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Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 17:13 UK

Twitter tirade lands Azeem Rafiq one-month ECB ban

Azeem Rafiq
Rafiq has been tipped for a big future in English cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board has suspended Azeem Rafiq from all cricket under its jurisdiction for a month.

The ban follows the England under-19 captain's foul-mouthed tirade on Twitter against manager John Abrahams.

Yorkshire off-spinner Rafiq, 19, vented his fury at Abrahams after he was dropped for the second Test against Sri Lanka for disciplinary reasons.

The ECB banned him for a month from 26 July after Rafiq had pleaded guilty to two breaches of its directives.

He must also pay £500 towards the costs of a cricket discipline commission hearing.

In a statement, the ECB added that the Barnsley-born player had "apologised unreservedly for his actions".

It went on: "The panel considered this to be a serious breach, particularly given Rafiq's position as captain of the England under-19 side."

Yorkshire, for whom Rafiq has played two Championship matches this season, had in any case indefinitely suspended the youngster on 29 July while they began their own investigation into the matter.

The club's chief executive Stewart Regan called his behaviour "totally unacceptable".

The use of the Twitter website, an increasingly popular social network, has on occasion proved problematic for cricket administrators.

During the Ashes series last year, Australian batsman Phillip Hughes revealed he had been dropped for the third Test through a "tweet".

And last October, Yorkshire and England's Tim Bresnan was warned about his future conduct after taking offence at a distorted picture posted on the site which exaggerated the girth of his arms and stomach.

When Rafiq's outburst became public knowledge last week, England captain Andrew Strauss warned: "I'd say be careful.

"Players should be aware that what they write is going to be seen by people they might not want it to be seen by."

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see also
Yorkshire hand Rafiq suspension
29 Jul 10 |  Yorkshire
England warned over social media
29 Jul 10 |  England
Barnsley's teenage spin sensation
26 Jun 07 |  Yorkshire

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