Following a CDC hearing in March, John Blain, Tim Bresnan, Andrew GaleMatthew Hoggard and Richard Pyrah were all found guilty of breaching ECB Directive 3.3. Gary Ballance did not contest the charge, while former England skipper Michael Vaughan, the group’s sole participant, was cleared of any wrongdoing.
All six have been reprimanded and ordered to complete an appropriate course in racism and discrimination education at their own expense, especially if they intend to return to cricket as a player or coach.
Gary Ballance, the former England striker, initially faced an £8,000 fine and an eight-week ban. However, his sentence was reduced to a £3,000 fine and a six-match ban. Ballance retired from all cricket in April after signing a two-year contract to play for Zimbabwe.
Former Yorkshire captain and head coach Andrew Gale received the highest fine of £6,000 (reduced from the £7,500 offered by the ECB) and a four-week coaching suspension. The governing body sought an increased sentence for Gale over his past behavior, which included a discriminatory remark towards Ashwell Prince during a Roses County Championship game in 2014 and an anti-Semitic tweet in 2010.
Former England internationals Matthew Hoggard and Tim Bresnan, who initially faced fines of £7,500 and £5,000 respectively, were each fined £4,000 and banned for three matches.
John Blain’s fine was reduced from £5,000 to £3,000, while Richard Pyrah received a two-week suspension and a £2,500 fine.
All individuals have until June 9 to appeal the decisions.
The charges stemmed from revelations made by former Yorkshire all-rounder Azeem Rafiq during a parliamentary select committee hearing in 2021. Yorkshire, which admitted four breaches of ECB Directive 3.3 but did not take part in the CDC hearings, will face a penalty hearing in June. On the 27th, the day before the second Men’s Ash test at Lord’s.
(With PTI entries)