Fines totalling £37,000 recommended for players charged in Yorkshire racism case

(L to R) Gary Ballance, Matthew Hoggard, John Blain, Andrew Gale were all recommended for fines. Credit: PA

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has recommended fines of between £4,000 and £8,000 for six former players, including Ashes hero Matthew Hoggard and England player Gary Ballance, in the wake of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club racism scandal.

The ECB is urging the Cricket Discipline Commission to fine Ballance £8,000 and for him to be suspended for eight weeks should he seek to return to cricket regulated by the ECB.

Ballance and the others were found to have used racist language in the case which stemmed from allegations made by former Yorkshire bowler Azeem Rafiq.

Ballance had already admitted the charges against him.

In mitigation, his lawyer, Craig Harris, argued the financial penalty should be reduced due to the cost of being involved in the proceedings.

Specifically, he lost his job as a player at Yorkshire, lost a sponsorship contract, and was not considered for England selection.

Mr Harris also said the case itself had a serious personal impact on Ballance, who announced his retirement as a player last month.The ECB has also recommended sanctions on the other five: John Blain, Tim Bresnan, Andrew Gale, Matthew Hoggard and Richard Pyrah.

The ECB pushed for Gale and Ashes’ winner Hoggard to be fined £7,500, Bresnan and Blain £5,000, and Pyrah £4,000.

They also recommend the players undertake educational courses, at their own expense, if they intend to return to any cricket regulated by the ECB, as a player or coach.  

All the former players, apart from Ballance, withdrew from the process and the charges against them were heard in their absence.

Final judgments by the Cricket Discipline Commission panel are likely to be made in a few weeks’ time. Charges already admitted by Yorkshire County Cricket Club will be considered late next month.

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