Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has been charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in relation to Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of systemic racism in English cricket. Vaughan is one of seven people accused of racism, but no criminal charges have been filed. Instead, Vaughan, as well as former internationals Tim Bresnan and Matthew Hoggard, will face disciplinary hearings.
According to English media sources, the ECB charged the following seven people late on Wednesday in their investigation into Azeem Rafiq’s accusations. Michael Vaughan, Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan, Gary Ballance, and former head coach Andrew Gale have all been charged. The high-profile group, as well as the club, will face disciplinary proceedings in the fall, following a two-year dispute.
While the ECB has not identified the players implicated, it is widely assumed that Vaughan, who is now a BBC analyst, is one of the most prominent. When Yorkshire revealed that Rafiq had actually been subjected to ‘racial harassment and abuse,’ the former Ashes-winning captain was also mentioned in the initial probe.
What has actually happened?
In 2020, Azeem Rafiq says that he considered suicide as a result of racism and abuse at Yorkshire. Yorkshire announces they have failed to “resolve the difficulties between the club and Azeem Rafiq” after Rafiq filed a legal complaint about racism at the club. Yorkshire did not seek charges, describing the incidents as “friendly banter.”
Yorkshire’s hosting rights have been suspended after Gary Ballance admitted to using a racist term. Ballance was also ruled ineligible for the team. Michael Vaughan has been accused of racism by ex-Yorkshire cricketer Naveen-ul-Haq, Azeem Rafiq, and Adil Rashid. Vaughan apologises to Rafiq but maintains his denial of being racist, despite being removed from the BBC’s winter coverage of the Ashes.
After the ECB completed its own inquiry into the issue, a panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) will hold a hearing in September or October. Playing bans, suspension of selection eligibility for matches, and completion of education programmes might all be part of the punishment. The CDC might potentially penalise anyone found guilty by denying them access to the grounds.
In the meanwhile, Andrew Gale was one of 16 employees fired as a result of Rafiq’s allegations. According to the Daily Mail, Hoggard contacted Rafiq to apologise for referring to him as ‘Rafa the Kaffir’ during their time as teammates a decade ago. When his identity was made public in November, Bresnan apologised for bullying behaviour, although he has denied ever doing so.