Azeem Rafiq apologises for anti-Semitic messages he posted 10 years ago

Azeem Rafiq has apologised after anti-Semitic messages he posted 10 years ago came to light.

The former Yorkshire spinner gave evidence to a parliamentary committee from the department for culture, media and sport earlier this week over alleged racism he suffered during two separate spells at Headingley.

Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton and CEO Mark Arthur have each stepped down, with director of cricket Martyn Moxon and head coach Andrew Gale expected to follow.

Sponsors have also deserted the club, while Yorkshire have been indefinitely stripped of hosting international fixtures at Headingley over their handling of the issue.

Rafiq's former teammate and England star Gary Ballance has admitted to repeatedly calling the now 30-year-old a 'P***', while allegations were also made against Tim Bresnan and Matthew Hoggard among others.

But Rafiq himself is now in the spotlight after offensive messages emerged, and he has taken full responsibility for sending them.

In an exchange, Rafiq wrote: "Hahahaha he is a jew .. Probs go after my 2nds again ha."

A further message sent by Rafiq said: "Haha propa ripped bro.. How wrong is that?? Only jews do that sort of s*** ha."

Rafiq has now posted an apology on Twitter, admitting he sent the messages.

He wrote: "I was sent an image of this exchange from early 2011 today. I have gone back to check my account and it is me – I have absolutely no excuses.

"I am ashamed of this exchange and have now deleted it so as not to cause further offence. I was 19 at the time and I hope and believe I am a different person today.

"I am incredibly angry at myself and I apologise to the Jewish community and everyone who is rightly offended by this."

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