Second Essex player alleges racial abuse at club

Maurice Chambers
Maurice Chambers played his last first-class match in 2015 for Northants

Former Essex bowler Maurice Chambers has become the second player to say he suffered racist abuse at the club.

The 34-year-old, who was born in Jamaica, alleges he was repeatedly racially abused by two team-mates and a senior coach at the county.

Chambers, who played for Essex from 2005-2013, told The Cricketer he “would go home at the end of the day and cry”.

The allegations come after another ex-Essex player, Zoheb Sharif, claimed he suffered racist abuse at the club.

“It was humiliating. It was isolating. I never told anyone, but I would go home at the end of the day and cry. It made me very unhappy,” Chambers said.

He said other than one occasion, when his mother reported an incident on his behalf, he “never reported anything” as he was “always worried about being seen as a troublemaker”.

Essex chief executive John Stephenson said he was “extremely disappointed to hear of further historic racial allegations” which made “distressing reading”.

He said none of the individuals were now involved with the club, and had referred the matter to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“After learning of the allegations last night, I instantly contacted the former player to offer the club’s full support,” Stephenson said.

“He has shown immense bravery in coming forward and in speaking with us about the incidents he describes. I appreciate how difficult this must be for him.”

ECB appalled

In a statement, the ECB said it was appalled by the behaviour Chambers described, which “no person should ever have to endure”.

“There is absolutely no room for racism in cricket,” an ECB spokesperson said.

“We are sorry that Maurice has only been able to feel comfortable to speak out after his playing career had ended and as a game we must ensure that cannot prevail.

“We will be investigating this alongside the other allegations at Essex and applaud Maurice for his bravery in coming forward.”

On Friday, Essex chairman John Faragher resigned following an allegation he used racist language in a 2017 board meeting, which he denies.

Chambers has also made a racism allegation against a team-mate during his time at Northamptonshire, where he played between 2013 and 2015.

The player in question is no longer with the club.

“Racism is the antithesis of what Northamptonshire County Cricket Club stands for,” said a club statement.

“The club is disappointed to hear of Maurice’s experience and this clearly goes against the expectation we hold for all Northamptonshire players and staff.”

Inspired by Rafiq

These latest allegations come in the wake of a racism scandal at Yorkshire that has engulfed cricket.

A report found former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq was a victim of “racial harassment and bullying” but the county said it would not discipline anyone, drawing widespread condemnation.

Chief executive Mark Arthur and chairman Roger Hutton have both resigned since.

“That’s why it feels so important to speak now,” Chambers said.

“I’ve been inspired by the example of Azeem Rafiq and I want other players to have the courage to speak up and share their experiences.

“Only by letting people know about the things that have being going on can we bring about change.”


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