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News

Michael Vaughan 'steps back' from BBC coverage following Yorkshire racism charge

Former England captain withdraws from Test Match Special following internal criticism

Michael Vaughan has been implicated in the Yorkshire racism inquiry, November 4, 2021

Michael Vaughan has been implicated in the Yorkshire racism inquiry  •  Getty Images

Michael Vaughan has made the decision "step back from work with the BBC", almost two weeks after being charged over the Yorkshire racism scandal, and will not be part of the Test Match Special commentary team for next week's delayed fifth Test against India.
Vaughan was dropped from last winter's Ashes coverage after being implicated in Azeem Rafiq's testimony about the culture of institutional racism at Yorkshire, but was restored to broadcasting duties for the recent three-Test series against New Zealand.
That move, however, has caused disquiet for the BBC Sport's Black, Asian and minority ethnic group, which last week sent an internal email criticising the "totally inexcusable" decision to re-employ Vaughan, whom Rafiq claims told a group of Asian players in 2009 that there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".
That alleged comment led to Vaughan becoming one of seven Yorkshire players to be charged by the ECB's Cricket Discipline Commission with bringing the game into disrepute.
On Tuesday evening, Vaughan responded to the criticism by releasing a statement on Twitter.
"On numerous occasions, I have put on record my views on the issues concerning YCCC," Vaughan wrote. "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."
The BBC responded 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."