ECB charge Essex with bringing the sport into disrepute over historic alleged racist comment

ECB charge Essex with bringing the sport into disrepute over handling of an historic alleged racist comment by ex-chairman John Faragher at a board meeting in 2017

  • The English and Wales Cricket Board charged Essex County Cricket Club with bringing the game into disrepute over an alleged racist comment
  • Ex-chairman John Faragher is alleged to have made a derogatory mark in 2017 
  • At a board meeting it is alleged Faragher derogatorily used ‘n***** in the woodpile’, an allegation that he has since strongly denied 
  • Essex’s probe is the latest in English cricket’s determination to clean up its image











Essex were charged by the ECB on Thursday with bringing the game into disrepute after failing to act on an alleged racist comment made by ex-chair John Faragher at an executive board meeting in 2017.

Faragher resigned from his role last November after it was claimed he used the derogatory term ‘n***** in the woodpile’ during the meeting. He strongly denied using such language.

The Cricket Discipline Commission will now hear the case after Essex were charged by the governing body’s integrity unit in relation to the incident and accused of a failure ‘to conduct an appropriate, or any, investigation into the alleged racist comment.’

Specifically, the club is said to have breached ECB directive 3.3 which states: ‘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.’

In response to the two charges, Essex said in a statement: ‘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.’

Essex have been charged by the ECB for failing to act on an alleged racist comment made by chairman John Faragher at a board meeting in 2017. Faragher strongly denies the allegations

Essex vowed to investigate internally last autumn after the alleged episode coincided with several former players going public with allegations of racism.

Maurice Chambers, who played for the club between 2005 and 2013, told of the bullying he was subjected to while on the staff at Chelmsford that included a team-mate offering him bananas in a mocking way, and him being subjected to a member of the coaching staff reading out racist jokes in the dressing room.

Zoheb Sharif and Jahid Ahmed both said they were referred to as terrorists during their time at Essex, with Zoheb alleging he was nicknamed ‘Bomber’.

Last year, Jahid Ahmed became the third former player to allege he experienced racist abuse while playing at Essex. He claimed that he was referred to as a 'terrorist' while with Essex

Last year, Jahid Ahmed became the third former player to allege he experienced racist abuse while playing at Essex. He claimed that he was referred to as a ‘terrorist’ while with Essex

The Essex probe is the latest in English cricket’s drive to clean up its tarnished image and prove the game is one for all colours, sexes, cultures and religions.

An independent CDC investigation into Yorkshire’s mishandling of Azeem Rafiq’s reporting of racism, and subsequent accusations of discrimination at Headingley, is ongoing.

Although the club has had a suspension on hosting international matches this summer lifted and are set to remain in Division One of the County Championship, they could still face other sanctions.

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