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Azeem Rafiq reveals former England cricketer Gary Ballance used word ‘Kevin’ in racist context

Azeem Rafiq on Tuesday in the parliamentary select committee hearing revealed how former England batter Gary Ballance used the term `Kevin` in a derogatory manner.

MPs heard from former cricketer Azeem Rafiq in the DCMS hearing, about his calls for disciplinary action to be taken by Yorkshire County Cricket Club following its investigation which found he had been subjected to racial harassment and bullying.

Rafiq spoke in detail about one-time Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance. Notably, Ballance admitted using a “racial slur” towards Rafiq in a lengthy statement issued earlier this month, apologising but stating it as part of a long and deep friendship.

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But Rafiq told the committee that was not an accurate depiction of their relationship. Asked by chair Julian Knight about the term ‘Kevin’, he said it was an offensive, racist term.

“Kevin was a something Gary used to describe anyone of colour in a very derogatory manner. It was an open secret in the England dressing room,” he said.”Anyone who came across Gary would know that was a phrase he would use to describe people of colour.”

Rafiq also alleged former England batter Alex Hales was involved. He said: “Gary and Alex Hales got really close to each other when they played for England together.

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I wasn`t present in that dressing room, but what I understand (is) that Alex went on to name his dog `Kevin` because it was black. It`s disgusting how much of a joke it was.

“Rafiq also told MPs that Matthew Hoggard had apologised to him for comments made during their time at Yorkshire, and added he was among “six or seven” players to have made a bullying complaint about Tim Bresnan`s alleged behaviour. 

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