Daily Mail

ECB charged Vaughan on same day they asked for his help with Strauss review


MICHAEL VAUGHAN was invited to take part in Andrew Strauss’s High Performanc­e Review on the same day the ECB charged him with using racist language towards Azeem Rafiq. The former England captain was asked to attend a June 22 Zoom meeting to be chaired by Strauss in an email sent on June 15, but declined after being charged later in the day by the ECB with making the infamous ‘you lot’ comment.

The ECB’s decision to seek Vaughan’s help in conducting the Performanc­e Review, which was triggered by England’s 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia, has never been made public and will lead to further questions about governance at Lord’s. The ECB had originally opted to stay out of the Rafiq controvers­y while Yorkshire investigat­ed and commission­ed an independen­t inquiry into his allegation­s, but adopted a radically different position after coming under pressure from MPs on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee in November 2021.

The proposed meeting was understood to be an attempt to get Vaughan’s help in refining the interim findings of the Performanc­e Review after the ECB had blocked Strauss from formally appointing his fellow former England skipper to the review panel. Strauss is believed to have asked Vaughan to join the review in January, but the invitation was rescinded following pressure from others at the ECB.

Vaughan had agreed to take part in the virtual meeting, only to pull out after being charged by the ECB with making offensive comments towards Rafiq before a Yorkshire Twenty20 match 13 years earlier.

The 48-year-old denies making the comments and is defending himself against the ECB charge at a hearing of the Cricket Discipline Commission, which will hear concluding arguments tomorrow.

Strauss ended up chairing a panel including ex-Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford and Newcastle’s director of football Dan Ashworth, which made 17 recommenda­tions including a significan­t reduction in the amount of county cricket and a slimmed-down First Division of six teams. Vaughan came out strongly in favour of Strauss’s recommenda­tions after they were published last September, but they were rejected by the counties towards the end of the year and any changes introduced next season will be less radical.

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