A Bob Willis Trophy win at Lord’s on the weekend has turned unexpectedly sour for a local English County cricket club. The Bob Willis Trophy is a once-off tournament this year played as a replacement for the annual Country Championship.
A photo showing Essex Country Cricket Club players celebrating their victory on the famous victor’s balcony at Lords has led to accusations of “cultural insensitivity”. What appears to represent a worrying detail to the cricket community is the image of batsman Feroze Khusi leaning in a direction opposite to that of his beer-showering, wildly cheering teammates.
Since most members of the Islam faith do not partake in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, the image wasted no time sparking a heated conversation about English cricket’s attitude toward the inclusion of multiple cultures and belief systems.
Essex has in the meantime released a statement acknowledging the fact that the victory celebrations did not live up to the inclusive values subscribed to the organisation. Notable however was the fact that the club did not apologise for the incident in as many words.
The club’s statement continued by announcing that Essex has been working exceptionally hard at bringing cricket to anyone and everyone – as well as to educate people about diversity, and to raise a public awareness regarding the ongoing work that needs to be done in sport as well as in society at large. Education, said the club, is considered by it to be the key to make people more aware of cultural differences.
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