Anger as Muslim player is sprayed with beer during Essex celebration
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