Vaughan and a number of other former County Cricket Club players face charges related to the use of racially discriminatory language. Rafiq, 32, born in Pakistan, first went public with allegations of racism and bullying in September 2020, linked to his two spells at the club.
Rafiq alleged that Vaughan told him and three other Yorkshire players of Asian descent, “there are too many of you, we have to do something about it”, before a Twenty20 match in 2009 between Yorkshire and the Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
Solicitor for the England and Wales Cricket Board Jane Mulcahy Vaughan was asked at the ongoing Cricket Disciplinary Board hearing in London whether the words ‘too many of you’ were ‘completely unacceptable’ as well as ‘racist and discriminatory’.
“Absolutely,” said Vaughan, 48, who in his witness statement said, “I find it inconceivable that I would use the words contained in the allegation.”
During Friday’s cross-examination, Vaughan insisted, “I’m very clear in my mind, in 2009, that I know I didn’t say the words that I would have been told.”
The 2005 Ashes-winning skipper added: “If you go through my history as a player, I don’t know when I would have gone onto a pitch and said something to my team-mates that would have put them in a difficult situation bad state of mind to play cricket.
“That comment I would have said would have put my teammates in a position of not being able to give their all.”
He added: “You have three or four Asian players in the (Yorkshire) squad at the same time, I couldn’t have been prouder.”
Mulcahy also referenced a 2010 tweet from Vaughan on a telephone directory service.
He wrote: ‘Why when you call 118 118 all the people who answer are strangers… I can’t make head or tail of what they say… Boring.’
Why when you call 118 118 are all the people answering foreign… I can’t make head or tail of what they say… Annoying
—Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) 1284145375000
“Is this your tweet?” asked Mulcahy.
“It absolutely is, and it’s unacceptable,” Vaughan replied.
Mulcahy asked Vaughan why, if nothing untoward happened, he arranged a meeting with Rafiq in November 2021.
Vaughan replied: “I felt it was getting too big, hurting too many people. It didn’t come easy for anyone, that.
“I don’t think it’s the right process to deal with a word-for-word process from 14 years ago. Whatever happens, it’s got a terrible look at the game, a really bad look at how the cricket handled this situation.”
THE ECB brought charges against seven people and in Yorkshire in June last year, with the club admitting four counts.
Vaughan is the only former player to dispute the charges in person.
“Being named and involved in this case had a profound effect on me,” said the former Test drummer. “My health and personal well-being suffered greatly.”
(With contributions from AFP)