A LANCASHIRE cricket legend has said he "deeply regrets" his actions following claims made by Azeem Rafiq at a hearing with MPs today.

A number of high-profile cricketing figures, including Sky Sports broadcaster David 'Bumble' Lloyd, from Accrington, were named in allegations made by the former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq on Tuesday (November 16) as he emotionally discussed his two spells with the county.

Rafiq told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of his allegations of racial harassment and bullying against Yorkshire, breaking down on a number of occasions as he recalled his experiences.

Referring to Lloyd, he said: "High-profile media people messaging other members of the media who supported me saying stuff like, “The club houses are the life blood of a club and Asian players don’t go in there”, “Getting subs out of Asian players is like getting blood out of stone”.

Speaking about Lloyd allegedly discussing his drinking, Rafiq said there had been "denial, briefings, cover-ups, smearing, high-profile media people messaging other members of the media who have supported me".

"Personally, this guy doesn’t even know me, is talking about my personal drinking, going out and socalising. That was David Lloyd.

"He’d been an England coach and commentator and I found it disturbing, because Sky is supposedly doing this amazing work on bringing racism to the front and, within a week of me speaking out, that’s what I got sent to me and I thought ‘there are some closet racists and I need to do something about it'."

Responding to the accusations, Lloyd said: "In October 2020, I had a private message exchange with a third party involved in cricket, about a number of topics.

"In these messages, I referred to allegations about Azeem Rafiq which I had heard from within the game. I also made some comments about the Asian cricket community.

"I deeply regret my actions, and I apologise most sincerely to Azeem and to the Asian cricket community for doing this, and for any offence caused.

"I am strongly committed to making cricket a more inclusive sport. It is very obvious now that more work needs to be done and I will do everything I can to remove discrimination from the sport I love, and the sport that has been my life for over 50 years."