Andrew Gale, Yorkshire's head coach and captain during Azeem Rafiq's first spell at the club, has been embroiled in the racism crisis engulfing the club, after it was revealed that he once called the former head of media at Leeds United FC a "y*d".

According to Jewish News, the antisemitic slur appeared in a tweet in November 2010, when Gale was still club captain.

"Thought you might pipe up! Button it yid!" was Gale's response to an unseen tweet from Paul Dews, who was then head of media at Leeds.

Speaking to the paper, Gale insisted he had been "completely unaware" that the term was offensive, and deleted it soon after Dews had informed him of its connotations.

"This post is part of a conversational thread between Paul Dews and myself," Gale said. "Paul worked for Leeds United Football Club at the time and I am an avid Huddersfield Town fan. The reference is to a chant that was prevalent at the time in relation to Leeds fans.

"Within a few minutes of the post, Paul called me and explained the meaning of the word and that it was offensive to Jews. I was completely unaware of this meaning and removed the post immediately.

"I would never have used the word had I been aware of its offensive meaning and I have never used it since."

Gale, who made 156 first-class appearances for the club between 2002 and 2015, was Yorkshire's captain when they won the first of back-to-back County Championship titles in 2014.

However, he missed his moment of glory when the ECB barred him from attending the trophy presentation, as he was serving a two-match ban for alleged racist abuse against the South African batter Ashwell Prince. The charge was subsequently downgraded to improper conduct following legal submissions.

Alex Sobel MP, who is Jewish and represents the Leeds North West where Headingley is situated, said: "As someone who has experienced offensive racist language like this, I certainly do not consider it banter.

"This is yet another example of casual racism coming from a trusted member within our cricket club. The picture is getting clearer by the day of a serious cultural problem not just at the club, but in cricket more widely. We need root and branch reform in the game."