LONDON: Michael Vaughan has been left out of the BBC commentary team for the upcoming Ashes series in Australia to avoid a “conflict of interest” amid an ongoing racism row.
English cricket has been rocked by revelations of racism from Pakistan-born former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq.
These have included an allegation that former England captain Vaughan told the now 30-year-old Rafiq and other Yorkshire players of Asian origin that there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” during a county match in 2009.
Vaughan, an Ashes-winning skipper in 2005, has “categorically denied” the allegation.
Following Rafiq’s comments, which have sparked a tidal wave of accusations of racism within English cricket, the 47-year-old Vaughan was stood down from his BBC radio show earlier this month.
And a spokesperson for the broadcaster said Wednesday: “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.”
Vaughan still has a contract to commentate on the Ashes series for Fox Sports, one of the hosts Australian television broadcasters, and the former top-order batsman remains a columnist with Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
In a statement issued earlier in November, Vaughan said: “I categorically deny saying the words attributed to me by Azeem Rafiq and want to re-state this publicly because the ‘you lot’ comment simply never happened.