BBC considering Michael Vaughan’s role amid allegations in Yorkshire racism scandal

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BBC considering Michael Vaughan’s role amid allegations in Yorkshire racism scandal
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Michael Vaughan’s position at the BBC is under review after the former England captain was embroiled in the Yorkshire cricket racism scandal.

Vaughan revealed in his Daily Telegraph column on Friday that he had been accused by his former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq of making a racist comment towards a group of Asian players, allegedly saying: “Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it.”

The 47-year-old used the article to “completely and categorically deny” making the comment.

However another former Yorkshire player, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, has alleged that he also heard Vaughan making the comment while playing for the county.

Vaughan joined the BBC as an analyst on the radio show Test Match Special in 2009, the same year the comment was allegedly made. The Independent has contacted the BBC for comment and a statement is expected on his position, but the organisation has confirmed that Vaughan’s position is under review.

Rana, who played almost 100 tests and ODIs for Pakistan, told ESPN that he was standing next to Vaughan at Trent Bridge in 2009 when he allegedly said it. Rana added that he was prepared to provide evidence to an enquiry.

Speaking to ESPN in 2020, when Rafiq’s allegations became public knowledge, Rana said: “I fully support what Azeem said and this has been the case with me as well. I never spoke about it because, as foreigners, we were temporary and somehow I managed to accept the way it is. So I just focused on playing cricket. I never wanted to jeopardise my contracts.

“At times I used to feel bad, but I decided to ignore it because I knew I was not going to live there permanently. But I know what Azeem went through.”

Vaughan was implicated in the scandal the day after his former teammate, Gary Ballance, admitted to using the racial slur “P***” when speaking to Rafiq.

Ballance apologised in a lengthy statement, saying he “deeply regrets some of the language I used in my younger years”, but added that “at no time did I believe or understand that it had caused Rafa distress” and said he didn’t recall reducing Rafiq to tears.

On Friday morning, Yorkshire’s chairman, Roger Hutton, resigned following an exodus of major sponsors and political pressure.

Hutton, who joined the board almost two years after Rafiq left the club, said there had been “a constant unwillingness from the executive members of the board and senior management at the club to apologise.”

Hutton was also critical of the England and Wales Cricket Board, claiming the governing body had “declined to help” and were “reluctant to act” when he informed them of Rafiq’s allegations.

An emergency board meeting was taking place at Yorkshire on Friday morning following Hutton’s statement, with chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon under pressure to step down.

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