Ashes coverage from BT Sport will use Australian commentary but can ignore Michael Vaughan
BT Sport have announced they will use commentary from Australia’s Fox Sports during the Ashes, but could switch to a different team of experts when Michael Vaughan is on air after being mentioned in Azeem Rafiq’s scathing allegations of racism in Yorkshire.
Rafiq told MPs last month about the ‘inhumane’ treatment he received during his stay in Yorkshire, with former England captain Vaughan being one of the figures involved in the case.
Vaughan, who led England to their historic Ashes win in 2005, denied claims he had ‘too many of you much, we need to do something about it’ against Rafiq and three other Asian players before a match in Yorkshire in 2009.
He was withdrawn from the BBC’s expert team for the upcoming Ashes tour of Australia due to a potential ‘conflict of interest’.
But Vaughan, who announced on Wednesday that he had to postpone his flight to Australia due to a positive Covid test and could miss the first game of the series, has yet to start working for Fox Sports this winter.
BT Sport will use Fox Sports commentary during the Ashes but may switch to another team when Michael Vaughan is present
However, BT Sport is not setting up its own expert team for the series and confirmed on Wednesday that they will receive commentary from Fox, the host channels.
However, a statement from BT Sport said including Vaughan in their coverage “would not be editorially appropriate or in keeping with BT Sport’s values” and that they will use a “hybrid approach” to take him off their channels. to hold.
It read: ‘Due to COVID and travel restrictions, BT Sport had made the decision to take our comment feed from the Australian host broadcaster.
“The recent report presented to the British Parliament exposing institutional racism within cricket and in particular the Yorkshire County Cricket Club is extremely disappointing and a concern for all.
“Given these recent events and the controversy with the situation, we have made the decision that including Michael Vaughan in our Ashes coverage would not be editorially appropriate or in line with BT Sport’s values.
“We’re still finalizing the plans, but we’re exploring the possibility of taking a hybrid approach, using Fox commentary where possible with the aim of setting up our own commentary team as needed.”
Vaughan was involved in the damning accusations of racism in Yorkshire by Azeem Rafiq
Vaughan announced he had to postpone his flight to Australia due to a positive Covid test
Earlier on Wednesday, the BBC offered Vaughan a lifeline and said they “expect to work with him again” after having “positive talks”.
A statement from the BBC reads: “We are in regular contact with Michael and have had positive conversations with him over the past few days.
“Our staff are required to talk about relevant issues, so Michael’s involvement in a story of such importance means that it is not possible for him to be part of our Ashes coverage or wider cricket coverage at this time.
“We are pleased with how our discussions are going and look forward to working with Michael again in the future. He remains on contract with the BBC.’
Speaking about his positive Covid test, Vaughan tweeted: “I have had to postpone my flight to Australia until next week due to a positive Covid test, which is frustrating.
‘But I will avoid the rain in Brisbane for at least a few days! And I won’t be more undercooked than either team when I get there.!! #Ash’.
Vaughan denied racially abusing Rafiq in his first televised interview since the allegations
In an interview with BBC Breakfast last Saturday, Vaughan said it “deeply hurts” that Rafiq was “treated so badly at the club I love”.
He said, ‘I am sorry for the pain (Rafiq’s) that has been endured. I don’t think time can ever be a healer in the situation he’s been through.
“But hopefully the time can be a way to ensure that the Yorkshire County Cricket Club never go through this situation again and never put themselves in a position to deny that they have treated a player so badly.
“It hurts a lot, it hurts me that a player has been through so much (and is) treated so badly at the club I love.
“I have to take some responsibility for that as I played for the Yorkshire County Cricket Club for 18 years and if I am in any way responsible for his injuries I apologise.”
Vaughan accepted the BBC’s decision to exclude him from their Ashes coverage, with England’s first test in Australia starting on December 8.
Rafiq claims Vaughan said ‘too much of you, we need to do something about it’ to Yorkshire’s Asian players before a 2009 match
“I’m not going to do the Ashes I understand, the main article right now is all about Azeem Rafiq and racism in the game of cricket. I get that,” said the 47-year-old.
“I just hope I get the chance to come back in time. The only thing I love more since I retired is talking cricket. I love being with Test Match Special and hopefully I’ll get that chance in time to do it again.”
Rafiq’s account of the incident involving Vaughan was supported by former Pakistani bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and English leg spinner Adil Rashid, who said they heard the comment.
When asked if the trio were lying, Vaughan said, “The problem with this situation is we have too much,” he said, she said, she said, they said “and I think we need to get rid of the charges.” from conversations many years ago.
“Here’s a bigger picture.”
Vaughan skippered England from 2003 to 2008 and played his entire domestic career in Yorkshire between 1993 and 2009.
Vaughan will comment in Australia as Joe Root and England try to get the Ashes back
“(The alleged incident) was my last few games and I clearly remember being so proud that we had four Asian players representing the Yorkshire County Cricket Club,” he said.
“Nothing but a proud senior old pro on the brink of retirement and absolutely delighted that Yorkshire had come this far in my time at the club.”
Last week, the England and Wales Cricket Board published a 12-point, game-wide action plan to tackle racism and all forms of discrimination.
England director Ashley Giles revealed that there had been a lot of reflection within the team’s Ashes squad in the wake of the racism scandal.
Giles also warned that unless it gave people a ‘second chance’, cricket would have ‘a problem’ in the fight against racism.