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I'm gay: England cricketer Davies

Posted by Tania Mirza Monday, February 28, 2011

Steve Davies, the England reserve wicketkeeper, revealed he was gay on Sunday night and said coming out was 'tougher than facing Brett Lee'. 
The 24-year-old Surrey player told his international team-mates before the start of the Ashes series in Australia last year and they agreed to keep it secret so it would not become a distraction. 
He admitted that he had found it increasingly difficult to conceal his sexuality - especially on tours - and described it as a 'massive relief' once he shared his feelings with the squad.

Davies, the first professional cricketer to come out, said: 'It's something I've lived with for a long time. Although I feel it is the right time. I am nervous about coming out. Who wouldn't be?
'It's the biggest decision I've had to face, and by far the toughest - bigger even than facing Brett Lee in the middle. 
'If I am brutally honest, I've never enjoyed touring because of my secret and having to conceal my sexuality. My friendships with the guys would reach a certain level, then I'd have to take a step back. 
'A two-week tour would feel like two years for me. It was really tough. Cricket was my escape. When I was playing cricket I was at my happiest because all I had to worry about was getting runs and taking catches.' 
Davies, who has played eight ODIs and five Twenty20s, was dropped from the England squad for the World Cup. Matt Prior took his place. Davies said he was 'shocked' and 'gutted' but does not believe the decision of the selectors and skipper Andrew Strauss had anything to do with him revealing his sexuality.

He said: 'It was a bitter pill. I felt sick but that suspicion never went through my head. Unfortunately for me, Andrew thought Matt would be more suitable.' 
Davies did not tell his parents, Mike and Lin, or his elder sister Gemma until he was 19. 'The support they have given me has been brilliant,' he said. 'Not everybody is so lucky.' 
His parents were with him as he made his announcement. 'We are proud of him and love him as a son,' they said. 'As a successful sportsman and now hopefully as a role model to anyone young person dealing with the sexuality.' 
Davies added: 'I have to play my best for Surrey and get back in the England side. I want to remembered as a good cricketer not a gay cricketer.
There are few sportsman who are openly gay. Gareth Thomas, the Wales and Lions captain and now a rugby league star, has the highest profile. He came out in 2009. Davies said: 'Thomas's story helped me. He showed it can be done.


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