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Cricketer Azeem Rafiq Claims Alex Hales Named His Black Dog After Racial Slur

Cricketer Azeem Rafiq Claims Alex Hales Named His Black Dog After Racial Slur

​Azeem Rafiq says "Kevin" is actually what some members of the Yorkshire cricket team referred to anyone "of colour" as.

Max Sherry

Max Sherry

Azeem Rafiq has accused former English Test cricketer Alex Hales of naming his black dog after a racial slur.

Rafiq, who played with Hales during their time together in Yorkshire, claims Hales' dog "Kevin" is actually what some members of the team referred to anyone "of colour" as.

A racism storm has hit English cricket over the past few months, with a number of names being being mentioned in relation to toxic and inherently racist cultures within clubs.

Speaking to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee in Parliament, Rafiq mentioned his former Yorkshire teammates Hales and captain Gary Ballance as well as head coach Andrew Gayle when discussing the discrimination he faced on a day-to-day basis at the club, adding that the word "p**i" was used constantly as a form of "banter".

"Gary's conduct was so disgusting I raised it with a shared agent we had," Rafiq said.

"I felt isolated, humiliated at times. On tour, Gary Ballance walked over and said: 'Why you talking to him? You know he's a p**i? He's not a sheikh, he's got no oil.' Going past a corner shop, I was asked if my uncle owned it.

"Kevin was something Gary used for people of colour in a derogatory manner. All the time.

"Gary and Alex Hales got very close to each other playing for England but I understand Alex went on to name his dog Kevin because it was black.

"It is disgusting how much of a joke it became."

Gary Ballance.
Alex Hales.

Rafiq, who is a practicing Muslim of Pakistani background, also shared an experience where he was forced to drink alcohol by teammates when he was just a teenager.

"My first incident of drinking, I got pinned down at my local cricket club and had red wine poured down my throat," he said.

"15-year-old, I got literally... down my throat. The player played for Yorkshire, played for Hampshire. Yeah, it was quite an experience.

"I didn't touch alcohol until about around 2012 and at that time I felt like I had to do that to fit in. Like I said, I regret that massively."

Azeem Rafiq.

Struggling to contain his emotions, Rafiq then broke down as he recalled the treatment he faced when he sadly lost his son at an early age.

"Around the loss of my son, the sort of attitude of Andrew Gale, the head coach, was saying that I'm making it more than what it is.

"After the loss, hardly anyone asked, 'Are you alright or is your wife alright?' It was more about, 'He raised bullying last year let's get rid of him.'

"I carried my son from the hospital to the graveyard.

"The way I was treated was not right - there was a problem not just at Yorkshire but across the country."

Azeem Rafiq representing England.

After giving his statements, Rafiq was asked in parliament if there is institutional racism embedded within English cricket, to which he replied: "Yes, I do.

"It's scary.

"It's clear the problem is there. Everyone has known it for a very long time. It's an open secret. I've seen that if you speak out, your life is made hell.

"There's been denial, briefings, cover-ups, smearing.

"Until 2017, I didn't really know for what it was. I was in denial.

"I reported it as bullying. For me to believe I was treated in this way because of my colour is difficult to digest."

Featured Image Credit: PA/Instagram/Alex Hales

Topics: Racism, Cricket, Cricket News, Australia