Vaughan responds to BBC dropping him from Ashes coverage

BBC Sport on Wednesday had issued a statement saying that Michael Vaughan will not have a role in its Ashes coverage this winter “for editorial reasons”

BBC Sport on Wednesday issued a statement saying that Michael Vaughan will not have a role in its Ashes coverage this winter “for editorial reasons” after allegations surfaced of a racist remark in 2009 towards a group of Asian players when he played for Yorkshire.

Vaughan was named in Yorkshire’s report into Azeem Rafiq’s claims of racism during his time at the club. He, however, has repeatedly denied the allegation.

England will play five Tests against Australia, with the first starting on 8 December in Brisbane.

“While he is involved in a significant story in cricket, for editorial reasons we do not believe that it would be appropriate for Michael Vaughan to have a role in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at the moment,” said a BBC statement.

“We require our contributors to talk about relevant topics and his involvement in the Yorkshire story represents a conflict of interest.”

Vaughan has since then issued a statement in Instagram saying that he was “very disappointed.”

A post shared by Michael vaughan (@michaelvaughan)

“Very disappointed not to be commentating for TMS on the Ashes and will miss working with great colleagues & friends, but looking forward to being behind the mic for @foxcricket in Australia. The issues facing cricket are bigger than any individual case and I want to be part of the solution, listening, educating myself and helping to make it a more welcoming sport for all,” the post read.

Rafiq had alleged that Vaughan said “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” to him and three other players during a County Championship match for Yorkshire in 2009.

Rafiq’s account was supported by England leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

In a statement to The Cricketer, Rashid said that the “cancer” of racism needs to be “stamped out”.

The article quoted the 33-year-old Rashid calling out racism. “Racism is a cancer in all walks of life and unfortunately in professional sports too, and is something which of course has to be stamped out. I wanted to concentrate as much as possible on my cricket and to avoid distractions to the detriment of the team but I can confirm Azeem Rafiq’s recollection of Michael Vaughan’s comments to a group of us Asian players,” said Rashid.

Earlier, in a column for ‘Daily Telegraph’, Vaughan had admitted that he was the former player implicated in the investigation into Rafiq’s allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire but “completely and categorically” denied the charges and vowed to “fight” to clear his name.

“I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words. I have nothing to hide. The ‘you lot’ comment never happened,” the 2005 Ashes winning captain wrote in the column.

“Anyone trying to recollect words said 10 years ago will be fallible but I am adamant those words were not used. If Rafiq believes something was said at the time to upset him then that is what he believes.”

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