England Cricket Board has been jolted by racism scandals of late. A few months back, Ollie Robinson’s historic racist tweets went viral and recently, Yorkshire players Gary Ballance and Michael Vaughan were accused of the same. Former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq accused Michael Vaughan of passing racist comments to Asian origin players. Now, Rafiq’s claims have found support in Rashid, who confirmed that Vaughan hurled racist comments at Rafiq. Earlier, former Pakistan pacer Rana Naved ul Haq had also confirmed Rafiq’s claims.
“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,” Rashid said, according to ESPNcricinfo.
“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,” Rashid said.
An investigation done by an independent commission found that Rafiq was subjected to racism. While the club accepted the findings, they announced that no action will be taken against their employees. The statement didn’t go well with the England Cricket Board, which has always been vocal about racism and the need to eradicate it from professional sport. The board stripped off the hosting rights of important matches from the club. Also, a few prominent sponsors sidelined themselves from YCC.
Speaking about Vaughan, he was removed from a BBC talk show. The former skipper, however, has denied all the claims. “I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words. I have nothing to hide. The ‘you lot’ comment never happened,” the 2005 Ashes winning captain had written in a newspaper column.
“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 at the time to upset him then that is what he believes.”