Wed, 31 May 2023

Yorkshire [United Kingdom], March 31 (ANI): Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has dismissed the racism charges against him.

These allegations were made by the former England spinner Azeem Rafiq against Yorkshire. Vaughan's charge against him was that he used racist or language which was discriminatory during his time in Yorkshire. The racism charges came in limelight back in February when Yorkshire released an official statement regarding this matter.

But on Friday Vaughan released a statement on his Instagram which further gave more clarity on this matter.

His statement read, "It has been both difficult and upsetting to hear about the painful experiences which Azeem has described over the past three years. The outcome of these CDC proceedings must not be allowed to detract from the core message that there can be no place for racism in the game of cricket, or in society generally.

As with others who have spoken about their time at Yorkshire, I can only speak of my own experiences and of my own time there. The dismissal of the specific charge that concerned me takes nothing away from Azeem's own lived experiences. The hearing made public that Azeem and I met 18 months ago, well before the CDC proceedings came into existence.

'I told him then that I am sorry for his unacceptable, negative experiences at the club I love and in the sport I love. We had what I thought was a really positive and constructive discussion. We shook hands with a shared intention to work together in order to create positive change in cricket. For my part, nothing has altered in that respect.''There is still a job to do and I remain keen to help bring about positive change in any way that I can. Cricket has been my life,' he added.

Particularly with an issue such as this, CDC proceedings were an inappropriate, inadequate and backwards step. One of many reasons why I hold that view is because CDC proceedings are adversarial. They invite claims and counterclaims. They invite those involved to accuse each other of untruths or of lying. The inevitable consequence of the CB's decision-making was that three former teammates, one of whom is a current England international player, were pitted against one another in what later became a public forum for the world at large to see.

Despite being criticised by the ECB for not accusing others of lying, I remain of the view that no good can come of that approach. There are no winners in this process and there are better ways - there have to be better ways - for cricket to move forward positively and effectively.

I have never wanted to do anything that runs contrary to genuine efforts to clean up the game of cricket. I truly hope people can understand why, on a personal level, I could not just accept, or apologise for, something which I know I did not do.

At times, this process has brought me to the brink of falling out of love with cricket. I won't address here the toll that it has taken on me and my family, but I do not doubt that it has also been incredibly stressful for all of the others concerned. I hope that for them and for cricket, an inclusive healing process can now begin.

Now that the ECB's charge against me has been dismissed, I want to thank the panel for their careful attention in very difficult circumstances and to thank all of those who have given me their support during an incredibly difficult period in my life," Michael Vaughan's statement. (ANI)

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