Statement by Azeem Rafiq: Breakdown of charges against key figures such as Michael Vaughan, Andrew Gale and Gary Ballance


All the details of the allegations of racism made by Azeem Rafiq against his former Yorkshire teammates appeared on Tuesday with the publication of his full witness statement from the player’s Employment Court with the county.

The 57-page document, published following Rafiq’s explosive appearance before the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, exposes the 30-year-old’s allegations against players such as Gary Ballance, Matthew Hoggard and Tim Bresnan.

Gary Ballance, 31-year-old Yorkshire and England hitter

Ballance said in a statement: “It has been reported that I used a racial insult and, as I told the independent investigation, I accept that I did and I regret doing so.

“I don’t want to discredit Rafa by repeating the words and statements he made about me and others, but I have to be clear that it was a situation where best friends were saying offensive things that, outside of that context, would be considered totally inappropriate.”

Rafiq says the couple started drifting from 2013 and at a 2014 dinner they even had to be separated by their agent, Will Quin.

Balance allegedly used racist language in social settings such as nightclubs (Rafiq turned his back on his Muslim faith by drinking to adapt to the club’s culture) and in a team environment like the team bus. Rafiq says he called him “p ** I,” he said “he’s not a sheik, he doesn’t have oil,” he asked “is your uncle there?” seeing bearded men and “Does your father own these?” when passing through corner shops. Ballance is also accused of referring to all people of color “Kevin”; Alex Hales is then accused of calling his black dog Kevin.

Ballance, former home captain of England captain Joe Root, recently received a new three-year contract from Yorkshire amid speculation that he could leave the club.

Matthew Hoggard, 44-year-old former Yorkshire and England bowler

The only mention of Hoggard in the hearing was that Rafiq used him as an example of a player who apologized for his behavior in the wake of interviews he gave in 2020. Rafiq said: “He said,‘ I didn’t notice. . I’m so sorry for the way some of my comments made you feel. I just wanted to apologize for what I said. ‘ I said, ‘Go on, thank you’. All I ever wanted was to apologize. “

Rafiq’s statement before the Employment Court reveals what Hoggard allegedly gave under the nickname “Raffa the Kaffir”, which was widely used at the club. “[At first] I just thought he said it because it rhymed, “Rafiq said.” It was only later that I realized what “Kaffir.” [a South African racist term] it meant, as it was used, and that it was a racist term ”.

Rafiq accuses Hoggard of racist language “constant, on a daily basis and throughout the day, every day.” He adds, “I think you might think they were just dressing room jokes, but we would come in in the morning and say things like ‘you sit there’ and make us all sit together. He’d also call us things like ‘elephant washers’ and ‘p ** I.’ .

Rafiq believes Hoggard was the encapsulation of Yorkshire’s institutional racism.

“All the young players venerated Hoggy, including me,” Rafiq said. “It was a great honor for me to play on the same team with him. I made my first hundred for the club with Hoggy and it was probably one of the most fun days I had playing cricket. I really liked Hoggy, but I think it was a product of the culture. discriminatory in which he found himself and the culture he was allowed to thrive in YCCC.

“I think Hoggy is a good example of how there was a club culture that led him to emulate the kind of things he had heard him say to players before him. Because he was accepted into the YCCC and they didn’t stop him, the younger players, like Gary Ballance, Andrew Gale, and others, they simply picked up what Hoggy said, like “Raffa the Kaffir,” and kept running with him.

Tim Bresnan, 36-year-old former England and Yorkshire SUV (currently plays for Warwickshire)

Rafiq revealed at the hearing that he, and about half a dozen others, had lodged a complaint with Yorkshire over Bresnan for school harassment. In his statement, Rafiq says: “Tim has frequently made racist comments and has been excessively harsh with me compared to British white players.”

Rafiq says Bresnan, who was “very powerful” in Yorkshire, would encourage Ballance’s racist comments by laughing, as well as belittling Rafiq’s ability. After the complaint to the club, Bresnan presented an apology that Rafiq saw as a “mouth service”.

Bresnan apologized again today in a statement: “It made me aware of the allegations of intimidation that have been made against me and I listened to Azeem Rafiq’s account of his time at Yorkshire CCC today with great anguish, as I am sure everyone will. any part I played contributing to Azeem Rafiq’s experience of feeling intimidated in Yorkshire, unreserved apologies.

“Following the publication of Azeem’s testimony from the labor court, which I saw for the first time this afternoon, I must categorically deny his accusation that I frequently made racist comments.” That is not at all true. “

Michael Vaughan, a 47-year-old former England captain and media expert

Vaughan revealed this month that he has been named in the Yorkshire investigation into Rafiq, but has twice denied the accusation made against him.

Rafiq, backed by Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Adil Rashid, alleges that Vaughan told a group of Asian-born Yorkshire players that “there are many of you, we have to do something about it”, during a T20 towards the end. of his career. (Ajmal Shahzad, the fourth player of Asian descent on that team, has previously said he doesn’t remember the comment).

Vaughan said: “I categorically refuse to say the words that Azeem Rafiq attributed to me and I want to repeat this publicly because the comment of ‘a lot’ just never happened.”

“I don’t want to do this about Michael,” Rafiq said at the sight, before adding, “You probably don’t remember him because it means nothing to him.”

Andrew Gale, former Yorkshire captain and current head coach, 37 years old

Rafiq reveals that when they were young, he and Gale were coached in Yorkshire by David Byas, a legendary county player whose career ended in 2002 (he is now 58 years old). Byas allegedly regularly used racist terms such as “n **** r”, “p ** i” and “c ** n”. Byas was the hero of Andrew Gale, and Gale was considered an heir to Byas, so they shared a nickname: “Gadge”.

Rafiq claims that Gale – Bresnan’s brother-in-law – would call him “p ** I” and “Raffa the Kaffir”. He felt that the couple had an awkward relationship. “There have been numerous incidents in which I felt Andrew was aggressive and rude to me in a way that was not with the white players,” Rafiq said.

Rafiq said his relationship worsened when Gale went from player to coach in 2016 (when the “locker room temperature” rose), which often left him “humiliated.” Rafiq is particularly critical of her treatment by Gale around the tragic death of her son in 2018 after a “very complicated and difficult pregnancy”. Rafiq says, “I didn’t feel completely supported by YCCC and Andrew,” he says.

Gale is currently suspended by Yorkshire while investigating a 2010 offensive tweet.

Martyn Moxon, former Yorkshire and England player, current 61-year-old Cricket manager

Rafiq alleges that Moxon discriminated against him and denied him opportunities at the club, in addition to “not showing me any sympathy” and offered no support around his son’s death in 2018.

Moxon is currently fired from his role as director of Cricket and has refused to attend the DCMS hearing.

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