Former Yorkshire cricketers, who were found guilty of racial abuse at the club, were fined a total of £22,000 by the Cricket Discipline Commission on Friday. The fines imposed, along with potential suspensions upon their return to cricket, were reduced from the initial £37,000 sought by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) during the May 3 hearing.

After a hearing conducted by the CDC in March, John Blain, Tim Bresnan, Andrew Gale, Matthew Hoggard, and Richard Pyrah were collectively found guilty of violating ECB Directive 3.3. Gary Ballance did not dispute the charge, while former England captain Michael Vaughan was acquitted and found not guilty of any wrongdoing.

As part of the disciplinary action, the six individuals have been directed to undergo a racism/discrimination education course at their own cost, especially if they have intentions of rejoining cricket in any capacity as players or coaches.

Originally facing an £8,000 fine and an eight-week ban, Gary Ballance, the former England batsman, had his penalties reduced to a £3,000 fine and a six-match ban. Notably, Ballance announced his retirement from all cricket in April after signing a two-year contract to play for Zimbabwe.

Gale, the former captain and head coach of Yorkshire, faced the highest fine of £6,000 (reduced from the ECB’s initial proposal of £7,500) along with a four-week coaching suspension. The governing body sought a more severe punishment for Gale, taking into account his previous conduct, which involved making a discriminatory remark towards Ashwell Prince during a Roses County Championship match in 2014 and posting an anti-Semitic tweet in 2010.

Blain’s fine was lowered from £5,000 to £3,000, whereas Pyrah was handed a two-week suspension along with a £2,500 penalty. All the individuals involved have the opportunity to appeal the decisions, with the deadline set for June 9.

For the unversed, the charges arose from disclosures made by former Yorkshire all-rounder Azeem Rafiq during a parliamentary select committee hearing in 2021. While Yorkshire admitted to four breaches of ECB Directive 3.3, they did not participate in the CDC hearings. Instead, they will undergo a sanctioning hearing on June 27, which falls on the day prior to the second men’s Ashes Test at Lord’s.

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