Gary Ballance
Gary Ballance. Credit: Twitter

Former England batsman Gary Ballance admitted that he used racial language towards his former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq

Ballance, who played 23 Tests and 16 ODIs for England, issued an emotional and lengthy statement where he mentioned about using racial language during his youth days.

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,” Ballance said.

Gary Ballance
Gary Ballance. Credits: Twitter

“To be clear – I deeply regret some of the language I used in my younger years. I do not wish to discredit Rafa by repeating the words and statements that he made about me and others.

“But I have to be clear that this was a situation where best friends said offensive things to each other which, outside of that context, would be considered wholly inappropriate,” Ballance added.

I regret that these exchanges took place: Gary Ballance

Ballance has played 170 First-class matches and has scored 11876 runs at an average of 47.31.

The Yorkshire batter said that he never thought his words would have caused distress to his former teammate and also said that Rafiq was his good teammate during their playing days together.

“I regret that these exchanges took place, but at no time did I believe or understand that it had caused Rafa distress,” Ballance said, as reported by BBC Sport.

Azeem Rafiq
Azeem Rafiq (Image Credit: Twitter)

“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.

Azeem Rafiq said things to me that were not acceptable: Gary Ballance

Ballance said that even he had received some inappropriate language from Rafiq, but he never intended to malice him.

 “That does not mean that what passed between us was right or appropriate. It was not. Rafa said things to me that were not acceptable, and I did the same with Rafa. I never said anything with any intended malice or to upset Rafa,” Ballance mentioned.

Rafiq had accused Yorkshire of institutional racism and “abject” failures by the club’s leaders.

Also Read: It Was Racist Behaviour; They Should Say So – Azeem Rafiq Unhappy With Yorkshire’s Report Over His Racism Allegations Against The Club