Matthew Hoggard sent a statement to the authorities, reportedly stating that the racist term “P—” was “widely used” by Yorkshire players.
The former English seamstress was among those charged by the governing body with defamation of the game following a dossier of allegations of abuse raised by Azeem Rafiq.
Ahead of the case being considered by the England and Wales Cricket Discipline Board in March, he prepared a witness statement challenging the accusation. According to The Cricketer, the statement said that he “doesn’t specifically remember using the term ‘P—‘, which was one of the many derogatory terms Rafiq said was used many times during his career.”
However, Hoggard, who was unavailable for immediate comment, was to admit that he used the phrase “Rafa the Kaffir” when addressing Rafiq. He is said to claim the context was not racist, but the statement points to widespread use of the “P-word” in the locker room.
“[Hoggard] accepts being part of group chats and the like when this happens [the term ‘P—‘] was used and that it contributed to the prevalence of such conversations,” the statement reads.
“The word was used extensively throughout the roster as many ethnic minority players referred to themselves that way, so it was used with what appeared to be implied consent and no racist/discriminatory abuse or intentional harm.”
She adds: “I remember the word from time to time [‘P—‘] was used in the locker room. In retrospect, I fully appreciate that this was not a good move, and if I did use that word, I acknowledge and accept that I should not have done so, therefore I plead guilty to breaking the rule.”
Shahzad: I don’t recall Vaughan commenting “you much”.
In a separate statement to be heard by the committee, Ajmal Shahzad is expected to deny Rafiq’s claim that Michael Vaughan made the “you much” comment in 2009.
Vaughan strenuously denies Rafiq’s earlier claim that the former England captain said “too many of you, we have to do something about it” within earshot of Rafiq, Shahzad, Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.
Shahzad, who previously said he had no recollection of hearing the phrase “you much” used to refer to Asian players in Yorkshire, now says the comment is more likely to come from Hoggard, whom he describes as a “bad guy”.
“The only person in this locker room who sometimes used phrases you’d think of… and yes, who you think could be coming to the line would be Hoggy,” says Ajmal according to The Cricketer.
“But… even though he was a Yorkshire player he played a lot for England and when he got back into the Yorkshire dressing room he didn’t last long so he just didn’t last long because bad guys don’t. If you’re not extremely skillful you can get away with being bad for a while guy. As soon as your form drops, you leave.
“And that’s… and I’ll apply that to Azeem, I’d say that to Azeem as well.”
Last November, the Cricket Disciplinary Board approved Rafiq’s request for a public hearing, breaking with decades of precedent of cases being fought behind closed doors with written convictions.
The players facing disciplinary action are believed to have filed appeals for a variety of reasons, including the disclosure of evidence and the openness of the hearing, as the case becomes mired in legal and logistical issues.
A new appeals panel will be established
A new panel will now be formed by the CDC to hear appeals delaying the start of the case, meaning the toxic case will drag on for several more months.
Rafiq was the key witness in the ECB’s prosecution of seven individuals and Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Ashes-winning captain Vaughan has been charged with one charge and will appear in person to defend himself.
Others accused of defaming the game include Bresnan, Matthew Hoggard and former Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale.
After more than 12 months of missteps in the racist scandal that rocked cricket, there will be an intense scrutiny of the CDC’s handling of a potentially explosive disciplinary hearing.
Gale has already publicly backed off the process, calling it a “witch hunt.” Yorkshire will face more disruption in the coming months, with Lord Patel planning to step down as chairman at the next annual general meeting, also due to take place in March.
The 62-year-old, who was parachuted into a role after a racist scandal at the club, announced he was leaving his post on January 6 after a tumultuous 14 months.
The former ECB director threatened to leave in March after a bitter civil war engulfed the country’s largest county over the failure to deal with Rafiq’s abuse complaints.
He also faced calls for his resignation over the response to the crisis, most notably the purge of all Yorkshire coaching and medical staff, which may have cost the club around £2 million, and forcing management changes at Headingley that divided the club. membership there.