Michael Vaughan to return to BBC cricket coverage this summer

Former England captain Michael Vaughan is set to play a key part in the BBC’s cricket coverage this summer after being cleared of making a racist remark earlier this year.

A Cricket Discipline Commission panel found a charge that Vaughan had used racist or discriminatory language towards a group of players of Asian ethnicity before a match for Yorkshire in 2009 not proven.

The BBC confirmed Vaughan would be a guest on the ‘Today at the Test’ highlights programme, initially for the match against Ireland starting on June 1.

The corporation also confirmed Vaughan would be a summariser on the Test Match Special (TMS) radio programme throughout the summer.

Vaughan was cleared of an allegation that he had referred to a group of four Yorkshire players of Asian ethnicity, including Azeem Rafiq, as “you lot” before a T20 match against Nottinghamshire.

The CDC panel findings published on March 31 highlighted “significant inconsistencies” in evidence from two key witnesses – Rafiq and Adil Rashid – regarding the exact wording of Vaughan’s alleged comment.

Vaughan, who was driving to collect his son from school for the Easter holidays when he found out he had been cleared, revealed the mental suffering his family have endured.

“I just burst out crying,” Vaughan told the Telegraph in April.

“It was just the pure relief when your lawyer says you’re cleared.

“When your wife is having to take beta blockers for 16 months and you wake up in the middle of the night and she is crying her eyes out it is so hard. Anyone with kids knows they don’t give much away, but I know how hard it has been for them and the children of all those involved.

“There are people who wanted to see the back of me in cricket.

“It was only around 11am today when I had the radio on I realised how big news it was. Then it hit me. I thought, ‘Oh no, what if it had gone the other way?’ I would have been done.”

The panel added that its findings on Vaughan did “not in any way undermine the wider assertions made by AZR (Rafiq), many of which of course have been confirmed by the admissions of both Yorkshire and certain individuals, as well as by other findings of this panel”.

Vaughan said in a statement after learning he had been cleared: “The dismissal of the specific charge that concerned me takes nothing away from Azeem’s own lived experiences.

“It has been both difficult and upsetting to hear about the painful experiences which Azeem has described over the past three years.

“The outcome of these CDC proceedings must not be allowed to detract from the core message that there can be no place for racism in the game of cricket, or in society generally.”

Rafiq told the PA news agency in April he was open to the idea of meeting Vaughan, and believed there could be a role for the 2005 Ashes-winning skipper in reshaping the sport in the wake of the high-profile racism case.