We are underway. And in a change to the schedule, it is the Michael Vaughan case that is up first on day two. Jane Mulcahy is currently setting out the ECB’s case, that Vaughan said: “there’s too many of you lot, we need to have a word about that” or alternatively “there’s too many of you lot” to four Asian players at Yorkshire County Cricket club in 2009 and has caused “prejudice or disrepute to cricket.” As she points out, Vaughan denies the charges.
The CDC has already heard the ECB’s case against three players on day one of the hearing.
The former England seamer Tim Bresnan was accused of three charges that the ECB considers racist and/or discriminatory, including using the phrase “Fit Paki and/or FP” regularly, including to Rafiq’s sister Amna. Bresnan denies that charge and says he was not being discriminatory when he called Yorkshire’s Asian players “the brothers” and “you lot” on occasions.
Another former England cricketer, Matthew Hoggard, was alleged by the ECB to have said“You Pakis are all the same” and “you lot sit over there” when referring to Rafiq and other Asian players in the Yorkshire squad in 2008. The ECB also claims the bowler was being discriminatory when he referred to Rafiq as “Rafa the Kaffir” – a South African insult – during the 2008 season.
Hoggard has admitted to using the P-word and “Token Black Man” but denied any racist or discriminatory intent. He also says he used the phrase “Rafa the Kaffir” to denote a person of Muslim faith who did not practise to strict conformity rather than its more abusive South African context.
A third former Yorkshire player, John Blain, was also alleged by Rafiq to have “used the word ‘Paki’ a lot and it was normalised language for him” and the panel was told that others had also heard him use it. Blain has denied ever using the word but was alleged by the ECB to have told another player that using the P-word was “similar to calling Australians ‘Aussies’”.
Jane Mulcahy KC, the ECB’s counsel, said the widespread use of the P-word showed evidence of “a prevailing atmosphere at Yorkshire County Cricket Club at the relevant time in which this word was commonly used”.
“This is consistent with Yorkshire’s admission that it failed adequately to address systemic use of racist or discriminatory language over a prolonged period,” she added.
It is expected that we will hear the ECB’s cases against Andrew Gale and Rich Pyrah first, which should not take long, before we move onto Vaughan.
The second day of the Cricket Disciplinary Commission hearing into allegations of racism in Yorkshire cricket is due to reconvene shortly, after a nearly two-hour delay due to legal arguments behind the scenes. However it promises to be an explosive day given that three of the key witnesses, Azeem Rafiq, Michael Vaughan and Adil Rashid are all due to given evidence.
It was Rafiq who first made public allegations of racism in Yorkshire cricket in 2020, which led to seven players and staff and Yorkshire being charged by the ECB of bringing the game into disrepute.
One player, Gary Ballance, has admitted to wrongdoing and therefore is not required to attend this hearing, while Yorkshire have also admitted guilt in the way it handled alleged racism directed at Rafiq during two spells at the club between 2008 and 2014 and 2016 and 2018.
Five others Tim Bresnan, Matthew Hoggard, John Blain, Tim Bresnan, Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah have declined to participate as they believe they will not get a fair hearing but their cases are being heard in their absence.
However Vaughan, the former England captain, has agreed to attend in person – with the CDC due to examine claims by Rafiq that Vaughan said to the team’s Asian players that there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” before a Yorkshire match in 2009. Vaughan strenuously denies the allegation.