Rupert Murdoch owned firm to pay damages for 'offensive remarks' against Muslim cricketer

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London, Aug. 22 (ANI): The Rupert Murdoch-owned Nationwide News Pty Ltd has apologised and agreed to pay damages after one of its journalists wrote an article in which an English Muslim cricketer was subject to "offensive remarks".

According to The Age, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said yesterday that Sydney-based Nationwide News would pay "significant damages and costs as well as offering an unreserved apology for offensive remarks".

In a piece about the alleged time-wasting that helped England escape with a draw in last month's first Ashes test, Australian journalist David Penberthy said that a friend had sent him an SMS abusing Bilal Shafayat.

Penberthy was incensed that 12th man Shafayat twice came onto the field to apparently supply a batsman with spare gloves, holding up play with Australia on the verge of bowling out its opponents.

Writing for The Punch website, Penberthy included what he said was a friend's reference to the bearded player.

The website deleted the article after a request by Shafayat, who will donate the damages he is due to charity.

"Bilal Shafayat has generously decided to donate the damages to the Cricket Foundation's Chance to Shine initiative. The offending article has also been removed from the website on which it was published," the ECB said on its site.

Penberthy, a former editor of Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper, said he never meant to cause offence. (ANI)

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