Former England captain Michael Vaughan has admitted that he is ‘very disappointed’ after being dropped from the BBC commentary team for the upcoming Ashes series amid the racism controversy. At the same time, he stated that wants to be part of the solution to the issues facing the game and is keen to educate himself as well.
Pakistan-born former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq has leveled allegations of racism against a number of big names in English cricket. One of his claims was that, during a county match in 2009, Vaughan told Rafiq and other Yorkshire players of Asian origin that there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it." The 2005 Ashes-winning skipper has denied the allegation.
On Wednesday, BBC confirmed that Vaughan would not be part of the Ashes commentary panel since “he is involved in a significant story in cricket.”
Reacting to the development, Vaughan took to Instagram and said that while he would miss commentating for BBC, he is looking forward to sharing his analysis for Fox Cricket in Australia. Sharing a picture with Shane Warne, Allan Border, Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist, Vaughan wrote:
“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".
While Vaughan has denied allegations of racism against him, former Yorkshire player Rana Naved and Adil Rashid have corroborated Rafiq’s claims.
What BBC said in its statement about Vaughan
Releasing a statement to confirm that Vaughan would not be part of the team’s Ashes commentary panel, BBC explained that the England legend’s “involvement in the Yorkshire story represents a conflict of interest”.
The statement 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."
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Earlier this month, Vaughan was also stood down from his BBC radio show over the same controversy.