Former English cricket captain Michael Vaughan has temporarily stepped away from his role as a broadcaster at the BBC after being charged over racism allegations.
The Ashes winner was among four ex-England stars ousted by former Yorkshire all-rounder Azeem Rafiq for racially abusing him at the county.
Vaughan had ‘completely and categorically’ denied any such behaviour toward Rafiq, but was charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) just two weeks ago.
The former batsman has since released a statement announcing he would be stepping away from the BBC amid the allegations.
Vaughan said: “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.
"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.
"The key driver for this is my concern for the wellbeing of my family members and my wish to protect their family life.
"Stepping back temporarily is also in the interests of the game and I hope that it will minimise any difficulties for my work colleagues."
The BBC responded: "Following conversations with Michael Vaughan we’ve accepted his decision to step away from our cricket coverage.
"This is a decision we respect and understand.
"Michael remains under contract to the BBC."
The BBC had come under fire for standing by the 47-year-old and allowing him to contribute to the Test Match Special during England’s test against New Zealand, despite the ongoing allegations.
Along with Vaughan, bowler Matthew Hoggard, batsman Gary Ballance, all-rounder Tim Bresnan, and Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale were all accused of discriminatory language.
Vaughan and the other players have denied such allegations and plan to fight the charges at the Cricket Disciplinary Committee later this year.
In light of the charges from the ECB, Rafiq said: “I welcome the announcement by the ECB and hope we can move to the hearing quickly.
“This has been another gruelling but unfortunately necessary process.
“It has been a long two years since I went public about my experiences — but I hope this all means that no young player ever goes through such pain and alienation again.”
Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy. PA Images / Alamy.
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