Essex Cricket commit to Muslim Athlete Charter


Essex Cricket have proudly become the latest signatory of the Muslim Athlete Charter, a pledge committing professional sporting organisations to make progress in recognising the needs of Muslim athletes.

The charter is a result of the work of Nujum Sports, an organisation with the mission statement of seeing “a world where Muslim athletes flourish and fulfil their potential.”

By joining organisations such as the Premier League and the Rugby Football League in signing the charter, Essex Cricket have committed to supporting the needs of Muslim cricketers across the county.

Pictured: Dan Feist (Essex Cricket Operations Director), Feroze Khushi (Men’s First Team), Ebadur Rahman (Nujum Sports Founder & CEO), Mabs Alam (Essex Cricket Newham Development Officer)

Ebadur Rahman, Founder and CEO of Nujum Sports, said: “The level of dedication and commitment demonstrated by Essex Cricket to support Muslim cricketers and staff at the Club has been very impressive.

The thought and consideration created across all areas of the organisation has been meticulous and it’s truly an honour to present the Club with the Charter after witnessing first-hand the work being carried out.

Essex Cricket Chief Executive, John Stephenson, said: “We are proud to sign the Charter, which is an important commitment to support the needs of our Muslim players.

“We pride ourselves on creating an inclusive and open environment for all, and we recognise the importance of taking tangible steps that show our full commitment to this.

“The value that Muslim athletes can bring, from the beginning of our pathway programmes right through to our senior teams, is not only felt in a sporting context.

“The cultural and social benefits offered by a group that is truly open and diverse are huge, and all members of that group can be better for it.”

Nujum Sports describe signing the charter as “just the beginning,” and the measure is just one in an array of initiatives Essex Cricket are taking to maintain a welcoming environment for all.

The Club have a positive existing relationship with the Chelmsford Muslim Association and proud to have arranged events such as Eid celebrations and Friday prayer during the Ireland v Bangladesh series at The Cloud County Ground.

Alongside this, a new faith and reflection room has also been set up in the Allen Ford Graham Gooch Cricket Centre for spectators to make use of during their visit.

Relationships have been established with mosques in East London, where several of our players hail from, and there has been an effort to create dialogue that encourages discussion of the needs of Muslim players and staff.

The work being done is reflected in an increase of players on Essex Cricket’s pathway from an ethnic minority background, with 55% of boys and 25% of girls on the pathway now identifying as such.

The Club is delighted with the positive impact of the work so far and is driven to go further. This is underpinned by Essex Cricket’s EDI Action Plan to embed equity, diversity, and inclusion into all aspects of cricket, the culture and provision, including physical environment, staff & player development and recruitment as well as community cohesion.

We aim to showcase cricket as an exciting game by creating conditions in which positive stories from the game can be told, and to inspire the next generation by creating high-profile role models from a variety of backgrounds.

We aim to engage our staff through our work in East London, where projects will specifically target cohesion amongst different communities, as well as internally, with staff encouraged to listen to any concerns.

Finally, we aim to enhance our development in the long-term, increasing our provision of facilities that promote and support equality and inclusion, and delivering training to under-represented groups of staff and students.

You can find out more information on equity, diversity and inclusivity at Essex Cricket including our EDI Action Plan – view here.