Sheffield cricket star Michael Vaughan ‘disappointed’ to be dropped by BBC Ashes team

Sheffield cricket star Michael Vaughan says he is ‘very disappointed’ after being dropped by the BBC for its Ashes commentary team.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 9:46 pm

The BBC said it had taken the decision to avoid a potential "conflict of interest" in relation to ongoing allegations of racism.

The former England captain, who was brought up and went to school in the city, was stood down from his BBC radio show earlier this month after being implicated in allegations of racism within Yorkshre Cricket Club made by his former team-mate Azeem Rafiq, which Vaughan denies.

Vaughan responded to being dropped on his Instagram account. He said: "Very disappointed not to be commentating for TMS on the Ashes and will miss working with great colleagues and friends, but looking forward to being behind the mic for @foxcricket in Australia.

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File photo dated 04-04-2018 of Former England captain Michael Vaughan who has been left out of the BBC’s coverage team for the Ashes for “editorial reasons”, the broadcaster has said in a statement. Issue date: Wednesday November 24, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story CRICKET Vaughan. Photo credit should read Aaron Chown/PA Wire

"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."A BBC spokesperson said: "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 alleged Vaughan said "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it" to him and a group of other players during a Yorkshire match in 2009.

In a statement issued earlier this month, former Silverdale School pupil 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.

"It is extremely upsetting that this completely false accusation has been made against me by a former team-mate, apparently supported by two other players.

"I have been in contact with the six other players from that team and not one of them has any recollection of the remark being made."