Former England captain Michael Vaughan has apologised to former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq for facing racism during his playing days with Yorkshire. Rafiq had alleged Vaughan for passing racist comments during a County match in 2009. Vaughan allegedly said, “There are too many of you lot, we need to do something about it,” referring to the Asian Origin players.
Following the claims made by Rafiq, Vaughan was sacked from the BBC show. Now, he has also been dropped from the BBC Ashes coverage team. After remaining quiet over Rafiq’s accusations, Vaughan has finally spoken on the matter. The 46-year-old once again denied using such words for Rafiq and said he was proud to play along with Rafiq, Adil Rashid, and Ajmal Shahzad in Trent Bridge back in 2009.
“I don’t [remember saying that],” Vaughan said. “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 had 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 Cricket Club,” Vaughan said to BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker
The cricketer-turned-expert also said that during his 18-year career, he was never involved in any such incident. However, he has apologized to Rafiq for what he had gone through back then. “I’m sorry for the hurt that [Rafiq] has gone through,” Vaughan added. “Yorkshire Cricket Club, I believe, is me. It has been my life whether I have been a player or not, I believe that once you have played for Yorkshire you are always a Yorkshire player and I am sorry for all the hurt that he has gone through.”