Jahid Ahmed: Ex-cricketer questions whether sport cares about racist abuse he suffered at Essex

A former professional cricketer has told MPs that he's not sure people involved in the sport care about the alleged racist abused he claims he was subjected to.

Giving evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee on Tuesday, Jahid Ahmed, 36, said that some of his teammates regularly used to mock his ethnicity during his time at Essex.

"You could hear the other guys were laughing with them which made me feel very, very obviously upset about so many things," he said.

"They were asking me things like: "Would you bomb the club". That was in front of everyone."

The former bowler also claimed that one of the players who abused him is still contracted to the club.

"There is a current player still playing who's racially abused me, who's racially slurred me, used a lot of things to bully me throughout my whole career and they're still going," he told the committee.

"I don't know what action they will take against that person. It's not just a small person, he's a big fish."

  • Jahid Ahmed documents the racist abuse he says he suffered at the hands of a current Essex player

Mr Ahmed, who was joined by former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq at Tuesday's hearing, said that that he tried to raise the abuse with fellow Asian players at the time, but was advised to keep quiet.

"They used to call me 'curry muncher' for example, and I wasn't sure what that meant. And I used to approach them (the Asian players) and ask them what does that mean? Why did they call us that?

"The advice I got was just ignore it, just concentrate on your game and don't worry about that."

When the allegations first came to light in 2021, Essex County Cricket Club commissioned an independent barrister to carry out an investigation to ensure people who claimed they were abused "could be heard within a formal process."

The Cloudfm County Ground, the home of Essex County Cricket Club. Credit: PA

A year on, the report still hasn't been published, but the club did tell ITV News Anglia in a statement on Tuesday that it "is close to completion."

Mr Ahmed, who is British Bangladeshi, is the third player to make allegations against the club, following similar claims by Zoheb Sharif and Maurice Chambers.

On the delayed investigation, Mr Ahmed said: "It's taken longer than what they promised. When I reached out to find out when the report would get released, I was told it was in September.

"I'm a victim, I just don't feel like I get any support from anyone at the moment. It just shows that, whether they care, I don't know."

In response to the evidence given by Mr Ahmed, a spokesperson for Essex County Cricket Club said that the club remains committed to stamping out discrimination.

"We informed the Chair and the members of the DCMS Select Committee, as well as Mr Ahmed, of the status of the independent investigation into these historical accusations of racism," a statement read.

"The club is determined to demonstrate zero tolerance to discrimination of any sort and the highest standards of good governance.

"As the investigation is close to completion and it is the club’s intention – through a commitment to transparency – that the report will be published to its fullest extent possible, it would therefore be inappropriate to prejudge any of its findings or make any further comment."

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