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Somerset seam bowler Jack Brooks apologizes to Cheteshwar Pujara for racist nickname


The cricketer who christened Cheteshwar Pujara ‘Steve’ while they both played for Yorkshire apologized to the Indian batsman in the latest outing of the Azeem Rafiq case that sent shock waves through the English game. Pakistan-born Rafiq told a British parliamentary committee on Tuesday how racist language was “constantly” used during his two Yorkshire spells. The 30-year-old, who said he lost his career due to racism, cited examples of discrimination involving several former English international players, as well as how fast bowler Jack Brooks called Pujara ‘Steve’ because he struggled to beat the Indian to pronounce star’s first name.

“Referring to my naming in Azeem Rafiq’s statement to MPs this week, the use of the name ‘Steve’ has been linked to some people having difficult names to pronounce,” Brooks said in a statement issued on Thursday.

“When in the past it took place in a dressing room environment, it was commonplace to give nicknames, regardless of religion or race.”

The 37-year-old added: “I acknowledge that I used it in this context and now accept that it was disrespectful and wrong to do so. I reached out and apologized to Cheteshwar for any offense I committed against him or his family. caused.

“I did not recognize it as racist behavior at the time, but I can now see it was not acceptable.”

Brooks, who now plays for rival Somerset County, also apologized on Thursday for using the word “negro” in a Twitter conversation nine years ago with English bowler Tymal Mills and Stewart Laudat, with whom he is small provinces played cricket for Oxfordshire. The tweets were sent when Brooks was in Northamptonshire.

“I admit that the language used in two tweets I made in 2012 was unacceptable and I’m very sorry I used it,” Brooks said. “I unconditionally apologize for any offense caused by anyone who may have seen these tweets.

“The two players to whom I sent the tweets are my friends and it was definitely not my intention to cause trouble or offense to them or anyone reading it.

“It is my understanding that none of the individuals were offended at the time, but I accept that language is important and that a word I used may have offended others.”

Rafiq’s case has also led to accusations of discrimination in other provinces, with the former off-spinner saying he now expects the “lock” to open in a racism crisis that threatens to engulf English cricket.

The consequences for Yorkshire were devastating, with sponsors making a mass exodus, resignations from top administrators and the county being banned from hosting lucrative international matches.

But Rafiq warned Yorkshire could not move forward until head coach Andrew Gale and cricket director Martyn Moxon left the Headingley-based club.

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Gale is currently suspended pending investigations into a historic tweet and Moxon, a former English batsman, is being signed off on a stress-related illness.

Both men appeared extensively in Rafiq’s testimony, with Gale accused of ongoing racial abuse and Moxon of systematic bullying, including an outburst on Rafiq’s first day back after his son’s stillbirth.

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