Michael Vaughan could face Rafiq showdown in ECB disciplinary process

Michael Vaughan could face showdown with whistleblower Azeem Rafiq amid suggestions of another withdrawal from the disciplinary proceedings into allegations of racism at Yorkshire Cricket Club

  • Several ex-players have withdrawn from the ECB’s disciplinary process 
  • Former Yorkshire coach Rich Pyrah is understood to be evaluating his position
  • Michael Vaughan could be in a showdown with whistleblower Azeem Rafiq

The disciplinary process into claims of racism at Yorkshire could be reduced to a showdown between Michael Vaughan versus Azeem Rafiq, amid suggestions another former player could withdraw.

Of the seven individuals charged by the ECB last June, Ashes winners Tim Bresnan and Matthew Hoggard pulled out on Friday, along with former Scotland international John Blain, citing grave concerns they would not get a fair trial.

That followed Andrew Gale’s refusal to engage in the Cricket Discipline Commission procedure from the outset.

It is understood that Rich Pyrah is also evaluating his position, leaving Ashes-winning captain Vaughan to attempt to clear his name, having strenuously denied making the ‘you lot’ comment to a group of Yorkshire‘s Asian players, as whistleblower Rafiq claims.

Although Gary Ballance remains in the process, his case is different as he has already admitted using the P word in exchanges with his former friend Rafiq and publicly apologised to him for any upset he had caused when the pair met face to face at the end of last summer.

Michael Vaughan is attempting to clear his name after denying claims made by Azeem Rafiq

Rafiq claimed Vaughan made a ‘you lot’ comment to a group of Yorkshire‘s Asian players

Gary Ballance remains in the process but has publicly apologised to his former team-mate 

Ballance, 33, has since severed ties with Headingley, after a mutual agreement to rip up the final two years of his contract, and made his Test debut for his native Zimbabwe on Saturday versus West Indies four years after last appearing in an England squad.

And Yorkshire as a club have already indicated they are willing to accept sanctions regarding their charge.

The charges against the seven relate to alleged breaches of ECB Directive 3.3, which states: ‘No participant may conduct themselves in a manner or do any act or omission at any time which is improper or which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any cricketer or group of cricketers into disrepute.’

Those to pull out this week did so after becoming frustrated with lengthy delays or complete failure by the ECB to disclose evidence ahead of a twice-delayed CDC hearing, which is now anticipated to take place next month.

At the centre of this was a witness testimony from ex-England all-rounder Ajmal Shahzad which questioned whether Rafiq was ‘accurate in what he’s saying.’

It has also caused agitation that dates for the CDC hearing have been set that coincide with when Adil Rashid, a crucial witness who claims he did hear Vaughan’s words, is unavailable and would therefore avoid cross examination. 

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