Essex have announced the resignation of John Faragher as chair with immediate effect, following an allegation of racist language used at a board meeting in 2017. Faragher denies the claim made against him but stepped down following a meeting of the Essex board on Thursday evening.

In a club statement released on Friday, new chief executive, John Stephenson, said Essex had a "zero-tolerance policy towards racism" and pledged to work with the ECB on tackling discrimination. The club said they would be looking into why the allegation was not "fully and independently" investigated at the time.

Faragher's departure comes in the wake of the ongoing racism crisis at Yorkshire, with the club facing parliamentary scrutiny over its handling of the investigation into allegations made by former allrounder Azeem Rafiq. Roger Hutton, the former Yorkshire chair, and chief executive, Mark Arthur, have both left their positions in recent days.

"There is no place for discrimination of any kind at Essex County Cricket Club," Stephenson said. "This is a proud club with a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and any form of discrimination and, as Essex Cricket's new chief executive officer, I will not hesitate to uphold those principles and drive out any form of discrimination that is uncovered.

"I was made aware of this single allegation on Thursday having joined the club four weeks ago. The board met last night [Thursday] during which John Faragher's resignation was unanimously accepted by the board.

"We are committed to working with the England & Wales Cricket Board to eradicate discrimination from the game. This is an important first step, but the club must now act further. Our internal reporting mechanisms will be reviewed to ensure that matters such as this are dealt with appropriately and immediately.

"I intend for those next actions to be communicated as soon as possible."

Faragher had been Essex's chair since 2016. His resignation is the latest boardroom upheaval at Chelmsford, with Ronnie Irani stepping down last month following reports he had demanded an inquiry into an alleged dressing-room drinking culture at the club.