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News

Gale racism charges dropped

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale has been banned for the first two matches of the 2015 season after the ECB opted not to hold a formal hearing into allegations that he racially abused Ashwell Prince

Andrew Gale and Jason Gillespie the the precious prize, Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire, County Championship, Division One, Trent Bridge, September 12, 2014

Andrew Gale will miss Yorkshire's first two fixtures of the 2015 season  •  PA Photos

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale has been banned for the first two matches of the 2015 season after the ECB opted not to hold a formal hearing into allegations that he racially abused Ashwell Prince. Gale has admitted to "improper" conduct and will be required to take part in an anger management course.
The announcement amounts to an agreement brokered between legal teams representing Yorkshire and the ECB that, while Gale's behaviour was unpleasant, there was no cause to brand him a racist. Having conceded that his words "could have caused offence", Gale will miss the champion county match against MCC in Abu Dhabi and the first match of Yorkshire's Championship defence.
ESPNcricinfo had previously revealed that Gale's ban would be extended in return for the ECB sidelining the racial element of the case. Gale incurred an automatic two-match ban, due to a previous disciplinary breach, after being charged with a Level 2 offence for comments made to Prince in the Roses match at Old Trafford.
According to a statement from the ECB's Cricket Disciplinary Commission, Gale "acknowledges and deeply regrets that the words he used caused any offence and, in particular, that they could have caused offence as a result of the reference to the nationality of the person to whom they were made. Mr Gale wishes to express that this was absolutely not his intention."
Gale is understood to have sworn at Prince over the Lancashire batsman's time-wasting, telling him to "f*** off back to your own country, you Kolpak f******". Yorkshire rallied in response, giving Gale their full backing and bringing in lawyers to fight the case. As well as what is effectively a four-match ban, Gale was forced to miss the presentation of the Championship trophy after Yorkshire won the title at Trent Bridge.