Azeem Rafiq had his gambling debts paid off by the Professional Cricketers’ Association — and the players’ union also arranged for him to have counselling.

Rafiq was a Yorkshire ex-off-spinner and has criticised the PCA for not supporting him in the legal fight with the county over racism abuse. Last month, Rafiq testified before a Parliamentary Committee that he believed the union hadn’t supported his case due to financial reasons.

Sportsmail has learned, however, that Rafiq previously benefited from financial and emotional assistance from the PCA’s charity arm, the Professional Cricketers’ Trust (PCT), which was set up to provide medical and pastoral support for current and former first-class cricketers.

According to the PCT, Rafiq was able to pay off several thousand gambling debts in 2015. They also facilitated medical treatment for him, which is what happens every year with many of their players.

Rafiq, a former player at Yorkshire, has spoken out about his indiscretions as a teenager. His parliamentary testimony stated that Rafiq had been drinking heavily alongside his teammates to get along.

The Professional Cricketers' Association paid off Azeem Rafiq's gambling debts and provided the ex-Yorkshire star with counselling, Sportsmail understands

Sportsmail is happy to report that Azeem Rahiq, an ex-Yorkshire cricket star, was forgiven by The Professional Cricketers’ Association and offered him counselling.

Following the rise of antisemitic posts he made on social media, the 30-year old also offered a sincere apology.

Rafiq has been a repeated critic of the PCA’s lack of support over the racism allegations he made against players and coaching staff at Yorkshire, seven of which were upheld by an independent report.

In his appearance before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee last month, he was scathing in his criticism of the union, claiming they refused to support his legal claim against Yorkshire for financial reasons and that their only concern for his mental health during a period when he was suicidal last winter was due to ‘box-ticking’.

‘I had a phone call with one of their lawyers for three minutes, and he turned round to me and said, “You don’t have a case”,’ Rafiq said at the hearing.

The 30-year-old has been critical of the PCA's support during his legal battle with Yorkshire

The PCA support was critical by the 30-year old during his legal fight with Yorkshire

Rafiq lifted the lid on racism at the county cricket club during a select committee hearing

Rafiq removed the veil on racism at county cricket club in a hearing of a select committee

‘It was incredibly hurtful, particularly when I found out later that the reason was, if they’d backed me, it would have taken their whole budget.

‘I would have rather he said to me, “Look, we can’t afford it”, than saying I didn’t have a case. I felt like nobody believed me.

‘On a human point, if someone else had told me they were suicidal and ringing to ask for help, I would forget the constitution and help the human. The winter has been full of dark moments.

‘At one point, the PCA called the police and reported me missing. I was sitting with my family. I felt that was done to tick a box in case I killed myself.’

In an interview with Sky Sports News in January, Rafiq claimed that no one at the PCA had contacted him in five months since he made his initial complaint against Yorkshire — although he did say they had helped him during his playing career.

He has been open about many youthful indiscretions including drinking alcohol as a youngster

He was open to discussing his youthful mistakes, including the drinking of alcohol while a teenager.

‘There’s a hell of a lot of bodies out there, organisations, that are meant to be helping these things not happen.

‘But I can speak from personal experience — the last five months after the initial contact, I’ve not really had any support from these organisations,’ Rafiq said.

‘Has anyone in the last few months rung me to see how I am? No, it’s been tough.

‘I’m struggling. I’ve found it really difficult. And I ask the question of the authorities, the PCA, the ECB, and further — what are we waiting for?

‘The PCA have been a support to me throughout my career in a lot of different other aspects, but in terms of this case, it was made pretty clear to me that the support wasn’t there, and that’s just a straight fact.’

Following the DCMS hearing, PCA chief executive Rob Lynch said that the union needed to learn lessons from the way Rafiq’s complaints were handled.

A spokesperson for Rafiq said: ¿As Azeem has made clear on several occasions over the past 16 months, the PCA has provided him with support on different matters throughout his career and he thanks them for that support.'

A spokesperson for Rafiq said: ‘As Azeem has made clear on several occasions over the past 16 months, the PCA has provided him with support on different matters throughout his career and he thanks them for that support.’

In addition, the professional development manager responsible for dealing with Rafiq’s case on behalf of the PCA, former Yorkshire batsman Matt Wood, left the organisation last month.

A spokesperson for Rafiq said on Thursday night: ‘As Azeem has made clear on several occasions over the past 16 months, the PCA have provided him with support on different matters throughout his career and he thanks them for that support.

‘However, Azeem feels he was let down by the PCA when he raised the bullying and racism he experienced at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

‘We are also concerned that confidential support appears to have been leaked, which will be a worry to anyone who has ever sought help from the PCA.’

The PCA refused to comment on confidential matters.