Former Essex medium pace bowler Jahid Ahmed has come forward to accuse the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for delaying in resolving the investigation into his allegations of racism and bullying due to his ethnicity and religion. Ahmed has revealed that they have been scared to speak their mind out after Azeem Rafiq faced numerous threats.
Rafiq, a former Yorkshire cricketer, revealed several high-profile names in his DCMS meeting back in 2021 as he accused the likes of Matthew Hoggard, Tim Bresnan, and Gary Ballance of racially abusing him. During an interview in December 2022, Rafiq even revealed walking with fear on the street, having been abused.
Meanwhile, Jahid Ahmed, speaking to inews, stated that people have received hefty money to keep their mouths shut and called for serious attention as racial abuse is rampant. The 37-year-old elaborated:
"I have seen it with my own eyes. Some of them have been paid money to keep quiet, some have been offered jobs to keep their mouth shut. It is a very serious situation and some of the players who are using the racist language and abusing others are household names in the world of cricket. People were scared to speak out especially after the threats to (Yorkshire cricketer) Azeem Rafiq. The complaints process has that degree of anonymity which is a good thing, but I felt that I needed to go straight to the media rather than the ECB due to trust issues."
Jahid Ahmed reckons people lack faith in the system:
Ahmed further opined that people must come forward and speak about these incidents as they will go under the carpet in case of silence, adding:
"I still feel that people are not speaking up because they don’t have faith in the system. There are a lot of cricketers who played with me and against me, while some of them are still playing, who are scared to speak out about their experiences of racism in English cricket. We need to make people aware of what is going on around them and make sure these incidents are not just brushed under the carpet, as they were. We need to make sure we fix these problems and we talk about it, because the problem will not go away if we remain silent."
An ECB Spokesperson outlined regarding the investigation into Jahid Ahmed's claims, stating that they are taking the necessary time to do it and will keep updating him on the progress.