England cricketer and Ashes tour member Steven Davies has revealed he is gay, becoming the first active professional cricketer to reveal he is so.
Davies, who plays for Surrey and England, said it was a real relief to make the admission.
“I’m comfortable with who I am – and happy to say who I am in public,” he said.
“To speak out is a massive relief for me, but if I can just help one person to deal with their sexuality then that’s all I care about.”
24 year old Davies revealed his sexuality to friends and family over five years ago, but only told his fellow team mates during this winters Ashes tour.
“It was a fantastic thing to do, telling the lads. The difference is huge. I am so much happier,” he said.
“I told (team director) Andy (Flower) first. It was a tough thing for me to do, to tell him face-to-face, but I had to do it.
“He supported me 100%, him and (captain) Andrew Strauss. It was the right thing to do as I felt I couldn’t live like this any more.”
Davies said that Gareth Thomas, the Welsh dual code rugby internationals story had inspired him.
He said: “Gareth Thomas’ story helped me. It showed me it can be done. He was brave enough to stand up and say who he was.
“If I can help anyone else like he helped me, that would be great.”
Thomas has called on the ECB to back Davies and make sure he doesn’t suffer any abuse from crowds.
He said, “The ECB should send out its own message that Steven must be respected, then there wouldn’t be any abuse.
“You wouldn’t tolerate racism so why would you tolerate any other kind of discrimination?”