Hales responds to claim he named dog Kevin after racial slur ‘used at Yorkshire’

Alex Hales has denied he named his black dog Kevin after a racial slur allegedly used at Yorkshire by Gary Ballance.

Azeem Rafiq gave evidence before a parliamentary committee from the department for culture, media and sport on Tuesday where he described the alleged abuse he received while playing for Yorkshire.

Rafiq claimed that Ballance would label people of colour 'Kevin', and went on to allege that Hales, who played for England alongside Ballance, had given his black dog the same name in connection with the slur.

“Gary’s conduct was so disgusting I raised it with a shared agent we had,” Rafiq said. “I felt isolated, humiliated at times.

“On tour, Gary Ballance walked over and said: 'Why you talking to him?' Going past a corner shop, I was asked if my uncle owned it.

“Kevin was something Gary [Ballance] used for people of colour in a derogatory manner. All the time.

“Gary and Alex Hales got very close to each other playing for England but I understand Alex went on to name his dog Kevin because it was black.

“It is disgusting how much of a joke it became.”

But Hales, who has 11 Test, 70 ODI and 60 T20I caps for England, has categorically denied the name of his dog holds any racial connotations.

He said in a statement: "Having heard the allegations made against me, I categorically and absolutely deny there was any racial connotation in the naming of my dog.

"I entirely respect and have huge sympathy for both the stance Azeem Rafiq has taken and what he has had to endure. His evidence was harrowing.

"There is no place for racism or discrimination of any kind in cricket and I will gladly co-operate with any investigation the game's authorities choose to hold.

"Neither I nor my representatives will be making any further comment on the matter."

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