Azeem Rafiq: Alex Hales denies racial connotation in naming of his dog


Alex Hales
Alex Hales has played 11 Tests, 70 one-day internationals and 60 T20 games for England but has not played for the national side since 2019

Former England international Alex Hales says he “categorically and absolutely” denies any “racial connotation” in naming his dog, following allegations made by Azeem Rafiq.

On Tuesday, ex-Yorkshire player Rafiq told a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee that former team-mate Gary Ballance used the name ‘Kevin’ as a “derogatory” term to refer to any player of colour.

Rafiq said that Hales, 32, named his dog Kevin “because it’s black”.

“Having heard the allegations made against me, I categorically and absolutely deny there was any racial connotation in the naming of my dog,” Nottinghamshire’s Hales said in a statement.

“I entirely respect and have huge sympathy for both the stance Azeem Rafiq has taken and what he has had to endure. His evidence was harrowing.

“There is no place for racism or discrimination of any kind in cricket and I will gladly co-operate with any investigation the game’s authorities choose to hold.”

Nottinghamshire say they have “commenced the appropriate internal process” following Rafiq’s testimony about Hales.

Hales, who last played for England in 2019, has posted pictures on Instagram of himself with a Doberman called Kevin.

Rafiq, 30, detailed his experiences of racism at Yorkshire to the DCMS hearing and said that English cricket is “institutionally” racist.

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