December 9, 2022

Gary Ballance Regrets Racial against Azeem Rafiq

Gary Ballance has said that he regrets using a racial slur against Azeem Rafiq during their time together at Yorkshire. The batsman was suspended for the final match of the season after saying to his team-mate while they were sitting in the changing room at Headingley following defeat by Durham on Sunday.

So what was said when the two Australia players came face to face in a Leeds hotel on Monday?

I don’t care, Lyon told reporters at Headingley when asked about his relationship with Warner. As long as we’re scoring runs and getting wickets, that’s all that matters. The off-spinner then added: I’m an emotional person, you don’t need to worry about that.

The saga started when Lyon dropped a catch at point on Sunday. With the ball then bouncing up and hitting the left-hander on his body he was given out leg before. Warner began walking off but stopped when he realised his team-mate had overbalanced and fallen over. When the batsman turned back to help Lyon up, the Australia spinner threw his bat towards him.

The pair then had a face-to-face confrontation, with Warner being held back by umpire Rod Tucker and captain Michael Clarke as he became increasingly animated.

Look, it’s just one of those things that happens in the middle, said Lyon, who will play for Nottinghamshire in division one of the LV= County Championship this season. “Australian cricketers are very competitive, so I’m sure it will be fine.

Warner’s explanation was rather different. He said: He threw his bat at me. I just picked the bat up and threw it back to him.

He added: I told him ‘I don’t need your help, thanks’. It was just handbags.

You sit and you talk about the game and we both had a few things we wanted to get off our chests. We spoke, that’s it.

Warner, who was fined 20 percent of his match fee for dissent after an lbw appeal earlier in his innings was turned down by umpire Martin Saggers , insisted the confrontation had been a healthy one.

That’s a good thing, he said. We spoke about the whole situation and we’re on the same page and looking forward to moving on from it. It was just frustration coming out in both of us when we’re not scoring runs or getting wickets, but that happens when you’re competitive and we’re both like that.

Warner’s over-the-top reaction to his dismissal was not entirely surprising, given he has previous. Last year, while captaining IPL side Bangalore, Warner took his anger out on a dressing room locker and broke his thumb in the process. And this is not even the first time he has reacted angrily to being given out – all the way back in 2009 he took his frustration out on a water cooler after being given out caught behind for 10 against New Zealand.

I just let loose and then I got into that mode where you’re not thinking straight and just want to go out and try to smash everything, Warner said of his IPL outburst. But it happened, I apologised for it and I’ve moved on.