Cricketer Gary Ballance admits using racial slur towards former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq

Ballance, who performed 23 check matches for England between 2014 and 2017, mentioned that he “deeply regret[s] some of the language I used in my younger years” and that he and Rafiq share an “incredibly close relationship.”

Former Yorkshire County Cricket Club participant Rafiq made allegations of racism on the membership in 2020, after which Yorkshire apologized and mentioned that he was the “victim of inappropriate behaviour.”

An unbiased panel regarded into the claims on behalf of the membership and determined to not self-discipline any people.

In a assertion printed on the Yorkshire web site on Wednesday, Ballance mentioned: “It has been reported that I used a racial slur and, as I told the independent enquiry, I accept that I did so and I regret doing so.

“I don’t want to discredit Rafa by repeating the phrases and statements that he made about me and others however I’ve to be clear that this was a scenario the place greatest associates mentioned offensive issues to one another which, outdoors of that context, could be thought of wholly inappropriate.

“I regret that these exchanges took place but at no time did I believe or understand that it had caused Rafa distress. If I had believed that then I would have stopped immediately. He was my best mate in cricket and I cared deeply for him. To my knowledge, it has never been alleged that I reduced Rafa to tears.”

He added: “Throughout this process I have cooperated with the independent investigation and I have been completely honest and transparent with the club and the investigators at all times.”

Roger Hutton, the chairman of Yorkshire CCC, has been summoned to the UK Parliament on November 16 to reply questions over the membership’s dealing with of the racial harassment in the direction of Rafiq, and on Wednesday, sponsors Yorkshire Tea and Emerald Publishing introduced that they’d be chopping ties with the membership.

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At least one participant admitted to usually utilizing the time period ‘P**i’ — a phrase broadly seen as a derogatory slur in opposition to folks of South Asian and Middle Eastern origin within the UK — when speaking to Rafiq, based on a report seen by ESPNcricinfo and detailed this week.

CNN has contacted Yorkshire for additional remark.

Writing on Twitter on Wednesday, Rafiq mentioned: “I’m not intending to say very much until the select committee hearing later this month. However, I wanted to stress this is not really about the words of certain individuals.

“This is about institutional racism and abject failures to behave by quite a few leaders at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and within the wider sport. The sport I like and my membership desperately want reform and cultural change.”

In an announcement, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) mentioned it had acquired Yorkshire’s report into the racism and bullying allegations made by Rafiq and that it’s endeavor an investigation.


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