In the wake of the controversy surrounding Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s “institutional racism,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has suspended Gary Ballance “indefinitely from selection”. After admitting to calling his former teammate Azeem Rafiq a “P***,” the 31-year-old southpaw received a slap on the wrist from the ECB. Later, in a statement, the left-handed Ballance said he “truly regretted” some of the language he used in the past. The term “P***” was defined as amicable “banter” in a study produced by Yorkshire. Rafiq had also been his “closest friend and supporter in cricket,” he added.

In addition to Ballance, the ECB has barred Yorkshire from hosting international and big matches as a result of the county’s investigation into Rafiq’s allegations of racism at the club. Following a board meeting, the ECB made the decisions. The ECB has stated unequivocally that it will not allow any form of discrimination that tarnishes the sport’s brand.

“Racism or any other type of prejudice has no place in cricket, and wherever it is uncovered, quick action must be taken. If the sport is to demonstrate its dedication to actually being a game for everyone, this issue must be dealt aggressively. Until it has clearly proved that it can meet the criteria expected of an international venue, ECB member, and First-Class County, YCCC is suspended from holding international or big matches. The Board desires to take urgent action in connection to Gary Ballance before any regulatory investigation is completed. Mr Ballance will be barred from playing for England indefinitely since he has not been selected since 2017. Following the ECB regulatory inquiry into his conduct, this status will be revisited,” the statement continued.

Ballance has played 23 Tests and 16 One-Day Internationals for England, and he last wore the national jersey in 2017. Despite the fact that his international career has stalled, he remains a household name in the country’s home circuit. He has scored 18,000 runs in 170 first-class, 119 List A, and 100 T20 matches, with 49 tonnes and 89 fifties.