Michael Vaughan omitted from BBC team for Ashes after Azeem Rafiq racism allegations

The ex-England skipper has been left out of the commentary team to avoid a 'conflict of interest' over the ongoing Yorkshire race row

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Michael Vaughan has been left out of the BBC team for the upcoming Ashes tour of Australia.

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 was stood down from his BBC radio show earlier this month after being implicated in allegations of racism made by his former team-mate Azeem Rafiq, which Vaughan denies.

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.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan who has been left out of the BBCs coverage team for the Ashes for editorial reasons, the broadcaster has said in a statement.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan who has been left out of the BBCs coverage team for the Ashes for editorial reasons, the broadcaster has said in a statement.

In a statement issued earlier this month, 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.”