Michael Vaughan gives fresh denial of racist comment after Adil Rashid statement
Michael Vaughan has once again denied the accusation that he made a racist comment towards Azeem Rafiq and other players of Asian heritage at Yorkshire.
Earlier this month, the spin bowler claimed the former England captain said there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it" to his ex-teammate and three other players during their time at Yorkshire.
But in a new statement, Vaughan once again pleaded his innocence.
"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,” Vaughan said.
"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.
"Given my view that the inclusion of Asian players in the Yorkshire team was a very positive and welcome development, it is inconceivable I would have made the derogatory comment attributed to me."
He added: “It goes against everything that I have always believed; it goes against what I expressly said in my book only weeks later; and it goes against the Sky footage showing me specifically congratulating each of the players concerned.
"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 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."
Rashid, who was involved in the now concluded ICC T20 World Cup, claimed he heard Vaughan’s alleged comments.
The 33-year-old, who has played for Yorkshire since 2006, released a statement supporting Rafiq’s claims.
"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," he wrote.
"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 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."
The claims have already been supported by another former Yorkshire player in Rana Naved-ul-Hasan .
Naved has said he is "shocked" at Vaughan's denial of the allegations.
"Yes, yes, it’s true but he [Vaughan] has denied it," he said. "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."
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