Yorkshire racism case – ECB lays case against Yorkshire defendants as CDC hearing begins

The ECB opened the long-awaited Cricket Disciplinary Commission’s racism hearings by presenting its case against former fast bowlers Matthew Hoggard and Tim Bresnan.

On the opening day of the hearing at the International Arbitration Center in London, the ECB accused Hoggard, Bresnan and John Blaine of repeatedly making racist comments while in Yorkshire. The three were accused of directing words and phrases like p***, “u lot”, “rafa di k****” and “foot p***” along with Azim Rafiq and Adil Rashid. Azim’s players were also involved. Sister Amina, on multiple occasions over a decade since 2008.

All three vehemently deny the allegations.

In total, the ECB has charged six players, including Yorkshire, including Michael Vaughan, Richard Parra and Andrew Gayle. Five of those charged have refused to attend the hearings. This added a methodical but surreal feel to proceedings on the opening day, where the great appeared only three times on the ECB witness stand so that he would not face any questioning by the ECB or the three-person CDC panel. have to do

These allegations are related to those made by Rafiq. According to the ECB, in an initial response to the allegations, Hoggard, who withdrew from the process in February, admitted he had used the terms “Rafa the K***” and “p***”. But denied racist or discriminatory intent. He could not recall the exact occasions when he had used the terms. Hoggard was also accused of using “You Lot” in reference to Rafiq and other players of Asian descent, but denied any racist intent. As a result, Hoggard partially pleaded guilty to breaching ECB Directive 3.3 – on bias and discrimination.

The charges against Bresnan are based on his alleged use of the term “The Brothers” when referring to ethnic minority players as “you lot” and “foot p***”. All this is said to have happened between 2009 and 2018. In his initial response to the ECB, Bresnan denied the breach, admitting that he had used the first two terms but not in a way that breached Directive 3.3. In this response, Bresnan refused to use the third term altogether.

As part of its evidence against Bresnan, the ECB cited an allegation of bullying against Bresnan that had been upheld in a Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) report from August 2021. The report was based on one of the first investigations into Rafiq’s allegations of racism. Yorkshire and was never fully released. A summary version that was released upheld seven of Rafiq’s 43 claims.

Yorkshire admitted all four charges against him and will not appear at the hearing. Misuse of the SPB report was one of the charges leveled against the county by the ECB. Another revelation came in Yorkshire’s admission last week that it had deleted emails or documents related to the Rafiq case in or around November 2021.

Former Scotland cricketer Blaine was accused of using the term “p***” during pre-season training at Headingley in April 2010 and on other occasions in Yorkshire in 2010-11. Bullion denied these incidents in his initial response to the ECB. In its evidence, the ECB again referred to the SPB report which it said upheld the allegation that Blaine used the term “p***” against Rafiq.

As a result of the absences, the first day was uneventful. ECB lead counsel Jane Mulcahy KC will outline the board’s case against each defendant, with a few witnesses – including Rafiq – called and only asked to confirm their witness statements are true and authentic. The panel, after reading these statements, asked no questions and since the defendants did not appear, there was no questioner.

That will change Thursday with the expected appearance of Vaughn, just one of six people charged to appear. Vaughan is accused of saying “there are too many of you” to four Asian-born or Asian players in the Yorkshire team at the start of a T20 match in June 2009. He has denied the allegation.

However, the ECB took the opportunity to “correct several misrepresentations” about the disciplinary process, in light of the defendants’ withdrawal. Pera said he was not questioned by the ECB over the allegations, which the ECB said were “false”. He had a detailed discussion with him on this matter. Similarly, he refuted Bresnan’s claims by pointing to a transcript of an interview with the ECB that he was accused of not speaking to.

Adil Rashid, who is currently in Bangladesh with the England ODI team, is also expected to appear as a witness via video call. The ECB cases against Gayle and Pyra are still pending.

“The absent respondents have, in these proceedings and publicly, referred to Mr. Rafiq’s allegations, which were not adequately challenged,” Mulcahy said. “Of course, by withdrawing from these proceedings, the respondents have denied themselves the opportunity to challenge Mr. Rafiq’s allegations.”

The hearing is expected to end on Tuesday next week, although the CDC’s decision is expected at a later date.

Usman Samiuddin is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo.

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