THE England and Wales Cricket Board’s case against Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale for an alleged racist remark towards the Lancashire batsman Ashwell Prince last night looked to have been seriously undermined when Prince denied in an interview that he had been racially slurred during the clash at Old Trafford.
Gale is facing further disciplinary action from the ECB after clashing with Prince, a black South African, during the County Championship match in Manchester earlier this month, having already been banned for the final two games of the season and prevented from lifting the Championship trophy at Trent Bridge last Friday.
In response to Prince’s time-wasting and alleged observation that Gale should “f*** off” back to his fielding position, the Yorkshireman is said to have replied, “Well, you can f*** off back to your own country, you Kolpak f*****”.
Kolpak players are those born outside England but able to play in this country as non-overseas players due to European Law, and there has long been resentment among some county professionals that Kolpaks have taken the place of home-grown players, which is the context in which Gale made his comment.
But in an interview with the South African internet-based radio station Ballz Radio, Prince – speaking about the incident for the first time – said: “I took offence at the way he (Gale) spoke to me.
“To be quite honest, I didn’t stand there and think that might be a racial slur. The ECB feel it has racial connotations and it’s up to them to do whatever they want to do.”