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

3 weeks ago 17

(CNN)Cricketer Gary Ballance has admitted that helium utilized a radical slur towards ex-Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq and that helium regrets doing so.

Ballance, who played 23 trial matches for England betwixt 2014 and 2017, said that helium "deeply regret[s] immoderate of the connection I utilized successful my younger years" and that helium and Rafiq stock an "incredibly adjacent relationship."

Former Yorkshire County Cricket Club subordinate Rafiq made allegations of racism astatine the nine successful 2020, aft which Yorkshire apologized and said that helium was the "victim of inappropriate behaviour."

    An autarkic sheet looked into the claims connected behalf of the nine and decided not to subject immoderate individuals.

      In a statement published connected the Yorkshire website connected Wednesday, Ballance said: "It has been reported that I utilized a radical slur and, arsenic I told the autarkic enquiry, I judge that I did truthful and I regret doing so.

      "I bash not privation to discredit Rafa by repeating the words and statements that helium made astir maine and others but I person to beryllium wide that this was a concern wherever champion friends said violative things to each different which, extracurricular of that context, would beryllium considered wholly inappropriate.

      "I regret that these exchanges took spot but astatine nary clip did I judge oregon recognize that it had caused Rafa distress. If I had believed that past I would person stopped immediately. He was my champion mate successful cricket and I cared profoundly for him. To my knowledge, it has ne'er been alleged that I reduced Rafa to tears."

      Rafiq fields for Yorkshire against Lancashire successful  2017.

      He added: "Throughout this process I person cooperated with the autarkic probe and I person been wholly honorable and transparent with the nine and the investigators astatine each times."

      Roger Hutton, the president of Yorkshire CCC, has been summoned to the UK Parliament connected November 16 to reply questions implicit the club's handling of the radical harassment towards Rafiq, and connected Wednesday, sponsors Yorkshire Tea and Emerald Publishing announced that they would beryllium cutting ties with the club.

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      At slightest 1 subordinate admitted to regularly utilizing the word 'P**i' -- a connection wide seen arsenic a derogatory slur against radical of South Asian and Middle Eastern root successful the UK -- erstwhile talking to Rafiq, according to a study seen by ESPNcricinfo and elaborate this week.

      CNN has contacted Yorkshire for further comment.

      Writing connected Twitter connected Wednesday, Rafiq said: "I'm not intending to accidental precise overmuch until the prime committee proceeding aboriginal this month. However, I wanted to accent this is not truly astir the words of definite individuals.

      "This is astir organization racism and abject failures to enactment by galore leaders astatine Yorkshire County Cricket Club and successful the wider game. The athletics I emotion and my nine desperately request betterment and taste change."

        In a statement, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it had received Yorkshire's study into the racism and bullying allegations made by Rafiq and that it is undertaking an investigation.

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