Gary Ballance to be given second chance by Darren Gough and Yorkshire CCC despite his part in Azeem Rafiq racism crisis

GARY BALLANCE is to remain at Yorkshire CCC, according to interim managing director of cricket at the club, Darren Gough.

Yorkshire's Gary Ballance hits out against Essex in 2019. He has been given a second chance by Yorkshire despite his part in the Azeem Rafiq racism row (Picture: SWPix.com)
Yorkshire's Gary Ballance hits out against Essex in 2019. He has been given a second chance by Yorkshire despite his part in the Azeem Rafiq racism row (Picture: SWPix.com)

Although there has been no official statement from the club, Gough told the Daily Mail that the former England batsman will remain at Headingley as part of the club’s new inclusive and welcoming environment.

Zimbabwe-born Ballance was one of a number of people implicated in Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire. He later admitted to using racial slurs in a lengthy statement.

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Rafiq posted his response to the news that his former team-mate would take to the field for Yorkshire again this season by stating: “100 per cent the right way is: “anyone who apologises deserves a second chance. Let’s be very clear to this day I haven’t had any proper apology from most people, including Gary.”

Yorkshire's Gary Ballance celebrates his half century against Kent last syummer (Picture: SWPix.com)

Gough admitted it was a difficult situation regarding the future of Ballance, but was confident he could play a positive role as the club tries to move on from the racism scandal that has engulfed it.

“Gary was disciplined by the club,” said Gough. “He admitted the use of racist language and apologised for it.

“It’s crucial all forms of discrimination are eradicated from our game and society and we talked to Gary about his actions and behaviour.

“He understands and he’s educating himself. He’s now going to be part of an inclusive and welcoming environment that we’re building at Yorkshire and that’s obvious already in our recruitment on the coaching.”

Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance signed a new three-year contract with the club last summer (Picture: SWPix.com)

Gough said he had embraced the challenge of making Yorkshire a ‘leading light in cricket and the sporting world’.

He added: “We have to move forward together and create a culture everyone can be proud of and everyone else can aspire to.

“I came in to try to rebuild and we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity now to learn and create a model that will be a leading light in cricket and the sporting world.

“It’s been about people learning from what happened and becoming the best, most forward-thinking club in the country. That is the aim.”