The Cricket Discipline Commission will hear racism allegations made by former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq from March 1 to 9.
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
Former England captain Michael Vaughan will defend himself against racism allegations made by his former Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq while other individuals have opted out of the disciplinary hearing next month.
Former Yorkshire player and bowling coach Richard Pyrah conveyed to officials he would not attend the hearing by the Cricket Discipline Commission, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement.
Andrew Gale, Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan and John Blain have also declined to take part in the proceedings.
The commission will still hear the charges against the five individuals in their absence.
Gary Ballance who now plays for his native Zimbabwe after a career as an England batsman has admitted to a charge of using racially discriminatory language and will not appear before the panel.
Yorkshire County Cricket Club also admitted to four charges because of which nobody from the club would be required to attend the hearing.
In September 2020, Rafiq alleged racism and bullying during his two spells at Yorkshire.
A report from the club in 2021 found that the Pakistan-born player had suffered “racial harassment and bullying” but nobody faced disciplinary action.
Rafiq had previously accused Vaughan of telling him and other Asian-origin players that there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” before a Yorkshire match in 2009.
Vaughan, 48 has repeatedly denied the allegation while England star Adil Rashid and Pakistan’s Rana Naved-ul-Hasan have corroborated Rafiq’s account of the incident.
In December 2022, Rafiq told a British parliamentary committee that he was forced to relocate to Pakistan because of the abuse he and his family had faced in the UK after he had spoken out about racism.
Rafiq has been demanding that the CDC hearings take place in public. The ECB confirmed that reporters would be permitted to view and report on a live feed of the hearing scheduled to be held from March 1 to 9.