Essex County Cricket Club chair John Faragher resigns over allegation he used racist language at 2017 board meeting

·3-min read

The chair of Essex County Cricket Club has resigned with immediate effect following an allegation he used racist language at a board meeting in 2017.

John Faragher stepped down following a meeting of the board on Thursday evening.

Essex County Cricket Club said it does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will immediately consider further steps the club must take.

Faragher strongly denies the incident, however a review will take place into why it was not fully and independently investigated at the time.

Newly-appointed Essex cricket chief executive, John Stephenson, who took over the club in October, said: "There is no place for discrimination of any kind at Essex County Cricket Club.

"This is a proud club with a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and any form of discrimination and, as Essex cricket's new chief executive officer, I will not hesitate to uphold those principles and drive out any form of discrimination that is uncovered.

"I was made aware of this single allegation on Thursday having joined the club four weeks ago. The board met last night [Thursday] during which John Faragher's resignation was unanimously accepted.

"We are committed to working with the England & Wales Cricket Board to eradicate discrimination from the game."

It is the latest in a series of incidents to engulf cricket since the scandal involving Yorkshire County Cricket Club broke, following Azeem Rafiq's allegations of institutional racism at Headingley.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said it has opened an investigation into the Essex incident after a complaint was initially taken up with the governing body.

But this was not the case when Rafiq made his allegations against the Yorkshire side, with the original complaint being taken up with the county and not the ECB.

A review found the bowler was a victim of "racial harassment and bullying" while playing for the team but no one was punished, prompting widespread criticism.

The club has not published the full report, but a leaked version suggested that the use of "the P word" towards Rafiq was made in the context of "friendly banter".

Batsman Gary Ballance has since apologised for using the racial slur, but Michael Vaughan said that he "completely and categorically" denies ever saying anything racist.

Rafiq has accepted a six-figure sum from Yorkshire County Cricket Club which has vowed to "listen and change" following the scandal.

There has been lots of movement at the top of the club following the allegations.

Follow the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Ex-chairman Roger Hutton has left the club, and director of cricket Martyn Moxon has been signed off with a "stress-related illness".

First-team coach Andrew Gale is also currently suspended pending an investigation into offensive but unrelated historic tweets.

England captain Joe Root referenced the ongoing investigation at his home club on Thursday with a statement and short press conference, before Mark Arthur resigned from his role as chief executive later in the day.

The club faces an uncertain future after major sponsors cut ties and the ECB suspended Headingley from hosting international matches.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting