Tykes back skipper Gale in racism storm

Captain Andrew Gale celebrates winning the County Championship alongside head coach Jason Gillespie (right)

Captain Andrew Gale celebrates winning the County Championship alongside head coach Jason Gillespie (right)

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Headingley chiefs have thrown their support behind Andrew Gale, after the Yorkshire skipper was hit with a reported charge of a racist offence.

Although the ECB have yet to formally confirm the charges against Gale, the saga surrounds a verbal altercation he had with Ashwell Prince during the Roses game against Lancashire at Old Trafford.

Gale was banned for the final two games of Yorkshire’s season, and subsequently wasn’t allowed to lift the County Championship trophy, as he was reported for swearing at Prince.

But the ECB then hit the Tykes captain with a further racism charge, alleging that he made reference to Prince’s status as a ‘Kolpak’ player.

A Kolpak player is one who has an EU passport, or an agreement with an EU country, which means they can play for English counties without counting as an ‘overseas’ player.

Yorkshire, and Gale, are likely to argue that the term ‘Kolpak’ is not a reference to race or colour, but simply an employment status.

A club statement from vice-chairman Robin Smith, a retired solicitor who will represent Gale in any disciplinary proceedings, said: “The club fully supports Andrew Gale and will assist him in his defence of these allegations by ensuring he receives the best possible legal advice.”

Former Yorkshire and England batsman Michael Vaughan was swift to react on Twitter to the situation, bemoaning perceived “double standards” in pursuing a racist allegation against Gale.

Yorkshire also confirmed that Colin Graves will take no part in the administration of the disciplinary procedure - because of the potential conflict of his roles as Tykes chairman, and ECB deputy chairman.

Smith and chief executive Mark Arthur will therefore assume that responsibility.