Michael Vaughan breaks cover for first time since Azeem Rafiq racism allegations

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Michael Vaughan has been spotted in public for the first time since Adil Rashid backed up Azeem Rafiq's recollection of an alleged racist comment he made to a group of Asian cricketers.

The former England captain "completely and categorically denies" the allegation that he said "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rashid's stance came after former Pakistan bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan corroborated Rafiq's statement, with the fourth player present Ajmal Shahzad saying that he had no recollection of the incident.

Vaughan is alleged to have made the remark during his time as a Yorkshire player back in 2009, and gave a statement to the Press Association on Monday.

He said: "I categorically deny saying the words attributed to me by Azeem Rafiq and want to re-state this publicly because the 'you lot' comment simply never happened.

"Anyone who has viewed the Sky footage of Yorkshire's pre-match huddle at the game in question in June 2009, and the interaction between the players, would find it hard to reconcile those scenes with the version of events that has been presented."

Before adding that it was "inconceivable" that he would have made the derogatory comment.

"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," he said on Monday.

"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.

"I fully accept that perspectives differ, and I have great sympathy for what Azeem Rafiq has gone through, but I hope everyone understands why I cannot allow this to go unchallenged or my reputation to be trashed unfairly."

The allegation came before Rafiq told told a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee on that English cricket is "institutionally" racist.

Rafiq, had two spells at Yorkshire between 2008-14 and 2016-18, and believes that his cricket career was ruined by racism and bullying that took place at the club.

Despite the difficulty of having to recall the events, the 30-year-old has said that he is now "incredibly relieved" to have given his full account.

Telling BBC Sport: "It's really important the game and wider society listens to my experiences and we don't let this moment go and we try to use this as a watershed moment for the future."

  • England Cricket Team

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