Adil Rashid: ‘I was not pressured’ to support Michael Vaughan racism allegation
Adil Rashid said he was never pressured by Azeem Rafiq into supporting allegations that Michael Vaughan made racist comments during their time at Yorkshire.
Day two of the public Cricket Discipline Commission in London got underway on Thursday with the case of former England captain Vaughan after a short private section in the morning.
Vaughan has been charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board due to allegations he said “there’s too many of you lot” during a T20 match for Yorkshire in 2009 towards team-mates Rafiq, Rashid, Ajmal Shahzad and Rana Naved ul-Hasan.
England bowler Rashid dialled into the disciplinary hearing from Bangladesh, where he is involved in the ongoing ODI series, on a video link and was cross-examined by Vaughan’s lawyer Christopher Stoner KC, who repeatedly asked the spinner about whether he had been pressured into supporting Rafiq’s claims.
In an interview with the ECB which was shown at the hearing, Rashid’s “close friend” Shahzad said he thought Rashid was being pressurised.
But Rashid, during more than an hour in front of the CDC panel, insisted: “No, no. Like I said before I wasn’t pressured by Azeem.”
Rashid first supported Rafiq’s claims about Vaughan’s alleged comment during an article with the Cricketer on November 15 with journalist George Dobell.
Asked if Dobell had pressured him, Rashid said: “No, I was not pressured.”
Vaughan is one of seven individuals charged by the ECB but is the only one expected to attend the CDC hearing and has denied the allegations.
During Rashid’s cross-examination, the England spinner was quizzed over the exact wording allegedly used by Vaughan over whether it was “there’s too many of you lot, we need to have a word about that” or “there’s too many of you lot, we need to do something about that”, the Yorkshire player was adamant over what he had heard.
“I have a very clear recollection actually,” Rashid said.
“I think you already know the words. There’s too many of you lot.
“There’s too many of you lot, you need to have a word, you need to do something about it. It is the phrase there are too many of you lot.”
Like I said before I wasn’t pressured by Azeem.
Rashid stated he was not offended by Vaughan’s alleged comments but took them as “bad humour” on June 22, 2009.
While he could not remember the result of the match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge or the weather that day, Rashid did recall: “As soon as the huddle broke off, people were going towards their places, that is when I remember it being said.”
Vaughan’s lawyer Stoner cross-examined Rashid for more than an hour across two sections of day two with the 35-year-old quizzed over claims by Rafiq that he had “memory failure” and on why he had no WhatsApp messages between him and Rafiq.
“I delete a lot of messages, it’s just a natural thing to do,” Rashid said.
It was also revealed Rashid and Rafiq had been business partners after they opened a fish shop together in October 2021, which closed a year later.
Rashid claimed they had signed the paperwork and got the keys “way before” anything came out regarding Rafiq’s racist allegations in August 2020.
He also refuted claims by one of Vaughan’s witnesses, former head of human resources at Yorkshire Elizabeth (Liz) Neto, that they had a conversation where Rashid said he was being pressured.
“I did not say that. I think she is confused with that situation,” Rashid said.
ECB lawyer Jane Mulcahy KC opened proceedings earlier in the day by repeating the allegation against Vaughan and said the ECB contends that Vaughan made the alleged comment and therefore “caused prejudice or disrepute to cricket”.
Vaughan’s lawyer then confirmed the 48-year-old denies the charge and said the burden of proof is on the ECB.
Stoner said: “Mr Vaughan cannot recall precisely what he said but is clear the words used and in the context used are unacceptable.
“Mr Vaughan is adamant he did not use them.
“This panel will only have one contemporaneous document and one broadly contemporaneous document. The contemporaneous document is Sky footage where words are said to be spoken where the camera was close to players and broadcast.
“We say the entirety of that footage is inconsistent with anything untoward being said. The broadly contemporaneous document is Mr Vaughan’s autobiography and the fact it makes reference to that game and that the four Asian players who played is the start of things to come and good for Yorkshire cricket.
“The alleged comment was not said at the time and including at the end of the game where it would quite obviously have been discussed even between friends, even if it did not become formally reported.
“It was not in fact mentioned by anyone for a period of 11 years. Now 14 years after the event, it is word against word.”
Rafiq was called to give evidence after lunch on Thursday.
The 32-year-old was asked if he discussed the alleged comment with anyone on the day.
“No, 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,” he said.
“It made me angry at the time, it has throughout the years and it does today; he was a hero of mine,” added Rafiq, who was then asked if he was too worried to speak out in 2009.
“From my point of view, as a young cricketer wanting to make my way, as we’ve seen when you do speak up, your life and career can be destroyed. Fear of that ever allowed me to speak up.
“That fear is very much there as a person of colour. Since I spoke out, it’s become very real.”