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Former England captain Michael Vaughan sees ECB racism charges against him dismissed

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan has seen racism charges against him dismissed – making the announcement on his own Instagram page.

Vaughan was charged by the England and Wales Cricket Broad with making a racist comment towards Yorkshire team-mates of Asian descent Azeem Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Ajmal Shahzad before a match in 2009.

It was alleged Vaughan told them: ‘There’s too many of you lot, we need to have a word about that.’

However, the Cricket Disciplinary Commission dismissed the charges against 2005 Ashes winner Vaughan in a verdict released on Friday morning.

In a statement released on his Instagram account shortly before the publication of the official verdict, Vaughan wrote: ‘At times, this process has brought me to the brink of falling out of love with cricket.

Michael Vaughan has seen racism charges against him dropped, revealing the news in an Instagram statement just before the official findings were published

Azeem Rafiq was one of those Yorkshire players of Asian descent allegedly the subject of Vaughan's comments in 2009

 Azeem Rafiq was one of those Yorkshire players of Asian descent allegedly the subject of Vaughan’s comments in 2009 

‘I won’t address here the toll that it has taken on me and my family, but I have no doubt that it has also been incredibly stressful for all of the others involved.

‘I hope that for them and for cricket, an inclusive healing process can now begin.

‘Now that the ECB’s charge against me has been dismissed, I want to thank the panel for their careful attention in very difficult circumstances and to thank all who have given me their support during an incredibly difficult period in my life.’

Vaughan has always categorically denied using racist language. 

His statement continued: ‘It has been both difficult and upsetting to hear about the painful experiences which Azeem has described over the past three years. 

‘The outcome of these CDC proceedings must not be allowed to detract from the core message that there can be no place for racism in the game of cricket, or in society generally.

‘As with others who have spoken about their time at Yorkshire, I can only speak of my own experiences and of my own time there. The dismissal of the specific charge that concerned me takes nothing away from Azeem’s own lived experiences. 

‘The hearing made public that Azeem and I met eighteen months ago, well before the CDC proceedings came into existence.

Vaughan revealed the outcome of the Cricket Disciplinary Commission adjudication in a lengthy statement released on his Instagram account on Friday morning

Vaughan revealed the outcome of the Cricket Disciplinary Commission adjudication in a lengthy statement released on his Instagram account on Friday morning

‘I told him then that I am sorry for his unacceptable, negative experiences at the club I love and in the sport I love. We had what I thought was a really positive and constructive discussion. 

‘We shook hands with a shared intention to work together in order to create positive change in cricket.

‘For my part, nothing has altered in that respect. There is still a job to do and I remain keen to help bring about positive change in any way that I can. Cricket has been my life. Particularly with an issue such as this, CDC proceedings were an inappropriate, inadequate and backwards step.

‘One of many reasons why I hold that view is because CDC proceedings are adversarial. They invite claim and counterclaim. They invite those involved to accuse each other of untruths or of lying. 

‘The inevitable consequence of the ECB’s decision-making was that 3 former teammates, one of whom is a current England international player, were pitted against one another in what later became a public forum for the world at large to see.

‘Despite being criticised by the ECB for not accusing others of lying. I remain of the view that no good can come of that approach. There are no winners in this process and there are better ways — there have to be better ways – for cricket to move forward positively and effectively. 

‘I have never wanted to do anything that runs contrary to genuine efforts to clean up the game of cricket. I truly hope people can understand why, on a personal level, I could not just accept, or apologise for, something which I know I did not do.’

Five others were also accused, including the former England players Matthew Hoggard and Tim Bresnan, plus former Yorkshire coaches Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah, and ex-Scotland international John Blain.

But Vaughan, 48, was the only one who appeared to defend himself against the charge, attending a hearing in early March.

Vaughan was stood down from the BBC’s coverage of England’s Ashes series in Australia after Rafiq made the allegation in November 2021. He also left his own BBC radio show.

The BBC said it ‘wouldn’t be appropriate for Vaughan to have a role in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at the moment.’

More to follow.