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Essex charged by Cricket Regulator over allegations of ‘systemic’ racism at club
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Essex charged by Cricket Regulator over allegations of ‘systemic’ racism at club

Essex have been charged by the Cricket Regulator with failing to address alleged “systemic” racist language and conduct at the club between 2001 and 2010.

The county have been charged with breaching Directive 3.3 of the England and Wales Cricket Board, which concerns “conduct, acts or omissions which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the game of cricket or any cricketer or group of cricketers into disrepute”.

A statement on Monday read: “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. An independent panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission will hear the case in due course.”

In their own statement, Essex said they had fully cooperated with the Cricket Regulator and would continue to do so, and that they intend to “participate willingly” with the Cricket Discipline Commission which will hear the case. The Cricket Regulator is an independent compliance body, ring-fenced from the ECB, which was set up last December.

In 2021, Essex commissioned an independent report into allegations of racist language and conduct which were made by Jahid Ahmed, Zoheb Sharif and Maurice Chambers; the report was conducted by Katharine Newton KC. Essex announced in February they had sanctioned individuals in connection with Newton’s findings, but did not name them.

Newton’s 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 between the mid-1990s until around 2013, under the misguided belief that it was acceptable “banter”.

In a statement at the time Essex said: “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.

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

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In July last year, Yorkshire were fined £400,000 (£300,000 of which was suspended for two years) and docked 48 Championship points over their handling of allegations of discrimination by their former player Azeem Rafiq, and a failure to address the systemic use of racist and discriminatory language over a prolonged period between 2004 and 2021.

Source: theguardian.com