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LONDON: English county cricket club Essex have been fined £50,000 ($61,500) and reprimanded following a racist remark made by their former chairman, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Thursday.

The county admitted John Faragher used the highly offensive term during a board meeting in 2017 and accepted they had failed to hold a timely investigation into the matter.

Faragher, who resigned last November, has denied using the phrase.

An independent cricket discipline panel concluded that a points deduction would be inappropriate and instead settled on a financial penalty, of which £15,000 has been suspended.

The incidents at Essex, based in Chelmsford, came to light following the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.

The former spinner told a parliamentary committee in November about the abuse he suffered while playing for Yorkshire, saying he had been driven to thoughts of suicide.

His revelations led to a mass clear out of senior boardroom figures and coaching staff at Yorkshire, as well as leading to the unearthing of racist incidents at several other first-class counties.

The independent panel looking into the Essex case praised John Stephenson, the Essex chief executive and interim chairman, for attempting to tackle the situation on his appointment last year but added he had been hampered by “a lamentable logjam at board level”.

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