Rana Naved-ul-Hasan tells ITV News he witnessed 'Michael Vaughan racism'

ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott has the latest developments on the fallout from the report into Azeem Rafiq's experience of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club

Former cricketer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has claimed to ITV News that ex-England captain Michael Vaughan did make racist comments to several players of Asian heritage.

The ex-Yorkshire player supported Azeem Rafiq's claims Vaughan told four players "there's too many of you lot, we need to do something about it" and said he was a "witness" to the alleged incident.

Speaking in Pakistan, Rana told ITV News: "It is a very wrong word for any Asian player, so that is racism, I feel that."

His comments come after Yorkshire County Cricket Club chair Roger Hutton resigned saying there is a "culture that refuses to change" at the club, as a series of major sponsors cut ties over its handling of Rafiq's allegations of racism he suffered while playing for the team.

Are more current or former players likely to be named in the investigation? Steve Scott explains

The Board of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club later said earlier in a statement: "It is resolved to do whatever it takes to regain the trust of all its stakeholder inside and outside the game."

Vaughan has vehemently denied making the comment, which allegedly happened as the team walked onto the pitch for a match against Nottinghamshire in 2009, and claimed he has "never said anything racist to anybody".

Rana says he wants the public to know the "true story" because Vaughan's comments were "really wrong".

Listen to Rana Naved-ul-Hasan's statement in full

"He's [Vaughan] given a statement against Azeem Rafiq and I want to tell you the true story because we were playing in 2009 at Nottinghamshire and I was part of that team," said the former bowler.

"Mr Vaughan used that words 'there is too many of you, we need to do something about it'.

"At that time I wasn't realising he was speaking about us. But lots of people said that to me."

"I want to just say that the statement Mr Vaughan gave today is very wrong because I'm a witness for that story," he added.

Azeem Rafiq said he was driven to tears from racial abuse he suffered while playing at Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Credit: PA Images

Vaughan used his Daily Telegraph column on Thursday evening to deny ever making the comment and protest his innocence.

He doubled down on his denial of making the racist comments on Friday from his home in Cheshire. The ex-captain also confirmed he has spoken with the BBC and is still working for the broadcaster as an analyst.

"I've done my piece last night and I stand by what I say," he told the PA news agency. "I know that in my life, I've never said anything racist to anybody. So, that's what I stand by."

ITV News has approached Michael Vaughan for comment following Rana Naved-ul-Hasan's statement.

The former captain has been stood down from his BBC radio show on Monday night amid the controversy.

In a statement, the broadcaster said: "The BBC takes any allegations of racism extremely seriously.

"The allegation against Michael Vaughan pre-dates his time working for the BBC, we were not part of the investigation conducted by Yorkshire County Cricket Club and we have had no access to the subsequent report. However, we were made aware of a single allegation which Michael strongly denies and we have been monitoring the situation closely.

"We have made the editorial decision that Michael won’t appear as a presenter on 5 live’s Tuffers and Vaughan Show on Monday. The show focuses on topical discussion around current cricketing matters and given his personal involvement, we need to ensure we maintain the impartiality of the programme. We remain in discussion with Michael and his team."

Vaughan revealed in his column that he had been asked to speak to an independent panel by Yorkshire to investigate Rafiq's claims of racism in the club last year.

The 47-year-old said he had "no idea" why the club wanted to speak to him and claimed the night before he was due to give evidence, he was informed of Rafiq's allegations against him.

“This hit me very hard. It was like being struck over the head with a brick," wrote Vaughan. "I have been involved in cricket for 30 years and never once been accused of any remotely similar incident or disciplinary offence as a player or commentator.

“I have nothing to hide. The ‘you lot’ comment never happened. Anyone trying to recollect words said 10 years ago will be fallible, but I am adamant those words were not used.”

He added: “I take it as the most serious allegation ever put in front of me and I will fight to the end to prove I am not that person.”

Former YCCC chair Roger Hutton apologised "unreservedly" to Azeem Rafiq Credit: PA Images

In a week that has seen Headingley stripped of its right to host international cricket, a mass exodus of the club’s biggest sponsors including Nike, Yorkshire Tea, Harrogate Spring Water and its front-of-shirt sponsor NIC Services Group, along with political pressure mounting via a series of interventions from Westminster, Yorkshire chair Hutton decided he must go.

His resignation came after Yorkshire recently said no employees would face any disciplinary action despite an independent panel upholding that Rafiq had been a victim of racial harassment and bullying.

Hutton on Friday issued a full apology to Rafiq, who left the club almost two years before he joined in April 2020, and made it clear he was frustrated at the manner in which the former player’s disturbing accounts of institutional racism and discrimination were treated.

He called for other Executive Board members and senior management to resign along with him.

"There has been a constant unwillingness from the executive members of the board and senior management at the club to apologise, and to accept that there was racism, and to look forward," he said in a statement.

He also took aim at the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) which he claims refused his appeal for assistance in an independent inquiry.

A cohort of 36 Yorkshire MPs and metro mayors waded into the fallout and urged the ECB to take decisive action against the Club's handling of Rafiq's allegations - and has since responded by stripping Headingley of its right to host major fixtures, with business warning the move could cause them to go bust.

‘’Yorkshire CCC did reach out to us at the beginning of the investigation with a request that we partner with them on exploring Azeem's allegations of racism and bullying against the club," continued the ECB.

It said its role is to operate independently of club investigations as a regulator, adding: ‘’The reason why our governance is structured in this manner, is perfectly demonstrated in the way that these issues have played-out at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.’’

Lord Patel has since been appointed as the new chair of Yorkshire, with the club saying in a statement: “It is resolved to do whatever it takes to regain the trust of all its stakeholder inside and outside the game.”