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Essex not naming those sanctioned after review into racist abuse

Essex are not naming the individuals they have sanctioned over an independent review which found players at the club had been subjected to racist abuse and discriminatory treatment.

A report by Katharine Newton KC published in December found reference to players’ ethnic, racial and religious origins was “entirely normalised and tolerated behaviour” within the dressing-room culture between the mid-1990s until around 2013, under the misguided belief that it was acceptable ‘banter’.

Newton was commissioned to carry out the report in 2021 after allegations of discrimination were made by former Essex players Jahid Ahmed, Maurice Chambers and Zoheb Sharif.

The club say sanctions have now been issued, but have not confirmed who has been sanctioned, how many individuals are involved and what the nature of those sanctions are.

“Essex County Cricket Club can confirm that sanctions have been imposed against the individuals implicated in Katharine Newton KC’s independent review into historical allegations of racism,” a club statement read.

“Following the publication of Ms Newton’s report on December 8, 2023, the club commissioned an independent committee who recommended disciplinary measures.

“While the individuals are not named to align with the anonymised report, Essex CCC takes allegations of racism extremely seriously and the measures are a further commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming club for everyone.

Jahid Ahmed was one of three former Essex players who made allegations of discrimination during their time at the county
Image: Jahid Ahmed was one of three former Essex players who made allegations of discrimination during their time at the county

“Essex CCC have shared the measures with the England and Wales Cricket Board and reaffirms its pledge to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion within cricket to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.”

Newton said in her report conclusions that those on the receiving end of discriminatory treatment “were too scared to speak up for fear of damaging their prospects of selection and progression”.

“In any event, there were no effective mechanisms for raising such concerns,” she added.

Her report also found a lack of understanding of the needs of Muslim players at Essex.

Newton also found that the club’s former chairman, John Faragher, used racist language during a board meeting in 2017 and that the club failed to properly investigate a complaint about the language used.

Newton said in the summary report that she had upheld “a number” of complaints of racially discriminatory conduct, and that the perpetrators were named in the full report she sent to Essex.

Newton said one of the players was given the nickname ‘bomber’ following the September 11 terrorist attacks. She also found that the phrase ‘curry muncher’ was “commonly used” in the dressing room to describe individuals of South Asian heritage.

The ECB has not commented on the sanctions. The Cricket Regulator is continuing its own investigation into what happened at Essex.

Sky News
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