British public broadcaster BBC has sacked former England skipper Michael Vaughan as one of its experts for the upcoming Ashes series against Australia over the racism row involving Azeem Rafiq. Vaughan, accused of making racially motivated remarks, has said that he was disappointed by the BBC’s decision.
Announcing Vaughan’s sacking, the BBC said in a statement, “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.”
The statement added, “We require our contributors to talk about relevant topics and his involvement in the Yorkshire story represents a conflict of interest.”
Reacting to the BBC’s decision, Vaughan wrote on Instagram, “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.”
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Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq had accused Vaughan of making racially motivated remarks aimed at him and other Asian cricketers including Adil Rashid, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Ajmal Shehzad. While Rana and Rashid have confirmed Rafiq’s claims, Shehzad had said that he did not recollect the event.
Vaughan is alleged to have said that there were ‘too many of you lot, we need to do something about it.’
Rafiq’s allegations have rocked English cricket with the top executives from the Yorkshire County Club being forced to resign. The ECB has banned Yorkshire from hosting any international matches at its ground. Several top brands including Nike have severed their ties with the club.