Alex Hales became the latest England cricketer to get embroiled in the racism crisis which has rocked the gentleman's game. The 32-year-old will be subject to an investigation by Nottinghamshire after the publication of photos of him in blackface. (More Cricket News)
Hales, who has played nearly 150 international matches for England, posed as rapper Tupac Shakur at a fancy dress party in 2009. The batter on Friday apologized for the "incredibly disrespectful" blackface incident.
"I obviously realize this is incredibly disrespectful and I want to apologize for the offense that this has no doubt caused," Hales said. “It was incredibly reckless and foolish on my behalf and I want to apologize for that, apologize to the club for the embarrassment it would have caused them.”
The apology comes amid an ongoing crisis in English cricket sparked by Azeem Rafiq’s revelations about the racism he suffered while playing at Yorkshire.
"I guess my twenties was full of mistakes like that, reckless mistakes off the field that cost me, let down family, let down team-mates, let down friends, close relationships I had during my twenties," he added.
Hales had earlier denied any "racial connotation" in the naming of his dog, following Rafiq's allegation that the name was used by former Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance "to describe people of colour".
Rafiq claimed that England international Ballance used the name 'Kevin' as a "derogatory" term to refer to any player of colour, adding that it was "an open secret" in the England dressing room.
Rafiq further alleged that Hales had named his dog 'Kevin' because it was black.
"Having heard the allegations made against me, I categorically and absolutely deny there was any racial connotation in the naming of my dog," Hales said in a statement.
"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.
"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," Hales added.
Rafiq narrated his experiences of racism and discrimination at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club in detail as he addressed UK Members of Parliament in the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) on Tuesday.
Hales was suspended in the run-up to the 2019 World Cup after a second positive drugs test for a recreational substance. He last played for England in a T20 International match against the West Indies on March 10, 2019.