The Ashes-winning England cricket captain Michael Vaughan has had charges of racism brought against him cleared.

The 48-year-old cricketer had been accused of racist and derogatory comments by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The comments were allegedly directed towards a group of Yorkshire teammates of Asian ethnicity ahead of a match in 2009.

Azeem Rafiq was said to be one of these players, with him speaking out in 2020 about the racism and discrimination he suffered when playing for England.

The former batsman allegedly told them: "There's too many of you lot, we need to have a word about that."

This is something he has categorically denied, saying he has never used such language towards Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Ajmal Shahzad.

Michael Vaughan appeared in person at a Cricket Disciplinary Commission hearing which was held in London earlier in March.

Michael Vaughan says it has been 'difficult and upsetting to hear about the painful experiences' Azeem described

The cricketer wrote on social media: "It has been both difficult and upsetting to hear about the painful experiences which Azeem has described over the past three years.

"The outcome of these CDC proceedings must not be allowed to detract from the core message that there can be no place for racism in the game of cricket, or in society generally.

"The dismissal of the specific charge that concerned me takes nothing away from Azeem's own lived experiences."

He then called the proceedings an "inappropriate, inadequate, and backwards step", adding: "There are no winners in this process and there are better ways - there have to be better ways - for cricket to move forward positively and effectively.

"I have never wanted to do anything that runs contrary to genuine efforts to clean up the game of cricket.

"I truly hope people can understand why, on a personal level, I could not just accept or apologise for, something which I know I did not do.

"At times, this process has brought me to the brink of falling out of love with cricket.

"I won't address here the toll that it has taken on me and my family, but I have no doubt that it has also been incredibly stressful for all of the others concerned.

"I hope that for them and for cricket, an inclusive healing process can now begin."

Five other stars were also accused with Mathew Hoggard and Tim Brenson, coaches Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah and former Scotland international John Blain facing scrutiny.

However, unlike Michael Vaughan, they indicated that they would not participate in the allegations against them.

Yorkshire accept Azeem Rafiq was victim of racist harassment 

In 2021, Yorkshire accepted that Rafiq had been the victim of racial harassment and bullying but said no individual would face action.

The county has admitted to four charges, including a failure to address systemic problems.

Former Yorkshire and England batsman, Gary Ballance, has also admitted to using racist and discriminatory language.

In a statement, Rafiq said: "Charges against seven of the eight defendants, including the widespread use of the 'P' word, have been upheld by the CDC today.

"This comes in addition to the other reports, panels and inquiries that found I and others suffered racial harassment and bullying while at Yorkshire.

"The issue has never been about individuals but the game as a whole.

"Cricket needs to understand the extent of its problems and address them. Hopefully, the structures of the game can now be rebuilt and institutionalised racism ended for good. It's time to reflect, learn and implement change."