Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been dropped from the BBC’s coverage panel for The Ashes series after his name appeared in the racism controversy involving former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq.
“While he is involved in a significant story in cricket, for editorial reasons we do not believe that it would be appropriate for Vaughan to have a role in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at the moment,” the BBC said in a statement.
“We require our contributors to talk about relevant topics and his involvement in the Yorkshire story represents a conflict of interest.”
Vaughan has “categorically” denied making the remark and claimed his reputation is being “trashed unfairly”.
Responding to the BBC’s decision, Vaughan said he is “very disappointed not to be commentating for TMS on the Ashes and will miss working with great colleagues and friends”.
He added that he is “looking forward to being behind the mic for @foxcricket in Australia”.
“The issues facing cricket are bigger 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,” Vaughan said on Instagram.
The 47-year-old, who was stood down from his BBC Radio 5 Live show earlier in November, will also not be involved in the BBC’s “wider coverage of the sport at the moment”.
Vaughan has repeatedly denied the allegation made against him. England will play five Tests against Australia, with the first starting on 8 December in Brisbane. He joined the BBC’s Test Match Special radio team in 2009.
Vaughan wrote in his Daily Telegraph column that he “totally denies” making the comment.
In a statement made earlier in November, Vaughan said, “I categorically deny saying the words attributed to me by Azeem Rafiq and want to re-state this publicly because the ‘you lot’ comment simply never happened.
“It is extremely upsetting that this completely false accusation has been made against me by a former team-mate, apparently supported by two other players.”