England cricket stars banned from speaking out amid racism and sexting scandals

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have reportedly banned England players from speaking to the media, following the uncovering of a number of scandals within the sport this week.

Most notably the racism row between Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Azeem Rafiq has continued to unravel over recent days, after Rafiq and a number of others gave evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee regarding the case.

Whilst the 30-year-old has never represented the England men’s team, the scandal surrounding Rafiq has had plenty of links to the national team, and the squad preparing for next month's Ashes series.

As a result the off spinner claimed under parliamentary privilege that the slur ‘Kevin’ had previously been used to describe black people in and around the England set up by Gary Ballance and Alex Hales.

Additionally a number of players currently in England’s squad for the upcoming Ashes series play their county cricket at Rafiq's former club, including Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and captain Joe Root.

During the hearing in Westminster this week, Rafiq referenced Root in evidence as he confirmed the England Test captain’s previous comments of not witnessing racism whilst part of the Yorkshire squad as ‘hurtful’.

As a result the No 1 Test batsman in the world had previously admitted that he couldn’t ‘recall’ any instances of racism within the disgraced county, however the former Yorkshire man alleged that Root was present when racial slurs had been used.

Speaking in front of the DCMS committee he said: “To be clear, Root is a good man. He's never engaged in racist language.

I found [his statement] hurtful, because Rooty was not only Gary's housemate but, before he started playing for England, he was involved in a lot of those socialising nights out where I'd been called a P**i.

"He might not remember it, but it just shows how normal it was in that environment, in that institution, that even a good man like him doesn't see it for what it is.”

The ECB’s media silencing of its players also comes in the wake of yet another scandal in the sport, this time in the Australian camp as Test captain Tim Paine announced he would be stepping down from his position just week’s before the first Ashes outing at the GABBA.

As a result the disgraced Aussie skipper had a series of messages uncovered, that appeared to show him sexting a colleague, whilst also sending an apparent sexual image.

Despite relieving himself of his duties, the wicketkeeper-batsman is still said to be in contention for a spot in the Ashes opener.

Source: Read Full Article