Following claims of racism, the BBC has removed former England captain Vaughan from Ashes coverage.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been dropped from the BBC commentary team for the next Ashes series in Australia, citing a “conflict of interest” in the wake of the ongoing racism controversy.

Michael Vaughan has been dropped from the BBC commentary team for the next Ashes series in Australia, citing a “conflict of interest” in the wake of a racist smear campaign. Racism allegations made by Pakistan-born former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq have shaken English cricket. During a county match in 2009, former England captain Vaughan allegedly warned the now 30-year-old Rafiq and other Asian-origin Yorkshire players that there were “too many of you bunch, we need to do something about it.”

The claim has been “categorically denied” by Vaughan, who won the Ashes in 2005. Following Rafiq’s remarks, which generated a tidal wave of racism claims in English cricket, Vaughan, 47, was removed from his BBC radio show earlier this month.

“While he is involved in an important issue in cricket, we do not consider that it would be suitable for Michael Vaughan to have a role in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at this time,” a spokeswoman for the broadcaster said on Wednesday.

“We want our contributors to discuss on things that are relevant to them, and his engagement in the Yorkshire storey is a conflict of interest.”

Vaughan has a deal with Fox Sports, one of the primary Australian television stations, to commentate on the Ashes series, and the former top-order batsman is still a columnist for the Daily Telegraph newspaper in the United Kingdom.

Vaughan said in a statement released earlier this month: “I totally deny saying the comments ascribed to me by Azeem Rafiq, and I’d like to clarify this publicly because the ‘you lot’ remark was never spoken.

“It’s incredibly disappointing that a former teammate has made this utterly bogus charge against me, supposedly with the cooperation of two other players.

“I’ve spoken with the other six players on that squad, and none of them have any recollection of the statement,” he continued.

Rafiq, who later acknowledged to posting an anti-Semitic comment on Twitter as a teenager, gave eloquent testimony before a parliamentary committee last week, claiming that prejudice had cut short his career.

While appearing at the same hearing, England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison was harshly chastised for his response to Rafiq’s revelations.

Harrison vowed “concrete action” to address racism during a meeting of the national governing body’s constituent members on Friday, but said the details would not be released until this week.

Yorkshire, one of England’s oldest and most prestigious counties, has been devastated by the scandal, with sponsors fleeing in droves and the club being barred from staging lucrative international matches.

Yorkshire’s chairman and chief executive have both resigned, while head coach Andrew Gale has been suspended pending an investigation into an anti-Semitic remark from the club’s past.

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