BBC's move against Michael Vaughan amid 'abhorrent' scandal

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Pictured here, former England captain Michael Vaughan performing his duties as a commentator.
Michael Vaughan has categorically denied the racism allegations levelled at him. Pic: Getty

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has felt the backlash of the Yorkshire County Cricket scandal after being withdrawn from his BBC programme in the wake of racism allegations made against him.

It comes after Yorkshire suspended first-team coach Andrew Gale pending a disciplinary hearing into a historic tweet, purportedly of an anti-semitic nature.

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The English country club is reeling from a racism scandal that saw chairman Roger Hutton resign last week after sponsors pulled their backing and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stripped Headingley of the right to host international matches.

Former player Azeem Rafiq filed a legal claim against Yorkshire last year, which has now been settled, for failing to deal adequately with racist abuse he suffered while representing the county, saying he had been driven to thoughts of suicide.

Yorkshire apologised to the 30-year-old in September but subsequently said they would take no disciplinary action against any of their staff.

Rafiq also alleged that Vaughan made a racially insensitive comment towards him in 2009 - claims the former England captain has vehemently denied.

Pictured here, former Yorkshire cricket player Azeem Rafiq.
Azeem Rafiq levelled serious allegations against Yorkshire County Cricket club and some of its players. Pic: AAP

It is alleged Vaughan told Rafiq and two other Asian players that there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Writing in his Telegraph column, Vaughan said: "I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words.

"I will fight to the end to prove I am not that person.

"I responded to the panel by saying I was gobsmacked … It was 11 years after the alleged event. Nothing at all was raised or said at the time of the game in question, or at any stage over the next 11 years until the night before I was asked to speak to the inquiry."

Vaughan's response came after the England and Wales Cricket Board took aim at the way the racism report was handled by Yorkshire.

"It is clear ... that YCCC's handling of the issues raised by Azeem Rafiq is wholly unacceptable and is causing serious damage to the reputation of the game," the England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement.

"The ECB find this matter abhorrent and against the spirit of cricket and its values."

Vaughan has also been caught up in a Twitter storm over a historical 2010 post in which he wrote: "Not many English people live in London. I need to learn a new language".

Michael Vaughan withdrawn from BBC programme

The former England captain has since been withdrawn from his Tuffers and Vaughan Show by the BBC, in which he appeared with retired England Test bowler Phil Tufnell.

Vaughan was withdrawn from the programme last week and although it was expected to go ahead with just Tufnell on board, Radio 5 Live replaced it with Good Pace for Radio in which England fast bowlers Tymal Mills and Mark Wood discussed the Twenty20 World Cup.

The BBC explained the reasons behind the decision to withdraw Vaughan, whose future with the broadcaster is now in doubt.

A statement read: “The show focuses on topical discussion around current cricketing matters and, given his involvement, we need to ensure we maintain impartiality.”

British culture minister Chris Philp told the House of Commons racism must be “confronted” and “eradicated” in the sport as he called for more heads to roll at Yorkshire.

“If there is anybody left from that regime, they should resign as well," Philp told MPs.

with agencies

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