Azeem Rafik He was accused of being ready to use his “race card” on the day of his death. Michael Vaughan He defended himself against accusations that he made racist remarks to his former Yorkshire teammate.

Matthew Wood, a former personal development manager at the Professional Cricketers’ Association, appeared as a witness to defend Vaughan at the Cricket Disciplinary Commission hearing in London on Friday.

Wood, himself a former Yorkshire player, said in the witness statement: “I was aware of two situations in my dealings with Azeem where he agreed (directly or indirectly) that he would be ready to use his ‘race card’.

“By this, I understand that Azeem means that he will maliciously allege or imply racism in order to gain an advantage.”

In a written statement, Wood said these two events were in 2018 when Rafiq was talking about whether the player could be offered a new contract, and in 2019 Rafiq was in talks about seeking admission to a level four coaching course. .

In the first of these cases, Wood said in his written statement: “I asked Azeem, ‘What are you going to do if Yorkshire doesn’t offer you a new contract?’ I asked. Azeem responded with words that had the effect of ‘I’m just going to hit them with the race card’.

England and Wales Cricket Board Attorney Jane Mulcahy cross-examined Wood and cited Rafiq’s witness statement, which Rafiq said was “an odd thing to claim” about Wood’s coaching course. Mulcahy described the process that Rafiq says he applied for the coaching course.

Mulcahy told the hearing that Wood did not mention that Rafiq “used his race card” when speaking to Yorkshire investigators or the labor court involving Rafiq.

“The reason you didn’t is because Mr Rafiq hadn’t played the race card,” he said.

Wood replied: “At the time I wasn’t asked and I wasn’t sure where it was going. My superiors at PCA were aware of Rafiq’s comments and I added that to my statement later on.”

In Wood’s second witness statement, he recalled a phone call he had with Rafiq in late 2020. far”.

Wood said, “I remember asking him, ‘How did all this end Azeem?’ and Azeem replied, ‘Someone has to pay,’ and I said, ‘Pay for what?’ and then Azeem said, ‘I don’t know.’

Vaughan had previously told Rafiq at the hearing that it was “inconceivable” for him to make a racist comment. Adil RashidAjmal Shahzad and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan at Yorkshire match in 2009.

He said the whole process was a “terrible look” for cricket.

“If you look at my history as a player, I don’t know every time I’d go out on the field and say something to my teammates to demoralize them to play cricket,” he said.

Vaughan apologized for the historic tweets he posted, including a tweet about the directory service 118 118 posted in 2010, and said he signed up for an online course to educate himself in 2021 when the historic tweets resurfaced.

Vaughan also said he met with Rafiq in November 2021.

“On behalf of Yorkshire, I apologized to Azeem because clearly there were problems,” Vaughan said.

“I am disgusted by what Azeem Rafiq is going through. We had a three or four hour discussion, ate fish and chips from (Rafiq’s) shop, they were good.

“I spent 17 years in Yorkshire and loved every minute of it. My experience was not Azeem’s and I was very sorry for that.”

Mulcahy pointed out during the meeting that Vaughan had nothing to do with Yorkshire.

“When you’re a captain, you feel like you have to stand up to be counted and speak up. I took this opportunity to apologize,” Vaughan replied.

Mulcahy pointed out that Vaughan did not offer a personal apology, and Vaughan replied, “I can’t apologize for something I don’t remember saying.”

The lawyer asked why Vaughan had initiated the meeting, if he had personally done nothing wrong.

“I felt that he had grown so much, that he had hurt so many people. It hasn’t been easy for anyone,” he said.

“I don’t think this is the right process to deal with the ‘against the word’ process 14 years ago. Regardless, it’s affecting the game badly, it really shows how badly cricket is dealing with it.”

Vaughan’s witness statement also said the process had a “deep impact” on him.

“My health and personal well-being have been badly damaged,” he said.

During the hearing, Vaughan was asked about his playing career and his crossovers with other players, including his co-defendant Matthew Hoggard.

“It’s like ‘A Question Of Sport,'” he joked.

Meanwhile, Liz Neto, head of HR in Yorkshire, recounted her phone calls with Rashid in witness testimony, where the actress stated to me that she was “pressured to corroborate the allegations of racism made at the time, although she didn’t want to”.

“He told me he said to Mr Rafiq, ‘How many times have you told me I heard it, Azeem, I can’t remember what I heard,'” Neto said.

British bowler Rashid testified on Thursday and supported Rafiq’s claim about Vaughan’s comment.

“That’s not what he told me,” Neto said during cross-examination. “She told me more than once she didn’t remember.”

Vaughan’s lawyer, Christopher Stoner KC, had previously criticized the rigor of the ECB’s investigation and the board’s failure to communicate with other players involved in the match, referees or a Sky camera operator whose footage forms part of the evidence.

Vaughan’s lawyer, Paul Lunt, later revealed that his firm had contacted five of the six other players on the Yorkshire squad that day, all of whom confirmed they had not heard the comment.

The CDC hearing was called after the ECB indicted Vaughan, six others, and Yorkshire as a club, over allegations first made public by Rafiq in 2020 in June last year.

After five of these individuals – Hoggard, John Blain, Tim Bresnan, Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah – chose not to participate, accusations are heard against them for their absence.

Other individual – Gary Ballance – while pleading guilty to using racist and/or discriminatory language, Yorkshire pleaded not guilty to four charges, one of which was “not addressing the systematic use of racist and/or discriminatory language for an extended period in Yorkshire”.