England bowler Adil Rashid on Thursday backed Rafiq’s claim and said former England captain Michael Vaughan did make ‘there’s too many of you lot’ comment to a group of Asian teammates at Yorkshire before they faced Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 2009. The players were Azeem Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Ajmal Shahzad and Rana Naved ul-Hasan.
Rashid — on videolink from Bangladesh on Thursday, where England are playing a ODI series — was cross-examined for almost two hours during the Cricket Discipline Commission hearing into allegations of racism at Yorkshire.
“He (Vaughan) said, ‘There’s too many of you lot”, followed by words to the effect of, ‘We need to have a word’. I am certain he used the phrase, ‘There’s too many of you lot,’” said Rashid.
“Michael made an ill-judged comment. I heard it. I do not believe that he is racist or that this was said with any bad intention, but it was said.”
England leg-spinner described the comment as “bad humour.”
In an interview with the ECB which was shown at the hearing, Shahzad — who Rashid has described as a close friend — said he thought Rashid was being pressurized by Rafiq into supporting the allegations against Vaughan.
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.”
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.
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 said they signed the paperwork and got the keys “way before” Rafiq went public in August 2020 alleging he had been the victim of racial harassment and bullying across two spells at Yorkshire from 2008-18.
Rafiq also gave evidence on Thursday and was asked if he discussed the alleged comment by Vaughan with anyone on the day.
“No,” Rafiq said. “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.
“It made me angry at the time, it has throughout the years, and it does today. He (Vaughan) was a hero of mine.”