English Cricketer Apologizes To Cheteshwar Pujara; Know Why

London: English cricket was rocked by a racism row last month after Pakistan-born player Azeem Rafiq revealed that he was a victim of ‘racial harassment and bullying’ when he played for Yorkshire County.

It led to the resignation of Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton, even as several internationally reputed players have been linked too. The matter is now being probed by British MPs.

An Indian cricketer’s name has now come up in the case, though not in a negative light, ESPNcricinfo reported.

English first-class cricketer Jack Brooks has apologized to Team India’s Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara for “racist” behaviour during the latter’s playing time at Yorkshire some years ago. He also issued apology for using racist language in tweets dating back to 2012.

“I acknowledge that the language used in two tweets I made in 2012 was unacceptable and I deeply regret using it. I unreservedly apologize for any offence caused to anybody who may have seen these tweets,” Brooks said in his statement.

Rafiq had mentioned Brooks’ name in his testimony in front of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, saying that the latter had started the practice of referring to Pujara as ‘Steve’.

“With reference to my naming in Azeem Rafiq’s statement to MPs this week, the use of the name ‘Steve’ related to some people having difficult names to pronounce. When this has occurred in the past in a dressing room environment, it has been commonplace to give nicknames, regardless of creed or race. I admit to having used it in this context and now accept that it was disrespectful and wrong to do so,” Brooks stated.

“I have reached out and apologized to Cheteshwar for any offence that I have caused him or his family. At the time I didn’t recognize this as racist behaviour, but I can now see that it was not acceptable,” he added.

OB Bureau

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