By: Sattwik Biswal
ANOTHER former player of English county Essex has said he suffered racist abuse at the club following allegations made by Zoheb Sharif and Maurice Chambers in the last week.
Jahid Ahmed, who bowled for Essex from 2005-2009, told The Cricketer he was bullied by a senior coach and that his accent was mocked by players and some members of the coaching staff.
Jahid’s revelations follow similar claims by Chambers and Sharif. Chambers, who played for Essex between 2005 and 2013, said he was so upset by the racist bullying he faced at the county that he would go home and cry after matches.
“It was a white man’s world where brown people were outsiders,” Jahid, 35, said. “I wanted to change my voice. I tried to deepen it. I really wanted to fit in.
“I felt like an outsider all the time I was at (Essex’s ground) Chelmsford. I was always fearing what they would come up with and it made it incredibly hard to concentrate on my cricket.”
Essex, who had already opened an investigation after Chambers’ initial claims, said they have established a reporting channel for anyone who experienced abuse at the club.
“The allegations make difficult reading and they will be treated and investigated with the utmost seriousness,” chief executive John Stephenson said.
“I have reached out to him (Jahid) to offer him our full support, and I hope he feels encouraged and comfortable enough to be a part of our imminent investigation.
“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.”
The issue of racism in English cricket was blown wide open by claims of racism faced by another former county player, Azeem Rafiq, while playing for Yorkshire, which led to an exodus of sponsors and several top executives resigning.