Azeem Rafiq among five cricketers sanctioned for prior social-media posts

LONDON: England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) charged former Yorkshire player and coach Azeem Rafiq and Andrew Gale respectively, Somerset pacer Jack Brooks, along with renowned women’s players Danni Wyatt and Eve Jones for allegedly bringing the game of cricket into disrepute.

According to the details, the charged individuals were reprimanded for respective breaches of ECB Directive 3.3 – which pertains to bringing the game of cricket into disrepute – and Directive 3.4 – which requires that all players abide by the ECB Anti-Discrimination Code.

All the individuals have admitted their respective breaches and extended their apologies for their acts in the past.

Azeem believes his censure from the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) is “deserved,” and he will “fully accept” the panel’s decision.

In a Facebook exchange, reproduced in full in the CDC judgement, Rafiq and his former England Under-19 teammate Ateeq Javid joked that a third, unnamed teammate was a “jew” for not paying his part of a restaurant bill.

“This summer, I unequivocally accepted a charge from the ECB regarding my antisemitic social media post from 2011,” Rafiq wrote in the wake of the judgement.

“You will hear no complaint from me about the CDC’s decision today. It is deserved and I fully accept this reprimand. I want to repeat my apology to the Jewish community. I remain ashamed and embarrassed.”

Gale, on the other hand, was deemed to have used an anti-Semitic remark in a Twitter exchange with Paul Dews, the then-head of media relations at Leeds United, in November 2021.

Meanwhile, Wyatt and Jones were pictured wearing “blackface” at a Caribbean-themed party in 2013, while Brooks was discovered to have used a racially derogatory epithet in two tweets from 2012 during an exchange with England fast bowler Tymal Mills and Stewart Laudat.

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