Gary Ballance. Sponsors Anchor Butter, Yorkshire Tea and Emerald all cut ties with the club.

What’s next?: Rafiq, Yorkshire now ex-chairman Roger Hutton and director of cricket Martyn Moxon will give evidence to the DCMS committee on November 16. ‘Time for the full truth,’ said Rafiq on Tuesday. 

Yorkshire are facing commercial pressure with sponsors ending association, while legal claims are still not resolved.




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