Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been cleared of using racist language towards ex-Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) panel.
The panel said in its verdict on Friday that it found the charge against him was not proved.
Yorkshire and a number of individuals were charged by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last year after an investigation into racism allegations made by Rafiq, who said in 2021 that he had been a victim of institutional racism at the club.
Rafiq, a player of Pakistani descent, alleged that Vaughan told him and other players of Asian origin that there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” before a match in 2009. Vaughan strongly denied the allegation.
In its verdict released on Friday, the CDC said its panel “was not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that these words were spoken by MV (Vaughan) at the time and in the specific circumstances alleged”.
“The findings do not in any way undermine the wider assertions made by AZR (Rafiq), many of which of course have been confirmed by the admissions of both YCCC (Yorkshire) and certain individuals, as well as by other findings of this panel,” the statement added.
Vaughan took to Instagram on Friday to express his views on the matter. “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,” he wrote.
While Vaughan was cleared, former Yorkshire players Tim Bresnan, John Blain, Andrew Gale, Matthew Hoggard and Richard Pyrah — all of whom had withdrawn from the disciplinary process — were found liable for a breach of ECB Directive 3.3 for their alleged use of racist and/or discriminatory language.
Written with inputs from Reuters