Michael Vaughan ‘steps back’ from BBC work after staff raise concerns about return

Michael Vaughan has decided to step back from his commentary work with the BBC “for the time being”.

Former England captain Vaughan had been suspended by the BBC after he was implicated in allegations of racism at Yorkshire, in the scandal sparked by Azeem Rafiq’s claims of prolonged abuse at the county.

Vaughan was stood down by the BBC in November last year after allegations of racism from Rafiq, who claimed the former England skipper told a group of Muslim players in 2009 there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it”.

Earlier this month, Yorkshire and “a number of individuals” were charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board following an investigation into allegations of historic racism.

Cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew (left) and former England player Michael Vaughan during day five of the Second LV= Insurance Test Series match at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

Vaughan is reported to be among those charged but the ECB has not named any of the individuals. He categorically denies all allegations.

The 47-year-old returned to the BBC’s Test Match Special coverage for England’s three-Test series against New Zealand.

The BBC subsequently acknowledged staff had “raised concerns” after an in-house diversity group reportedly criticised the former Yorkshire batter resuming commentary duties. A letter from staff members described his return as a "shocking miscalculation".

On Tuesday evening, Vaughan posted a statement on his Twitter account explaining why he felt it best to temporarily remove himself from the spotlight.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan with England's Joe Root after day five of the third LV= Insurance Test Series Match at Emerald Headingley Stadium, Leeds.

Vaughan said: “On numerous occasions, I have put on record my views on the issues concerning YCCC.

“It is always regrettable when commentary on matters off the field take the focus away from what’s happening on the field.

“In view of the ongoing dialogue on the subject, I have taken the decision to step back from my work with the BBC for the time being.

“The key driver for this is my concern for the wellbeing of my family members and my wish to protect their family life.

“Stepping back temporarily is also in the interests of the game and I hope that it will minimise any difficulties for my work colleagues.”

Following Vaughan’s announcement, the BBC said in a statement: “Following conversations with Michael Vaughan we have accepted his decision to step away from our cricket coverage.

“This is a decision we respect and understand. Michael remains under contract to the BBC.”

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