London, Nov 24 (IANS) Former medium-pace bowler Jahid Ahmed has become the third former Essex County Cricket Club player to allege that he experienced racist abuse while playing for the team. The 35-year-old follows Zoheb Sharif and Maurice Chambers who have made claims of discrimination against the team.
Jahid, who represented Essex in seven first-class matches between 2005 and 2009, described the club as “a white man’s world where brown people were outsiders” after allegedly being asked by a teammate if he was “going to bomb” the club.
In an interview with The Cricketer, the bowler alleged that he was bullied by a senior coach and his voice was mocked by some players and some members of the coaching staff.
“It was a white man’s world where brown people were outsiders. I wanted to change my voice. I tried to deepen it. I really wanted to fit in,” said Jahid.
“I felt like an outsider all the time I was at Chelmsford. I was always fearing what they would come up with and it made it incredibly hard to concentrate on my cricket,” he added.
Following Ahmed’s allegations, Essex chief executive John Stephenson has released a statement vowing to investigate the claims thoroughly.
“I am disheartened to learn of these new historic racial allegations from a former player about several of his ex-teammates and a previous member of staff. The allegations reported to The Cricketer make difficult reading and they will be treated and investigated with the utmost seriousness,” said Stephenson said in a statement.
“I have reached out to him to offer him our full support, and I hope he feels encouraged and comfortable enough to be a part of our imminent investigation. At the end of last week, we announced that the club will be working with Katharine Newton QC to focus on these allegations which have recently come to light.
“It is clear as a sport there is a lot of work to be done, but we are moving in the right direction. The next period is going to be extremely difficult, especially for those sharing their experiences, but together we will come out the other side better for it. We pride ourselves on our multicultural and diverse values and we hope the outcome of the investigation will help us improve and develop us as people and as a club,” he added.
Earlier, John Faragher resigned as Essex chairman on November 11 following a claim he used racist language at a board meeting in 2017, which he strongly denied.
Cricket’s racism crisis continues to deepen following Azeem Rafiq’s harrowing claims of racial abuse during his time at Yorkshire Cricket Club and more players continue to come forward regarding their own horrific experiences.