Essex cricketer says he was nicknamed bomber by teammates after 9/11

Essex cricketer ‘was nicknamed bomber by his teammates the day after 9/11’ in new racism allegation rocking the sport

  • Zoheb Sharif, 38, from Leytonstone, East London, made allegations on Saturday
  • Sharif, whose parents are from Pakistan, played for Essex County Cricket Club (ECCC) as a teenager
  • He also claims that he was called ‘curry muncher’ during his time at the club
  • Chairman of ECCC resigned following historic allegation that he used racist language at a board meeting four years ago  

A Muslim cricketer who used to play for Essex claimed on Saturday that some of his team-mates nicknamed him ‘Bomber’ the day after the 9/11 attacks.

Zoheb Sharif, 38, from Leytonstone, East London, also alleges he was called ‘curry muncher’ during his time playing at Essex County Cricket Club (ECCC) as a teenager.

Sharif, whose parents come from Pakistan, told The Mirror: ‘It was a day after the September 11 attacks. People started calling me Bomber. It was normal to be called ‘curry muncher’.

‘As a Muslim, I’d find a quiet outfield corner to pray. A senior player told me “it looks bad”. So I prayed in my car.’

A Muslim former cricketer who used to play for Essex claimed on Saturday that some of his team-mates nicknamed him ‘Bomber’ the day after the September 11 attacks. Zoheb Sharif, now 38, from Leytonstone, East London, also alleges he was called ‘curry muncher’ during his time playing at Essex County Cricket Club as a teenager (pictured)

His allegations come after the chairman of ECCC resigned following a historic allegation that he used racist language at a board meeting four years ago.

John Faragher, who strongly denies the incident, stepped down from his role as chair with immediate effect after the Essex board unanimously accepted his resignation on Thursday night.

The incident is the latest storm to engulf cricket with Yorkshire still dealing with the aftermath of Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of institutional racism at Headingley.

Sharif, who made his first-team debut against Yorkshire in 2001, has also played for Sussex and Marylebone Cricket Club – and added he was inspired to speak out after the Rafiq case.

He said that to some other Essex players, the name-calling was just ‘banter’.

Essex chief John Stephenson told the Mirror: ‘I am shocked to hear of racial allegations involving a former player.

‘Essex County CC has zero tolerance of racism. I have reached out to him to offer our support and to talk to us about his experiences.’

The incident is the latest storm to engulf cricket with Yorkshire still dealing with the aftermath of Azeem Rafiq’s (above) allegations of institutional racism at Headingley.

Essex county cricket club chairman quits over claim he made racist remark at board meeting in 2017

The chairman of Essex County Cricket Club has resigned following a historic allegation that he used racist language a board meeting four years ago.

John Faragher, who strongly denies the incident, stepped down from his role as chair with immediate effect after the Essex board unanimously accepted his resignation on Thursday night.

The first-class county cricket club are intent on reviewing why the incident was not fully and independently investigated at the time.

It comes after Yorkshire’s former chair Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur both resigned in recent days following former player Azeem Rafiq’s claims of institutional racism at Headingley.

In a statement, Essex said it ‘does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will immediately consider further steps the Club must take’. 

John Faragher (pictured in March 2019) stepped down as Essex County Cricket Club chairman after a historic allegation of racist language used by him at a board meeting in 2017

Addressing the allegations of racism against Faragher, who has been Essex’s chair since 2016, the new chief executive John Stephenson said there is ‘no place for discrimination of any kind’ at the club.

He added: ‘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.’ 

Mr Stephenson, who only took over the day-to-day running of Essex in October, said he first found out about the alleged incident said to involve Faragher this week. 

He said: ‘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 by the board. 

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

‘This is an important first step, but the club must now act further. Our internal reporting mechanisms will be reviewed to ensure that matters such as this are dealt with appropriately and immediately. I intend for those next actions to be communicated as soon as possible.’

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

An ECB spokesperson said: ‘There is absolutely no place for racism or any form of discrimination in our game.

‘The England and Wales Cricket Board opened an investigation into Essex County Cricket Club after receiving an allegation involving John Faragher, who has subsequently resigned as the club chair. The ECB is taking this allegation extremely seriously.’

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