Trial examining former suspect’s racism allegations Yorkshire actor Azeem Rafik will begin later this morning in London.

The 32-year-old first went public in 2020 to claim to have been the victim of racial abuse and bullying during two spells in Yorkshire in 2020.

A defamation charge against seven people with previous ties to the county was issued by. England and Wales Cricket Board He was also charged with the club last June.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan He is the only one of the defendants present at the hearing. One of the individuals – Gary Ballance – has already admitted to an accusation of using racially discriminatory language.

The remaining five – John Blain, Tim Bresnan, Andrew Gale, Matthew Hoggard and Richard Pyrah – said they would not participate. This European Central Bank He had previously said that the charges against these individuals would be considered by the panel in their absence.

Yorkshire pleaded not guilty to four charges and will not attend the hearing. The ECB said last month that the charges admitted were “not drawing attention to the systematic use of racist and/or discriminatory language over an extended period of time and failing to take adequate action in relation to allegations of racist and/or discriminatory behavior”.

The club said last week that another accusation they admitted involved the erasure and destruction of electronic and paper documents before current chairman Lord Kamlesh Patel took office in November 2021.

The county’s previous leadership has faced widespread criticism for the way they have handled Rafiq’s case, and the ECB has at one stage removed Yorkshire’s right to host lucrative international matches until management changes are made.

Rafiq claims Vaughan told him and a group of Asian-ethnic Yorkshire teammates during a match in 2009 that “there are too many of you, we need to do something about it”.

Vaughan categorically denies the allegation, but Rafiq’s claim has been confirmed by current Yorkshire and England player Adil Rashid and former Pakistan player Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.

Rashid will appear as a witness at the trial via video link.

Decisions on liability are expected to be retained until a later date, i.e. March 9th.