Ashes: Michael Vaughan exiled from BT Sport and BBC Radio coverage of Australia against England

Michael Vaughan will be exiled from the English cover of the Ashes this winter due to allegations of racism brought against him by Azeem Rafiq.



BT Sport will not broadcast any comments implicating the former England captain when the series kicks off in Brisbane next month.

The 2005 Ashes captain was dismissed from his post on Wednesday by BBC radio for “editorial reasons.”



Michael Vaughan looked brooding when he was spotted at Alderley Edge in Cheshire on Wednesday.  BT Sport has decided to cut its commentary from its coverage of the upcoming Ashes series, while BBC Radio has dismissed Vaughan from its commentary

Michael Vaughan looked brooding when he was spotted at Alderley Edge in Cheshire on Wednesday. BT Sport has decided to cut its commentary from its coverage of the upcoming Ashes series, while BBC Radio has dismissed Vaughan from its commentary

Sportsmail has learned that it will also be banned from appearing on BT Sport, which owns the exclusive UK television rights to the five-game series.



BT Sport’s position is complicated by the fact that they do not send a commentary team to Australia.

They plan to use an audio stream provided by Australian rights holders Fox sports, who have a long-standing contract with Vaughan that they plan to honor.



It is understood that BT Sport executives told Fox that they were unwilling to take a stream featuring Vaughan, however, and would make alternate arrangements for their comments if necessary.

Azeem Rafiq alleged Vaughan made racist remarks towards Asian players at Yorkshire CCC, claims ex-England captain denies

Azeem Rafiq alleged Vaughan made racist remarks towards Asian players at Yorkshire CCC, claims ex-England captain denies

Fox has indicated that they plan to back Vaughan but may be pressured to change their position now that he has been ditched by the BBC.

Otherwise, BT Sport will alter their own plans, which could see them attempting to put together a team to comment remotely from a studio in London or take a stream from Channel 7, the other Australian rights holders. Their team includes Sir Ian Botham, Ricky Ponting, Damien Fleming and Simon Katich.

Vaughan appeared on BT Sport as a freelance writer but does not have a contract with the broadcaster, unlike Fox.

Their team of commentators – which BT planned to use – also includes Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, and Mark Waugh.

Vaughan, 47, categorically denies making racist comments towards Rafiq, but the BBC chose not to use him on Test Match Special or Radio 5 Live this winter.

Vaughan took to Instagram after the announcement to say he was

Vaughan took to Instagram after the announcement to say he was “very disappointed” to be removed from BBC coverage and said he looks forward to working with Fox Sports

“Although he is involved in an important history in cricket, for editorial reasons we don’t think it would be appropriate for Michael Vaughan to have a role on our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport for the moment, “the BBC said in a statement.

“We ask our contributors to speak on relevant topics and his involvement in Yorkshire history represents a conflict of interest.”

Vaughan released a provocative statement yesterday insisting he was eager to travel to Australia to work for Fox.

“Very disappointed not to comment for TMS on the Ashes and working with great colleagues and friends will be missed, but I can’t wait to be behind the mic at @foxcricket in Australia,” he posted on Instagram .

“The problems cricket faces are more important 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.”

England captain Joe Root pictured during a training session ahead of the Ashes in Australia.  The first test kicks off in Brisbane on December 8

England captain Joe Root pictured during a training session ahead of the Ashes in Australia. The first test kicks off in Brisbane on December 8

Rafiq alleged Vaughan said “too many of you, we have to do something about this” to him and three other players ahead of a Twenty20 Blast match for Yorkshire in 2009.

The former off-spinner’s account was backed by former Pakistani pitcher Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and England leg pitcher Adil Rashid, although group fourth player Ajmal Shahzad said he would not. didn’t remember the incident.

A BT Sport spokesperson said: “The recent report presented to the UK Parliament revealing institutional racism within cricket and in particular the Yorkshire County Cricket Club is extremely disappointing and of concern to all.

“In light of these recent events, we are reviewing and discussing our comment plans with Cricket Australia.”

Meanwhile, the ECB is preparing to introduce mandatory diversity training for cricketers at all levels as part of a five-point plan to tackle racism.

The £ 25million five-year plan covers whistleblowing, locker room culture, diverse talent paths, stadium environments and boardroom governance.

Tim Paine, who has since been forced to quit his position as Australian captain, with the trophy in 2019 after retaining the Ashes in a draw in England

Tim Paine, who has since been forced to quit his position as Australian captain, with the trophy in 2019 after retaining the Ashes in a draw in England

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