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Alex Hales, Ateeq Javid reprimanded over historic social media posts

London, Nov 16 (IANS) England batter Alex Hales and ex-player Ateeq Javid were on Wednesday reprimanded by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) over historic social media posts.

Hales was reprimanded by the CDC over an old photo of him in “blackface” at a student party, which was published by a national newspaper last year.

The opener, who issued a public apology when the photo was published by The Sun last year, questioned the need for “repeated publication of these old matters” during the CDC’s investigation but Chris Tickle, the adjudicator, ruled that “the interests of transparency should prevail”.

On the other hand, Javid, who stopped playing in 2019, also apologised for a Facebook exchange with Azeem Rafiq from 2011 that contained anti-Semitic messages. Rafiq was reprimanded for his involvement in the exchange last month.

Both Hales and Javid admitted breaching the England and Wales Cricket Board Directive 3.3, which states: “No such person may conduct himself in a manner or do any act or omission which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the game of cricket or any cricketer or group of cricketers into disrepute.”

The CDC, which hears disciplinary cases in the professional domestic game in England and Wales, found both posts amounted to “racist and discriminatory conduct”, leading both men to be reprimanded.

According to the CDC’s report, the ECB argued that Hales’ breaches of their directives in 2018 — which related primarily to his involvement in the infamous Bristol street fight outside a nightclub in September 2017 — should be considered “an aggravating factor” but Tickle disagreed.

“Neither of those breaches related to discriminatory conduct. They were wholly dissimilar. Further, they occurred some eight years after the breach in this case. It would be different if it were a case of repeat offending, of Mr. Hales not having learnt his lesson. At the material time – 2009 – he had a clean record. This was his first offence and it is appropriate to treat it as such,” he wrote in the report.

Hales, who was a member of the England squad that won the T20 World Cup on Sunday, has previously been investigated and warned by Nottinghamshire, his county, and questioned the need to give the subject “more airtime”, according to the CDC report.

“I have taken this into account but consider that the interests of transparency should prevail. I direct that this decision should be published to emphasise that such posting on social media, however historical, will not be tolerated,” Tickle wrote.

–IANS

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