Former England captain Michael Vaughan will not be part of the BBC coverage team for the upcoming Ashes series. BBC announced Vaughan's removal from the panel in a statement saying they have removed him from the 'wider coverage of the sport'.
Vaughan's axe comes after Azeem Rafiq accused him of racism, as former allegedly referred to the off-spinner as 'you lot' in 2009. Following the 31-year old's accusations in Yorkshire's investigation report, BBC Radio 5 live show suspended Vaughan in early November. Now, BBC has removed him from the marquee series entirely.
BBC said that it would be inappropriate to have Michael Vaughan in their team, and his involvement in the racism scandal would represent a conflict of interest. The statement in this regard read:
"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. We require our contributors to talk about relevant topics. and his involvement in the Yorkshire story represents a conflict of interest."
Rafiq's accusations weren't limited to Vaughan. He also accused a few other prominent names like David Lloyd, Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan, Gary Ballance, Dickie Bird and a few others.
Michael Vaughan has denied the allegations
Michael Vaughan has denied the 'you lot' conversation ever happening, in his column for the Telegraph. Additionally, the 47-year old said it's upsetting to see such false accusations against him.
However, Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan have backed up Rafiq's claims against Vaughan. In contrast, fast bowler Ajmal Shahzad told the Daily Mail he doesn't recall any such event, and the senior guys were friendly with him.
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It remains to be seen what the next course of action will be for Michael Vaughan as he attempts to mend his tarnished reputation.