London: Newly crowned English county champions Yorkshire on Thursday declared their support for captain Andrew Gale following reports that he is to be charged with a racist offence.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has not yet confirmed the nature of a hearing with Gale that is expected to take place next week, but British media reports claim it concerns a clash with Lancashire batsman Ashwell Prince.
The spat with Prince saw Gale given a mandatory two-match ban and the ECB then asked him to stay away from Yorkshire`s County Championship title celebrations, but the club have vowed to stand by him.
Yorkshire`s director of cricket Martyn Moxon told regional newspaper the Yorkshire Post: "We are going to do what we can to help him clear his name. The club will help Andrew in any way possible."
In its only statement on the matter, issued last Friday, the ECB said: "After an incident at the recent LV=CC match between Lancashire and Yorkshire, the England and Wales Cricket Board made a formal complaint to the cricket discipline commission (CDC) about the conduct of the Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale.
"On receipt of this complaint, the CDC has decided to convene a disciplinary panel hearing to consider the matter. The ECB will not make any further comment until the disciplinary process is concluded."
British newspaper The Daily Telegraph has reported that the case concerns Gale`s alleged use of the term `Kolpak` during his on-field exchange with South Africa-born Prince.
A `Kolpak` cricketer is one who was born overseas, but who qualifies to play in English domestic cricket under the laws of the European Union.
The term takes its name from Maros Kolpak, a Slovakian handball player who won a landmark case at the European Court of Justice in 2003 that upheld the right to freedom of work and movement within the EU for citizens from countries that have signed agreements with the EU.