Anger as Mus­lim player is sprayed with beer dur­ing Es­sex cel­e­bra­tion

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Nick Hoult

Es­sex have been ac­cused of in­sen­si­tiv­ity for fail­ing to apol­o­gise af­ter one of their play­ers was pho­tographed pour­ing a beer over the head of a Mus­lim team-mate on the Lord’s bal­cony as they cel­e­brated win­ning the Bob Wil­lis Tro­phy.

Will But­tle­man was caught on cam­era pour­ing beer over the head of Feroze Khushi, who looked as if he was try­ing to move out of the way as al­co­hol was sprayed by his team­mates. The club is­sued a state­ment yesterday vow­ing to give their play­ers more education around cul­tural dif­fer­ences, but fell short of apol­o­gis­ing – which has caused anger among the Mus­lim cricket com­mu­nity in east Lon­don that Es­sex have worked so hard to build links with.

“There is still no apol­ogy which is why I am not sat­is­fied,” Sa­jid Khan, the co-founder of the Na­tional Cricket League in Es­sex and East Lon­don, told The Daily Tele­graph.

“Es­sex have ad­mit­ted a mis­take has been made, but there has not been an apol­ogy. There is a player cor­nered on the bal­cony with nowhere to go, and a player has seen him try to dodge things and has poured a beer on him. When you look at the Eng­land cel­e­bra­tion when they won the World Cup, they had a plan of ac­tion with Moeen and Rashid. As soon as they were ready to pop the cham­pagne, they let Moeen and Adil know, and they leave.

“If the Eng­land team can get this right, set­ting a great ex­am­ple, why is that coun­ties can­not do this cor­rectly? This is a mes­sage for all sports to look at cul­tural aware­ness and player as­so­ci­a­tions to ed­u­cate the play­ers about this.”

Khushi, born in Ley­ton­stone, made his Es­sex de­but in the Bob Wil­lis Tro­phy this sea­son and is one of sev­eral young play­ers from Asian back­grounds mak­ing their way through the club ranks.

“Es­sex pride them­selves on their work within multi-di­verse com­mu­ni­ties,” said the club in a state­ment. “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 will con­tinue to bring cricket to ev­ery­body, and ed­u­cate on di­ver­sity, but fur­ther work needs to be done across both sport and so­ci­ety, to widen peo­ple’s knowl­edge and make them more aware of cul­tural dif­fer­ences.”

Spray: Feroze Khushi (left) tries to avoid al­co­hol dur­ing Es­sex’s vic­tory cel­e­bra­tions

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