Rising England wicket-keeper Steven Davies has become the first active professional cricketer to come out of the closet and announce he’s gay.
The talented 24-year-old, who is widely believed to become England’s future glove man, made the admission in an attempt to make it “more acceptable” within the game.
Davies told The Telegraph: “I’m comfortable with who I am – and happy to say who I am in public.
“This is the right time for me.
“I feel it is right to be out in the open about my sexuality. If more people do it, the more acceptable it will become. That must be a good thing.
“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.”
The Surrey wicket-keeper, who hails from Worcestershire, is one of the English game’s big talents – a handy wicket-keeper who is aggressive with the bat.
He captained the England Under 19s and made his senior Twenty 20 debut in March 2009, smashing 27 from 21 balls against the West Indies in Port of Spain.
Davies revealed his sexuality to his parents five years ago before telling his England teammates shortly before last year’s Ashes series against Australia.
His brave announcement has been welcomed by the sporting and wider community.
England coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss have backed him 100 per cent while Vikram Solanki, chairman of the Professional Cricketers’ Association, said Davies has “the full support of all his colleagues in cricket.”
Stephen Fry also praised Davies. The gay actor and writer described the cricketer as “brave, charming, modest and inspiring – a top man”.
Professional sport has a long history of closeted homosexuality with Davies’ gutsy announcement hoping to encourage other stars to follow suit.
Davies is the only professional cricketer to admit he’s gay while Welshman Gareth Thomas became the first professional rugby player to admit his homosexuality when he ‘came out’ in 2009.
There are currently no openly gay professional footballers.