England bowler Rashid gives evidence in cricket racism case

LONDON (AP) — England cricketer Adil Rashid broke from his national team duties during a limited-overs tour of Bangladesh to give evidence at a hearing examining racism allegations which have shamed storied county team Yorkshire and involve the country’s former captain, Michael Vaughan.

The second day of the Cricket Discipline Commission hearing in London focused on the case of Vaughan, who has been charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board following allegations he made a racially driven remark before a match for Yorkshire in 2009 that also involved Rashid.

Vaughan is alleged to have said “there’s too many of you lot” toward Rashid and three other Yorkshire players of Asian ethnicity — Azeem Rafiq, Ajmal Shahzad and Rana Naved ul-Hasan — on the sidelines of a Twenty20 match.

Rafiq initially made the allegation against Vaughan and it was supported by Rashid in a media interview. Vaughan has categorically denied the allegation.

Rashid, a World Cup-winning spin bowler, dialed into the disciplinary hearing on a video link from Bangladesh — where he is with England amid a one-day international series — and was cross-examined by Vaughan’s lawyer, Christopher Stoner, during an hour-long appearance.

In an interview with the ECB which was shown at the hearing, Shahzad — who Rashid has described as a close friend — said he thought Rashid was being pressurized by Rafiq into supporting the allegations against Vaughan.

Rashid insisted that was not the case amid repeated questioning by Stoner, who also asked Rashid about the exact wording allegedly used by Vaughan and whether he could confidently rely on recollections from an incident which took place more than 13 years ago.

Rashid said he could. He also said he was not offended by Vaughan’s alleged comments but took them as “bad humor.”

It was also disclosed in the hearing that Rashid and Rafiq had been business partners after they opened a fish and chips shop together in October 2021. It closed a year later.

Rashid said they signed the paperwork and got the keys “way before” Rafiq went public in August 2020 alleging he had been the victim of racial harassment and bullying across two spells at Yorkshire from 2008-18.

Rafiq also gave evidence on Thursday and was asked if he discussed the alleged comment by Vaughan with anyone on the day.

“No,” Rafiq said. “As the comment happened, I sort of looked at Adil and thought, ‘Did he really say that?’ But it was not something that was discussed.

“It made me angry at the time, it has throughout the years, and it does today. He (Vaughan) was a hero of mine.”

Proceedings opened on the second day of the hearing with ECB lawyer Jane Mulcahy saying the governing body contends that Vaughan “caused prejudice or disrepute to cricket” with his alleged comments.

Stoner said Vaughan could not recall precisely what he said but was clear the words he is alleged to have used were “unacceptable” and that he “is adamant he did not use them.”

Vaughan, who captained England’s test team from 2003-08 and also the ODI team during that period, briefly stepped back from media work following the accusations by Rafiq.

The hearing is taking place in front of a three-person panel and is scheduled to run until March 9.

The scandal has brought shame on Yorkshire, England’s most successful club with a record 33 county championship titles.

Yorkshire has admitted to four ECB charges and will not participate in the hearing.


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