Ashwell Prince has broken his silence and said that he didn’t think being called a Kolpak player was racist.
The veteran told Ballz Radio he didn’t start the confrontation that led to Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale being sanctioned by the ECB. However, he did admit to trying to waste time towards the end of the third day of the Roses match at Old Trafford.
‘I took offence at the way he spoke to me. To be quite honest, I didn’t stand there and think that might be a racial slur,’ Prince said. ‘The guy walked towards me and had a go and I defended myself. The ECB feel it has racial connotations and it’s up to them to do whatever they want to do.’
The ECB’s decision to subject Gale to a full disciplinary hearing has created much debate on whether the Kolpak term – a reference to the EU legislation which allows certain overseas players to be classed as locals – can be termed a racial phrase or not.
Prince explained that he had done nothing to spark the heated exchange. He’d merely employed tactics that any experienced player would have adopted as stumps approached.
‘I didn’t say anything. I was stood in the middle of the pitch as it was coming to cut-off time, they were bowling two spinners and wanted to bowl as many overs as possible. Obviously, the experienced player I am, I was stood in the middle of the pitch tying up my thigh pad and taking as long as possible to make sure there would only be one more over.
‘He’s taken offence to this – it’s a ploy of time wasting, I’ll admit this but everyone who has ever played the game has done it, it’s nothing new – and he’s come from backward point to silly point, walking in my direction, and hurled a whole lot of abuse at me. Those who know me and those who have played against me know I will not tolerate that type of thing. I defended myself and whatever was said, was said.’