Cricket-Ex-Yorkshire player Rafiq apologises for anti-Semitic exchange

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FILE PHOTO: NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day

(Reuters) - Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq apologised on Thursday for using anti-Semitic language in an exchange of messages with another cricketer from 2011.

Rafiq, a player of Pakistani descent, this week testified before a British parliamentary committee and spoke of the discrimination he faced while at Yorkshire, saying the sport in England was riddled with racism.

"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," Rafiq, 30, wrote in a statement on Twitter.

"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."

The messages were exchanged with Leicestershire cricketer Ateeq Javid.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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