Michael Vaughan to defend himself in public Yorkshire racism hearing

England’s former cricket captain Michael Vaughan is among seven individuals who will be standing in a public hearing conducted by the Cricket Disciplinary Commission of the country after the high-profile accusations of institutional racism made by Azeem Rafiq during his 10 year-long playing career at Yorkshire.

Hearings of such nature are usually kept behind closed doors, but at the request of Rafiq, per The Guardian, in a bid to ensure transparency, the CDC have agreed to hold the trial in public. The ECB has not revealed the names of the seven individuals standing trial, but according to The Guardian, these include Vaghan, as well as former England internationals Tim Bresnan, Matthew Hoggard and Gary Ballance, as well as Andrew Gale, the former Yorkshire captain and head coach.

While Gale has reportedly refused to ‘engage with the process’ despite claiming he is innocent, Vaughan appears to be eager to go ahead with the public trial in order to clear his name from the controversy for good. Following the allegations, in which Rafiq accused him of saying “there are too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” to four cricketers of Asian origin, Vaughan has stepped back from his work as a cricket pundit for various channels. He continues to be the cricket columnist of British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Rafiq Rafiq was the whistleblower in the Yorkshire racism scandal he first spoke about it in September 2020. (FILE)

Adil Rashid, member of England’s squad currently playing the T20 World Cup in Australia, will be a key witness in the trial after maintaining that Rafiq had recollected and relayed Vaughan’s comments to him and a group of Asian players.

While claiming the racist treatment Rafiq received at Yorkshire “deeply hurt” him, and that he takes “some responsibility” for the ordeal, he has continually denied making the comments. Vaughan also apologized for a series of offensive historic tweets, including one questioning the lack of English speakers in London and another suggesting that England spinner Moeen Ali should ask random Muslims if they are terrorists.

“I apologize deeply to anyone that I’ve offended with those tweets,” Vaughan said. “Times have moved on and I regret those tweets. We all make mistakes and in my life I’ve made quite a few mistakes on Twitter. I apologize for that.”

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