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01st Dec 2021

Michael Vaughan removed from BT Sport’s Ashes coverage following Azeem Rafiq’s racism claims

Daniel Brown

Vaughan has also been dropped from the BBC’s coverage

Michael Vaughan has been removed from BT Sport’s coverage of the Ashes following allegations that he used racially offensive language during a county cricket match in 2009, as per The Times.

The 47-year-old announced that he would be commentating on England’s tour to Australia for Fox Sports, with BT Sport initially set to use the Australian host broadcaster’s audio.

However, after Rafiq’s allegations about his and Vaughan’s time together while playing for Yorkshire, BT Sport have opted for its own commentary team so that the ex-England captain is not part of it’s production.

It is thought that BT Sport will carry Fox Sports’s commentary for any games that do not feature Vaughan, with its own team to commentate on the remaining tests.

The announcement comes after Vaughan was dropped from the BBC’s coverage of The Ashes this winter, which followed Rafiq’s allegations that the former England captain had made a racist comment towards him and three other Asian players during their time at the club together.

Vaughan has stated that he strongly denies that he directed the phrase “there’s too many of you lot, we need to do something about that” towards Rafiq, Ajmal Shahzad, Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan before a T20 match between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

However, he apologised to Rafiq last week for the hurt he had gone through, but reiterated that he denies the allegation that he used the words Rafiq claims he did.

“It was [one of] my last few games and I just remember clearly I was proud as punch that we had four Asian players representing Yorkshire,” he told BBC Breakfast. “Nothing but a proud senior old pro just about to retire, absolutely delighted that Yorkshire had come so far.”

He also apologised for historical tweets that have been discovered, one of which saw him say “YES” to the suggestion of the Moeen Ali going around asking Muslims if they were terrorists.

Vaughan added: “I look back at my 12 years on social media, I regret many tweets [and] I apologise deeply to anyone that I’ve offended with those tweets.”

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