Michael Vaughan cut from BT Sport’s Ashes coverage after racism allegations

Michael Vaughan has been removed from BT Sport’s coverage of the Ashes after allegations that the former England captain made a racist comment in 2009.

Vaughan, who has strenuously denied the accusations, is set to be part of Fox Sports’ commentary team in Australia, with BT Sport having previously agreed a deal to share the same audio feed as the host broadcaster.

However, after Vaughan was named in the report into racism at Yorkshire, in which he is accused of saying: “There are too many of you lot, we need to do something about it,” to a group of Asian players, BT Sport have confirmed they will no longer air his commentary on the series.

“As a result of Covid and travel restrictions, BT Sport had made the decision to take our commentary feed from the Australian host broadcaster,” a statement read.

“The recent report presented to UK Parliament uncovering institutional racism within cricket and specifically Yorkshire County Cricket Club is extremely disappointing and concerning for all.

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“Given these recent events and the controversy with the situation, we have taken the decision that including Michael Vaughan within our Ashes coverage would not be editorially appropriate or fit with BT Sport’s values.

“We are still finalising plans but we are assessing the option of taking a hybrid approach, using Fox commentary where possible with the aim of putting our own commentary team in place if necessary.”

The BBC have also removed Vaughan from their Ashes coverage, however, earlier on Wednesday afternoon, the broadcaster confirmed it still has a contract in place with the 47-year-old and “expects” to work with him again in the future.

In a statement, the BBC said: “We’re in regular contact with Michael and have had positive conversations with him in recent days.

“Our contributors are required to talk about relevant issues, so Michael’s involvement in a story of such significance means it’s not possible for him to be part of our Ashes coverage or wider cricket coverage at the moment.

“We’re pleased with how our conversations are going and expect to work with Michael again in the future. He remains on contract to the BBC.”

In an interview with the BBC last week, Vaughan apologised “for all the hurt” Rafiq has gone through and admitted he regrets publishing a number of offensive tweets that resurfaced after Rafiq’s allegations.

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“It hurts deeply, hurts me that a player has gone through so much be treated so badly at the club that I love,” Vaughan told the BBC.

“I have to take some responsibility for that because I played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club for 18 years and if in any way shape or form I’m responsible for any of his hurt, I apologise for that.”

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