Essex captain Tom Westley has apologized for the unfortunate incident in which beer was poured over a Muslim player while the team was celebrating their victory in the Bob Willis championship.
The Sunday incident had triggered a lot of backlash after pictures surfaced on the media. The 21-year-old batsman Feroze Khushi, who had played four matches in the tournament, was seen grimacing when he was being showered with alcohol. In his apology on behalf of his team, Westley said, “We would like to apologize for any offence that was caused during our celebrations at Lord's on Sunday.” He said he believed they have built a very good dressing room culture and that teammates support each other on and off the field.
He added that as a group, they have reflected on the situation and are disappointed about what transpired in those winning moments. He further asserted that the squad will be more aware and responsible in future in these matters. “(We) will continue to learn and develop with the help of the ECB and the PCA,” Westley said. The statement was shared by Essex on their official Twitter handle.
Earlier, Essex had also released a statement on the issue. The 2020 Bob Willis Trophy Champions admitted that “further work needed to be done” regarding their approach and how to deal better where cultural sensitivities are involved. They said that while they take pride in the manner they engage with each other in multi-diverse communities, the team’s conduct on this occasion did not meet the inclusive values the club stands for.
“As an organisation, Essex County Cricket Club prides themselves on their work within multi-diverse communities throughout the county and the surrounding areas," the statement said.
Even though most observers realize that the action was not deliberate and was unintended to harm someone’s religious susceptibilities, an apology was warranted and Westley’s words will go a long way in mending the damage caused. The incident would also serve as a lesson for people involved in sports or other fields.