Azeem Rafiq apologises for using racial slur about Jewish community 10 years ago

Former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq has apologised to the Jewish community about offensive comments made 10 years ago.Rafiq, who gave evidence to the Department of Culture and Media and Sport select committee on Tuesday claiming Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the game in England was institutionally racist, said he had been contacted by someone reminding him of an exchange of messages in 2011 with another cricketer, in which Rafiq is seen to make disparaging comments about an unnamed person.He deleted the messages on Thursday and said he is ashamed of the exchange.

Tweeting about the revelation, he wrote: “I have gone back to check my account and it is me – I have absolutely no excuses.

“I am ashamed of this exchange and have now deleted it so as not to cause further offence. I was 19 at the time and I hope and believe I am a different person today. I am incredibly angry at myself and I apologise to the Jewish community and everyone who is rightly offended by this.”

Rafiq gave fought back tears as he told a parliamentary committee of racial slurs being "used constantly" at his two spells at Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC), leaving him feeling "humiliated" in front of other players.

He told MPs other racial slurs were used constantly.

Co-Chief Exec of Jewish Leadership Council Claudia Mendoza said: "There’s no doubt that this is massively awkward for Azeem Rafiq but he’s taken full ownership, apologised, and undoubtedly - through his own experiences - learnt a lot about racism since then."