Cricket: Michael Vaughan denies Jonathan Trott 'agenda' claims

Michael Vaughan (centre) has been accused by Jonathon Trott of having an agenda in his criticism as a pundit
Michael Vaughan (centre) has been accused by Jonathon Trott of having an agenda in his criticism as a pundit
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Michael Vaughan has denied that his role in a sports management company influenced comments he made about Jonathan Trott.

Trott, in his autobiography 'Unguarded', which is being serialised by the Times, raised questions over the former England captain's impartiality in his role as a pundit given his relationship with International Sports Management.

Trott, who had to leave England's 2013-14 Ashes campaign after the first Test because of a stress-related illness, said: "But then Michael Vaughan, writing in the Telegraph, said that he felt 'conned' when he heard my account...He effectively suggested that I was looking for an excuse to dodge Mitchell Johnson.

"It was the Vaughan criticism that was the most damaging. I began to question if he had an agenda as well.

"His (Vaughan's) own website - and his profile on the ISM website - stated: 'He also fulfils an important role guiding the young players on ISM's books as the Business Development Manager.'

"ISM had an interest in several players on the verge of the England sides. So if I was out of the way - and Vaughan's scorn for my condition made it quite clear that he thought I should be banished for ever - might there be more room in the side for the likes of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow (who was with them at the time but isn't now), Scott Borthwick and Ben Stokes?"

But in a statement issued on behalf of ISM, a spokesman for Vaughan, who grew up in Sheffield, said that Trott's claims were wrong.

He said: "In fact, at the time of writing that article, Michael held no role with ISM other than being a client of ISM.

"Michael has never managed or played any role in the management of any of the cricketers named in today's article. The cricketers named, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes, are ranked and widely regarded as amongst the very best in the world in their respective disciplines (batsman, wicket keeper/batsman and all-rounder). Their respective records and performances speak for themselves.

"It is wholly wrong and entirely false to suggest that any comments made by Michael concerning professional cricketers are anything other than his genuinely held, honest opinions."

Vaughan responded to Trott's comments by saying in a statement posted on his official Twitter account: "Criticism of my opinions, my actions and even personal criticisms are all fair game, but I will not accept any attack on my honesty or my integrity. Nor will I accept accusations that I set out to positively damage the career of any professional cricketer."

Trott, born in South Africa, made his Test debut for his adopted country in 2009 and, ahead of the 2013-14 series against Australia, he had 3,754 runs to his name at an average of 47.39.

He made scores of 10 and nine in the first Test, both ending when he was dismissed by short balls from left-arm paceman Johnson, before heading home.

A brief comeback as an opener against the West Indies last year proved unsuccessful, with one score of 59 in the second Test, but his other five innings yielding only 13 runs and three ducks.

He has continued his county career with Warwickshire, making 975 County Championship runs at 44.31 this season, including 219 not out against Middlesex at Lord's and striking an unbeaten 82 as the Bears beat Surrey in the Royal London One-Day Cup final.