Alex Hales apologises for painting face black at fancy dress party in 2009

Alex Hales has apologised for his “reckless and foolish” behaviour in painting his face black to attend a fancy dress party as Tupac Shakur in 2009.

The former England batter’s conduct in relation to this matter is being investigated by the England and Wales Cricket Board and by his club Nottinghamshire.

The county were already investigating a claim made by racism whistleblower Azeem Rafiq to MPs on Tuesday in relation to the naming of Hales’ dog.

Rafiq said the use of the word ‘Kevin’ as a derogatory term for any person of colour by his Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance was “an open secret in the England dressing room” and that Hales had chosen to call his black dog by that name.

Hales denies the allegation regarding his dog and in a video statement posted on Instagram addressed the issue of the 2009 party.

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“The theme was musicians and Tupac (Shakur) is, was and always will be my favourite musician so I went as him,” he said.

“Obviously I realise this is incredibly disrespectful and I want to apologise for the offence this has no doubt caused.

“It was incredibly reckless and foolish on my behalf and I apologise for that, and apologise to the club for the embarrassment it would have caused them.

“I deplore all forms of racism and discrimination.”

An ECB spokesperson said: “We strongly condemn any form of discrimination. We have procedures in place to address conduct and allegations of this nature and we will investigate accordingly. We want cricket to be an inclusive, welcoming game for everyone.”

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Nottinghamshire confirmed they had extended the scope of their investigation into Hales to include the fancy dress party.

“Alex will be subject to the club’s established disciplinary process and has indicated his willingness to participate in the investigation,” the county said.

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