Nottinghamshire batsman Alex Hales denies 'racial connotation' to naming his dog 'Kevin'

Alex Hales

Nottinghamshire cricketer Alex Hales has denied there was any "racial connotation" behind naming his dog Kevin, following the ex-cricketer Azeem Rafiq's remarks to MPs on Tuesday.

He said he did not name his dog 'Kevin' as a racial slur, before adding that he will "co-operate with any investigation".

The Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club player is alleged to have named his dog Kevin because it is black.

Rafiq spoke this week in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee and listed details of his own experiences of racial harassment and discrimination.

Rafiq told MPs Gary Ballance's derogatory use of the name 'Kevin' was as a blanket term for all people of colour and was "an open secret in the England dressing room".

Alex Hales

In a statement, Hales said: "Having heard the allegations made against me, I categorically and absolutely deny there was any racial connotation in the naming of my dog.

"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."

The former England batsman added: "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.

"Neither I nor my representatives will be making any further comment on the matter."

Nottinghamshire CCC have said they have begun an "internal process" following Rafiq's allegations.