Essex cricket charged with failing to address alleged ‘systemic’ racist language and conduct

CHELMSFORD, England (AP) — Essex County has been charged by England’s cricket regulator with failing to address alleged “systemic” racist language and conduct at the club for a decade.

“It is alleged by the cricket regulator 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 cricket regulator said in a statement on Monday.

Essex said on Monday it had fully cooperated with the cricket regulator, and it intended to “participate willingly” with the cricket discipline commission which will hear the case on dates yet to be decided.

In 2021, allegations of racist language and conduct made by Jahid Ahmed, Zoheb Sharif and Maurice Chambers were investigated by King’s Counsel Katherine Newton, who gave her commissioned report to Essex.

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

Essex announced in February it had sanctioned individuals in connection with Newton’s findings, but did not name them.

Last July, Yorkshire was fined and docked points for how it handled allegations of discrimination by former player Azeem Rafiq, and for failing to address the systemic use of racist and discriminatory language from 2004-21.

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