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Alex Hales reprimanded for historic 'blackface' social media post

Player issued public apology last year following publication of photo in national newspaper

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Alex Hales prepares to bat during an England nets session in Karachi  •  Getty Images

Alex Hales prepares to bat during an England nets session in Karachi  •  Getty Images

Alex Hales has been reprimanded by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) over an old photo of him in "blackface" at a student party, which was published by a national newspaper last year.
Hales, who issued a public apology when the photo was published by The Sun last year, questioned the need for "repeated publication of these old matters" during the CDC's investigation but Chris Tickle, the adjudicator, ruled that "the interests of transparency should prevail".
The CDC is described by the ECB as the body that hears disciplinary cases in the professional domestic game in England and Wales and operates "at arm's length" from the board itself.
Hales was charged in August with a breach of ECB directive 3.3, which states: "No such person may conduct himself in a manner or do any act or omission which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the game of cricket or any cricketer or group of cricketers into disrepute.''
He admitted the charge and told the CDC's investigation that he had taken steps "to ensure that the photo could not be linked to any of his social media accounts" in 2015 and 2017.
According to the CDC's report, the ECB argued that Hales' breaches of their directives in 2018 - which related primarily to his involvement in the infamous Bristol street-fight outside a nightclub in September 2017 - should be considered "an aggravating factor" but Tickle disagreed.
"Neither of those breaches related to discriminatory conduct," he wrote. "They were wholly dissimilar. Further, they occurred some eight years after the breach in this case. It would be different if it were a case of repeat offending, of Mr Hales not having learnt his lesson. At the material time - 2009 - he had a clean record. This was his first offence and it is appropriate to treat it as such."
Hales has previously been investigated and warned by Nottinghamshire, his county, and questioned the need to give the subject "more airtime", according to the CDC report. "I have taken this into account but consider that the interests of transparency should prevail," Tickle wrote. "I direct that this decision should be published so as to emphasise that such posting on social media, however historical, will not be tolerated."
Ateeq Javid, the former Warwickshire and Leicestershire allrounder, has also been reprimanded over anti-semitic messages exchanged with Azeem Rafiq on Facebook in 2011. Rafiq was reprimanded for his involvement in the exchange last month.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98