Michael Vaughan stood down from BBC 5 Live's 'Tuffers and Vaughan Show' on Monday after Azeem Rafiq claims
Michael Vaughan strongly denies the allegation from Azeem Rafiq that he made a racist comment towards him and other players before a Yorkshire match in 2009; This article contains comments some readers may find upsetting
Last Updated: 05/11/21 9:35pm
Former England captain Michael Vaughan will not appear on BBC 5 Live's 'Tuffers and Vaughan Show' on Monday following claims by Azeem Rafiq that he made a racially insensitive comment to him and other players during his time at Yorkshire.
Vaughan revealed in his Daily Telegraph column on Thursday that he had been implicated in a report into Rafiq's allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, but categorically denied telling a group of Asian team-mates there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".
However, a BBC spokesperson said on Friday: "The BBC takes any allegations of racism extremely seriously.
"The allegation against Michael Vaughan pre-dates his time working for the BBC, we were not part of the investigation conducted by Yorkshire County Cricket Club and we have had no access to the subsequent report.
"However, we were made aware of a single allegation which Michael strongly denies and we have been monitoring the situation closely.
"We have made the editorial decision that Michael won't appear as a presenter on 5 Live's Tuffers and Vaughan Show on Monday.
"The show focuses on topical discussion around current cricketing matters and given his personal involvement, we need to ensure we maintain the impartiality of the programme. We remain in discussion with Michael and his team."
In a new report from ESPNCricinfo, ex-Pakistan international Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who played for Yorkshire as an overseas player in 2008 and 2009, says he heard the comment Rafiq accuses Vaughan of making.
The report also states that the 43-year-old is prepared to give evidence on the matter to any interested inquiry.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo in 2020, when Rafiq's wide-ranging claims had only just become 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."
Former England captain Vaughan revealed that in December 2020 he was asked to talk to the independent panel investigating Rafiq's allegations of racism at Yorkshire.
Vaughan, who said he had no idea why he was invited to speak to the panel until hearing the allegations, strongly denies the claims and says "I have nothing to hide".
Vaughan wrote in his Daily Telegraph column: "The night before I was due to give evidence, out of the blue, I was hit with the news that Rafiq was alleging that in 2009, when I was still a player and before a Yorkshire match against Nottinghamshire, I had said to Rafiq and two other Asian players as we walked onto the field together, that there are 'too many of you lot, we need to do something about it'.
"This hit me very hard. It was like being struck over the head with a brick. I have been involved in cricket for 30 years and never once been accused of any remotely similar incident or disciplinary offence as a player or commentator. That the allegation came completely out of the blue and more than a decade after it was alleged to have happened made it all the more difficult to process.
"I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words. I responded to the panel by saying I was gobsmacked and that my professional legal advice was that I could not appear before a panel having had just a few hours' notice of such serious claims made against me.
"It was 11 years after the alleged event. Nothing at all was raised or said at the time of the game in question. It was not mentioned at the time or at any stage over the next 11 years until the night before I was asked to speak to the inquiry.
"I have nothing to hide. The 'you lot' comment never happened. Anyone trying to recollect words said 10 years ago will be fallible but I am adamant those words were not used.
"If Rafiq believes something was said at the time to upset him then that is what he believes. It is difficult to comment on that except to say it hurts me hugely to think I potentially affected someone.
"I take it as the most serious allegation ever put in front of me and I will fight to the end to prove I am not that person."
Vaughan, speaking at his home in Cheshire on Friday, doubled down on his denial of using racist language.
"I've done my piece last night and I stand by what I say. I know that in my life, I've never said anything racist to anybody. So, that's what I stand by," he told the PA news agency.