AZEEM Akhtar has chosen not to continue in his role as chair of Essex, the club have announced.

Akhtar was appointed in November 2022 but stepped aside in December amid an independent review into his historical activity on social media, after an article was published in the Jewish Chronicle alleging he had appeared to endorse an antisemitic tweet.

On Monday, Essex said specialist consultants’ due diligence found Akhtar’s social media activity to be “supportive of the Islamic faith and beliefs as opposed to being antisemitic or indicating any other forms of racism”.

“These last few weeks have been very difficult for my family and me,” Akhtar said in a club statement.

“This has taken a toll on us and I am determined to do justice to my other professional and personal commitments.

“I am passionately committed to fighting all kinds of discrimination whether that be antisemitism, Islamophobia, or any other kind of prejudice.

“As concluded, my social media activity is reflective of my religious and political affiliations and the strong humanitarian stance I take on conflicts around the world.

“ECCC (Essex County Cricket Club) must lead the way with utmost sincerity in being a genuinely diverse and inclusive club.

“I wish ECCC the very best for the coming season and will continue to support the team as I have done every season since I was a boy.”

Akhtar’s predecessor John Faragher resigned in November 2021 following a historic allegation of racist language used by him at a board meeting in 2017.