Michael Vaughan steps down from commentary role amid racism scandal

LONDON: Former England captain and renowned commentator Michael Vaughan has decided to step down from the BBC Commentary Panel amid the ongoing conversations surrounding the Yorkshire racism allegations.

The former captain of England, who has been a presenter and commentator for the BBC since 2009, was mentioned in a report into Azeem Rafiq’s encounters with racism while playing for Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) recently filed charges against Yorkshire and “a number of individuals” after looking into the allegations of racism. If found guilty, the accused could face a ban or fine from the Board. Vaughan is reportedly one of the people charged, but the ECB has not released the name of the suspect as of yet.

Vaughan, on the other hand, in a statement on social media, claimed that his decision of stepping back temporarily is in the interest of the game and the wellbeing of his family.

“On numerous occasions, I have put on record my views on the issues concerning YCCC. It is always regrettable when commentary on matters off the field take the focus away from what’s happening on the field,” Vaughan said on Twitter.

“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. Stepping back temporarily is also in the interests of the game and I hope that it will minimize any difficulties for my work colleagues,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the ECB started the investigation after the former Yorkshire CCC player Rafiq made racism allegations and claimed to have experienced ‘inhuman behaviour’, whereas, an independent panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) will hear the cases in due course and as per the normal practice of the ECB.

READ: Yorkshire CCC requests ‘cooperation’, responds to racism charges by ECB