Michael Vaughan will be completely banned from UK radio and television screens during this winter’s Ashes series for his involvement in the ongoing Yorkshire racism investigation after the BBC confirmed they had deposed the former English captain and said BT Sport they would investigate whether they could remove him from their team of commentators.
Vaughan has been accused by Azeem Rafiq of making racist comment before a game in Yorkshire in 2009 and, while he has strongly denied it, two other players, Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, have confirmed Rafiq’s version of the events .
“Despite being involved in a major cricket history, for editorial reasons we do not believe Michael Vaughan currently has a role on our Ashes team or any broader coverage of the sport,” the BBC said in a statement. “We require our contributors to speak on relevant topics and his involvement in Yorkshire history is a conflict of interest.”
Earlier this month, the BBC shut down Tuffers and Vaughan, the radio show Vaughan co-stars with Phil Tufnell, after the 47-year-old admitted in his Daily Telegraph column that he had been accused by Rafiq. However, BT Sport’s job of removing him from their Ashes broadcasts is made difficult by the fact that he is under contract with the Australian Fox network whose commentary they wanted to use. They could now put together their own team of commentators or try switching from Fox to the other Australian broadcaster that covers the series, Channel 7.
“As a result of Covid and travel restrictions, BT Sport decided to get our comment feed from the Australian host broadcaster,” said a BT Sport spokesman. “The report recently submitted to the UK Parliament exposing institutional racism in cricket, and in particular at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, is extremely disappointing and worries all. In light of these recent events, we are reviewing and discussing our comment plans with Cricket Australia. “
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Vaughan has been accused of telling a group of Asian cricketers that there are “too many of you, we have to do something about it”. “That hit me very hard,” he wrote on the Telegraph. “It was like being hit over the head with a brick. I have been involved in cricket for 30 years and have never been charged with anything remotely similar to an incident or disciplinary offense as a player or commentator. The fact that the allegation came completely out of the blue and occurred more than a decade after the allegation of the crime made processing all the more difficult. I fully and categorically deny that I ever said these words. “