London [UK], November 18 (ANI): Former England batter Alex Hales on Wednesday denied "any racial connotation" in naming his dog 'Kevin'.
The statement from Hales comes after Azeem Rafiq alleged that the name was used by former Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance "to describe people of colour".
Rafiq on Tuesday told a British parliamentary committee hearing into the Yorkshire County Cricket Club racism scandal that he believed Hales had named his dog 'Kevin' because it was black.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Hales said, as per ESPNcricinfo: "Having heard the allegations made against me, I categorically and absolutely deny there was any racial connotation in the naming of my dog."
Hales, who plays for Nottinghamshire, added: "I entirely respect and have huge sympathy for both the stance Azeem Rafiq has taken and what he has had to endure. His evidence was harrowing."
"There is no place for racism or discrimination of any kind in cricket and I will gladly co-operate with any investigation the game's authorities choose to hold."
Nottinghamshire said in a statement that, following Tuesday's testimony to the select committee, they had "commenced the appropriate internal process and will continue to liaise with Alex and his advisers accordingly." (ANI)