England's Alex Hales reprimanded over blackface photo days after T20 World Cup triumph

The judgement has been made public but Tickle did not impose any fines or demaded any further apology or action from the cricketer.

Saurabh GangulyAuthor

Updated - 16 November 2022 11:16 PM

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Days after England won the ICC Men's T20 World Cup for the second time after beating Pakistan in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, one of their heroes, Alex Hales, has been reprimanded for an old social media post that showed him posing in a blackface.

The post dates back to 2009 when Hales was reportedly attending a fancy dress party as rapper Tupac Shakur but the image had surfaced in the public forum last year. The 32-year-old has himself admitted to a breach of directive 3.3 of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) which deals with acts " which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket."

However, the additional charge of a possible breach of ECB's anti-discrimination code was dropped. Chris Tickle, the cricket discipline commission adjudicator, reckons that Hales's apologies in the past as well as the fact that he did not want to cause any harm to anyone has been taken into consideration while making the decision.

The judgement has been made public but Tickle did not impose any fines or demaded any further apology or action from the cricketer.

"His appreciation of rap music and Tupac was widely known," Tickle wrote. "He was one of Mr Hales’ favourite musicians. No offence was taken by anyone at the time or subsequently."

"Mr Hales did not believe his actions were racist or offensive at the time, though he has acknowledged that he would not dress in that manner now. He is older and more mature. Given that context, I find that there was no racist or discriminatory intent in dressing as he did and in posing for the photo," he added.

In a similar incident, former Warwickshire and Derbyshire player Ateeq Javid was found guilty of antisemitic Facebook messages exchanged with Azeem Rafiq dating back to 2011. The language was considered by Tickle as of a "racist and discriminatory" conduct.

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