Yorkshire players to be sanctioned for use of racist language

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Yorkshire County Cricket Club is set to sanction six former players for the use of racist language while in their employ. Five individuals - John Blain, Tim Bresnan, Andrew Gale, Matthew Hoggard and Richard Pyrah - were found to have used the word 'P***' towards former Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq or other people of Asian ethnicity in an independent Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) panel decision issued on March 31. All five had withdrawn from the disciplinary process prior to a hearing taking place in early March to determine liability, with the cases against them heard in their absence. A further ex-Yorkshire player, Gary Ballance, admitted a charge of using racist and/or discriminatory language prior to the hearing and did not appear. He too will be sanctioned on Wednesday. The CDC panel cleared former England captain Michael Vaughan of using racist and/or discriminatory language. Yorkshire admitted four charges in the case, which stemmed primarily from allegations made by Rafiq and the club's handling of those allegations. A separate hearing will deal with the sanctions the club will face on June 27. Former England international Hoggard was found to have used the term "P***" towards Rafiq and other Asian players during the 2008 season, and the term 'Rafa the Kaffir' towards Rafiq. It also found he had used the term "token black man" or "TBM" towards former Yorkshire team-mate Ismail Dawood, and dismissed Hoggard's assertion that Dawood had created the nickname himself. Gale, a former Yorkshire captain and head coach, was also found to have used the term "Rafa the K****r" towards Rafiq and the term "P***" towards Rafiq and Yorkshire academy player Mosun Hussain. Blain was found to have used the term "P***" in 2010 and/or 2011 while at Yorkshire, while Bresnan and Pyrah were found to have used the term "fit P***" or "FP" about Asian women. The panel will issue sanctions after considering any written submissions and verbal representations put before it by the six individuals.

The PA news agency understands as of Tuesday afternoon written submissions had only been received on behalf of Ballance. The six individuals were charged with breaching England and Wales Cricket Board Directive 3.3. The Directive states: "No such person may conduct themself in a manner or do any act or omission which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the game of cricket or any cricketer or group of cricketers into disrepute." Among the panel's sanctioning powers are the imposition of suspensions and fines, and ordering an education or training course be completed.

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