Jahid Ahmed: "I've received no support from anyone"

The former Essex seamer, who represented the club from 2005-2009, says he feels abandoned since documenting the racist abuse he suffered at the club


Jahid Ahmed has questioned whether cricket cares about his experiences of racial abuse while at Essex.

Speaking to The Cricketer in November 2021, the 36-year-old documented his experiences which included being asked if he was "going to bomb" the club.

He added that the Chelmsford club was "a white man's world where brown people were outsiders".

Former players Zoheb Sharif and Maurice Chambers have also spoken of their treatment at Essex, triggering an investigation.

Flanked by Azeem Rafiq, Jahid told the DCMS committee's racism in cricket evidence session: "I don't think much has changed, to be honest. I've been frustrated for over a year now since I've spoken out. I've received no support from anyone really.


Jahid played for Essex across all three formats (Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

"From ECB to PCA, to Essex, even. I'm a victim and I don't feel like I get any support from anyone. Whether they care, I don't know but it doesn't feel like I've had much support from it."

Last month, Essex claimed they had offered meeting dates in June with Jahid. When representative Amjad Khan emailed back, they went into the club's junk folder and were not seen until later. They are understood to remain keen to engage. 

The only punishment handed to Essex since a racism storm engulfed the club was a £50,000 fine issued by The Cricket Discipline Commission in relation to a racist comment made by former chair John Faragher at a board meeting in 2017.

The Katharine Newton KC-led report into the racism allegations was due to be published this year but may now not emerge until 2023.

Jahid, a former seamer who took 26 wickets in 17 matches for Essex between 2005 and 2009, explained that a current player was at the centre of the abuse he suffered.


Jahid was accompanied by Azeem Rafiq, whose own appearance in front of the DCMS committee inspired him to come forward (Richard Sellers/Getty Images)

"I'm assuming they are investigating and speaking to the ex-players who played cricket before in that dressing room," he said.

"I don't know what action will be taken. There is a current player still playing, who has abused me and racially slurred and used a lot of things to bully me throughout my whole career. 

"He's still going, and I don't know what action they will take against that person. He's not just a small person, he's a big fish. I don't know what they will do about that."

On the much-delayed investigation itself, he added: "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 just don't know what Essex are doing to support that, whether they're doing anything to help the investigation, I don't know"

"And then, it just kept going. Now, I've been told it's going to be finished by the end of December and possibly early in the new year. 

"It just keeps dragging on, but again I don't know what the reasons are or why they're taking so long to get the report out there. 

"Speaking with Katharine, I do think she's doing a good job. She's doing a thorough investigation and I do think she's doing a good job. 

"I do feel that she's listened to what I've said and is taking that quite seriously, but I just don't know what Essex are doing to support that, whether they're doing anything to help the investigation, I don't know."


The Katharine Newton KC-led investigation into racism at Essex is due to be published in the coming weeks (Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)

In response to the evidence, an Esses statement read: "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.

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

"Mr Ahmed has been interviewed during the investigation and we thank him for speaking to Ms Newton KC. In the interest of fairness, Ms Newton KC has conducted the most thorough process in which any person named has been offered the chance to explain their position.

"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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