London, Sep 29 : County Cricket Club Essex is under fire after one of their players was pictured pouring alcohol over his Muslim teammate while celebrating their Bob Willis Trophy victory. While many demanded that the club issued an apology, the club stopped short of doing so, saying that “further work needs to be done across both sport and society in general, to widen people’s knowledge and make them more aware of cultural differences”.
The photographs of the players celebrating on balcony of their dressing room at Lord’s showed Feroze Khushi having beer poured over him by a team mate. “As an organisation, Essex County Cricket Club prides themselves on their work within multi-diverse communities throughout the county and the surrounding areas,” said Essex in a statement.
“For a substantial period of time, Essex have had a multi-diverse team with players from different backgrounds, religions, and races, where cricket is at the heart of these communities. The club has worked extremely hard and will continue to bring cricket to anybody and everybody, and educate on diversity, but further work needs to be done across both sport and society in general, to widen people’s knowledge and make them more aware of cultural differences. Essex County Cricket Club are in regular dialogue with the ECB and the PCA around the education and development in this area.”
Sajid Patel, the co-founder of the National Cricket League in Essex and East London, was livid. He found the occurring “offensive” and also cited the example of the England national team and how they deal with of its Muslim members Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali.
“I found it very, very offensive. When England celebrate with champagne, like they did at the World Cup final, they have arrangements with some of the players — Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid — that they will lift the trophy before signalling for them to leave the group so they can spray the drink,” Patel said.
Khushi made his first-class debut in August 2020 against Kent in Chelmsford. He has played four matches in the format, and has a high of 66 and 45. He, however, wasn’t picked to play in the final.
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