Ashwell Prince, who played 119 games for South Africa, has become embroiled in a major racial row in England where he plays county cricket for Lancashire.
According to the Daily Telegraph in England, it is being reported that Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale is the first county cricketer to be accused of a racism offence after he was charged on Wednesday by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Gale had been banned from taking part in the trophy presentation after Yorkshire had wrapped up the championship title on 3 September.
A statement from the ECB at the time read: ‘After an incident in the match between Lancashire and Yorkshire the ECB made a complaint to the cricket discipline commission about the conduct of Andrew Gale. In these circumstances it was not felt appropriate for Mr Gale to be involved in the presentation.’
Now Gale has been charged with using racist and abusive language to Prince. The Telegraph, one of the most reputable newspapers in the world, have reported: ‘Gale and Prince are understood to have exchanged insults in the final moments of the third day of the match at Old Trafford as Yorkshire pushed for a crucial victory in the championship race. Gale is adamant there was no racial aspect to the exchange.
‘Gale moved himself in the field in an attempt to squeeze in one further over. He moved closer to Prince who is alleged to have told him to “f*** off back to cover point.” Gale responded by saying “Well you can f*** off back to your own country you Kolpak f*****.”
The Telegraph continued to say: ‘Kolpak players are cricketers born outside this country but able to play in England as non overseas players during to European Union law.
‘The case against Gale is likely to hinge in whether the word Kolpak is racist.
‘Kolpak could be construed as racism in this case because Prince is black and was brought up in Apartheid South Africa. But Yorkshire will argue that it is not a reference to colour or ethnicity but simply a term of reference. The ECB has clamped down on the influx of Kolpak players in recent years tightening loopholes in registration criteria but there is lingering resentment among some county professionals who see overseas players taking positions which could go to home grown players.
‘The ECB’s code of conduct states a level three offence to be “using language or gesture that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion or belief, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation or background.”’