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Vaughan hits back at Trott claims

Press AssociationPress Association 22/09/2016

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan denies his role in a sports management company influenced critical comments he made about Jonathan Trott's decision to leave the 2013/14 Ashes series in Australia.

Trott, in his autobiography Unguarded, which is being serialised by the Times newspaper, raised questions over Vaughan's impartiality in his role as a pundit given his relationship with International Sports Management.

Trott, who had to leave England's 2013-14 Ashes campaign in Australia after the first Test because of a stress-related illness, said: "Michael Vaughan, writing in the (UK) Telegraph, said that he felt 'conned' when he heard my account...He effectively suggested that I was looking for an excuse to dodge Mitchell Johnson.

"It was the Vaughan criticism that was the most damaging. I began to question if he had an agenda as well.

"His (Vaughan's) own website - and his profile on the ISM website - stated: 'He also fulfils an important role guiding the young players on ISM's books as the Business Development Manager.'

"ISM had an interest in several players on the verge of the England sides. So if I was out of the way - and Vaughan's scorn for my condition made it quite clear that he thought I should be banished for ever - might there be more room in the side for the likes of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Scott Borthwick and Ben Stokes?"

But in a statement issued on behalf of ISM, a spokesman for Vaughan said that Trott's claims were wrong.

He said: "In fact, at the time of writing that article, Michael held no role with ISM other than being a client of ISM.

"Michael has never managed or played any role in the management of any of the cricketers named in today's article. The cricketers named, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes, are ranked and widely regarded as amongst the very best in the world in their respective disciplines (batsman, wicket keeper/batsman and all-rounder). Their respective records and performances speak for themselves.

"It is wholly wrong and entirely false to suggest that any comments made by Michael concerning professional cricketers are anything other than his genuinely held, honest opinions."

Vaughan responded to Trott's comments by saying in a statement posted on his official Twitter account: "Criticism of my opinions, my actions and even personal criticisms are all fair game, but I will not accept any attack on my honesty or my integrity. Nor will I accept accusations that I set out to positively damage the career of any professional."

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