The ECB has charged Essex County Cricket Club for an alleged racist comment made at an Executive Board meeting in 2017 and their failure to conduct any appropriate investigation into the incident.
Essex charged by ECB
A short statement, issued by the ECB on Thursday, confirmed the club had been penalized for a breach of ECB Directive 3.3.
The directive reads: “No Participant may conduct themself in a manner or do any act or omission at any time which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any Cricketer or group of Cricketers into disrepute.”
“A panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission will now hear the case and adjudicate. A further update will be provided following the conclusion of the case.”
In a statement, Essex said: “Essex County Cricket Club has today received two disciplinary charges from the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) regarding alleged comments made at a meeting in 2017.
“These are not new allegations but are the next formal part of the ECB process regarding issues that were raised by the ECB in October 2021.
“The Club takes this matter extremely seriously. We have co-operated fully with the ECB’s investigations since they commenced last year and will continue to do so as the process moves to this next stage.”
What happened at Essex?
Former Essex chairman John Faragher resigned in November following an allegation he used racist language at a board meeting in 2017, which he strongly denied took place.
Following Faragher’s departure, Essex cricket chief executive John Stephenson – who had only started in his role a few weeks earlier – said: “There is no place for discrimination of any kind at Essex County Cricket Club.
“This is a proud club with a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and any form of discrimination and, as Essex cricket’s new chief executive officer, I will not hesitate to uphold those principles and drive out any form of discrimination that is uncovered.
“I was made aware of this single allegation on Thursday having joined the club four weeks ago. The board met last night [Thursday] during which John Faragher’s resignation was unanimously accepted.
“We are committed to working with the England & Wales Cricket Board to eradicate discrimination from the game.”
The ECB said late last year it was “appalled” by further racism claims made by former Essex players, including Maurice Chambers, who described in an interview with The Cricketer how he was allegedly subjected to racist bullying for 10 years at the club.
Former Essex cricketers Zoheb Sharif, Jahid Ahmed, and Maurice Chambers have also alleged that they experienced racism during their time at the club.
Sharif told the Mirror in November that he had was nicknamed Bomber by his teammates, while Ahmed described Essex as “a white man’s world where brown people were outsiders”.
Chambers, meanwhile, told the Cricketer that a fellow player had called him a “f***ing monkey” in his time at the club.
Former Essex players had also come forward and described the racist abuse they suffered at the club.