Gale: I'm not a racist

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Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale said allegations that he was a racist hurt much more than the four match ban he received for insulting Lancashire batsman Ashwell Prince.

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale said allegations that he was a racist hurt much more than the four match ban he received for insulting Lancashire batsman Ashwell Prince.

Gale called Prince a "f***ing Kolpak" during a County Championship match between the sides last month, prompting the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to investigate whether there was a racist element to the insult.

Gale was handed a two match ban and sat on the sidelines as his team went on to win the Championship, and was subsequently banned for two more games and ordered complete an anger management course.

"At a time when it should have been one of the happiest times of my career, it's turned out to be the toughest time," he told the <i>Manchester Evening News</i>.

"I am not a racist, and that tag was what hurt me most throughout the whole process.

"There were times when I didn't want to leave the house after being branded a racist, but my family showed me great support that helped me through."

The term Kolpak is used to refer to sportsman who play in England without restriction under a European Court of Justice ruling of the same name.

The ECB found that there was no racist element to the comment after Prince said that he did not consider the comment to be racist.

Gale says he regrets making the comment and that he wants to be a role model to young players. He will miss the start of next season because of the additional ban.

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