Home Cricket News Essex Cricket Club Charged With Alleged ‘Systemic’ Racism

Essex Cricket Club Charged With Alleged ‘Systemic’ Racism

Essex Cricket Club Charged With Alleged ‘Systemic’ Racism

Essex, an England county cricket team, faced potential penalties, including a points deduction and a substantial fine, following allegations of “systemic” racist language and behaviour over nine years. The charges, brought by the independent Cricket Regulator, draw parallels to the racism scandal involving former Yorkshire bowler Azeem Rafiq, which had widespread repercussions in English cricket.

According to a statement released Monday, the Cricket Regulator alleges that “There was systemic use of racist and/or discriminatory language and/or conduct at Essex, during the period between 2001 and 2010, which Essex failed to address.” The case will be reviewed by an independent panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) in due course.

Essex has stated that it has fully cooperated with the regulator and intends to “participate willingly” in the CDC proceedings. In contrast to Yorkshire, which faced heavy criticism for its handling of the Rafiq case, Essex took a different approach by appointing an independent senior lawyer, Katharine Newton KC, in 2021.

This decision was made shortly after John Stephenson, a former Essex and England cricketer, assumed the role of the club’s chief executive. Newton was tasked with investigating allegations of racist language and behaviour made by Jahid Ahmed, Zoheb Sharif, and Maurice Chambers.

Her report, published last December, concluded that references to players’ ethnic, racial, and religious origins were “entirely normalised and tolerated behaviour” within Essex’s dressing-room culture from the mid-1990s until around 2013, under the misguided belief it was acceptable “banter.”

Essex and Yorkshire Face Repercussions Amid Ongoing Racism Investigations in English Cricket

Following Newton’s findings, Essex announced in February that they had taken action against certain individuals, though they did not disclose their identities. Last July, Yorkshire was fined 400,000 pounds (with 300,000 pounds suspended for two years) and docked 48 Championship points and four T20 Blast points for their mishandling of Rafiq’s discrimination allegations.

Failing to address the systemic use of racist and discriminatory language between 2004 and 2021. Two years ago, Essex was fined 50,000 pounds after pleading guilty to charges that former chairman John Faragher used a racist epithet during a board meeting in February 2017. Faragher has consistently denied the accusation.

Essex’s current situation highlights ongoing issues within English cricket regarding racism and the necessity for thorough investigations and appropriate responses to such serious allegations. The outcome of the CDC hearing will be closely watched as it could set a precedent for handling similar cases in the future.

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