Michael Vaughan won't be used in BT Sport's Ashes coverage after Azeem Rafiq allegations

Michael Vaughan will not be used in BT Sport's coverage of The Ashes.Michael Vaughan will not be used in BT Sport's coverage of The Ashes.
Michael Vaughan will not be used in BT Sport's coverage of The Ashes.
Michael Vaughan will not be used in BT Sport's Ashes coverage in the latest development in the fallout to the Yorkshire CCC racism crisis.

Mr Vaughan is part of Australian broadcaster Fox Sport's team for its Ashes coverage starting next week and BT Sport, which has the rights to show the matches in England, had been planning to use their audio commentary on their channel.

However, following allegations made by Mr Vaughan's former Yorkshire CCC teammate Azeem Rafiq BT has reviewed its plan and has now decided it would not be "editorially appropriate" for the England captain to feature in their coverage.

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BT Sport said it was still "finalising plans" on how to get around the issue but was considering using some Fox coverage mixed with their own commentary team "where necessary" at times when Mr Vaughan was on air.

Mr Vaughan also works for the BBC and will not feature in their Ashes coverage this winter but the corporation has said today they expect to work with him again in future.A BT Sport spokesperson said: "As a result of Covid and travel restrictions BT Sport had made the decision to take our commentary feed from the Australian host broadcaster.

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

"Given these recent events and the controversy around 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.

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"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

Mr Vaughan has denied claims he said “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” to Mr Rafiq and three other Asian players before a Yorkshire match in 2009.

Mr Rafiq’s account was backed by former Pakistan bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and England leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who said they heard the comment.

When asked during a BBC Breakfast interview at the weekend if the trio were lying, Mr Vaughan said: “The problem with this situation is that we’ve got too much ‘he said, he said, she said, did they say’ and I think we’ve got to move on from accusations of conversations from many years ago.

“There’s a bigger picture here.”