New Delhi: After the suspension of Ollie Robinson for his alleged racist and sexist tweets, the discussion about racism in cricket has intensified. India’s former crickter and wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer also opened up about his experience with England’s casual racism.
In an interview to Indian Express, he said that post the Indian Premier League, things have changed in cricket. The English post the IPL have started liking coming to India. “We were all ‘bloody Indians’ to them till a few years ago. Now once the IPL started, they are all licking our backsides. It amazes me that just because of the money, they are licking our boots now. But people like me know what their true colours were initially. Now they suddenly changed their tunes. India is a good country to go for a few months and do some television work, if not play and make money,” Engineer said in the interview.
Engineer played for the county club Lancashire where he faced some casual racism, especially because of his English accent. “When I first came into county cricket, there were question marks like ‘he is from India?’ I did face it (racist comments) once or twice when I joined Lancashire. Nothing very personal, but just because I was from India. It had to do with making fun of my accent,” Engineer said in the interview.
Engineer was Indian wicket keeper who redefined the rules of Test batting. He scored with a strike rate of 137 which is unimaginam=ble even in the post-Sehwag era. Known for his flamboyance, this is the first time the cricketer has opened about racism that he faced.
“I think my English is better than most Englishmen really, so soon they realised that you don’t mess around with Farokh Engineer. They got the message. I gave it back to them straightaway. Not only that, I proved myself with my bat and gloves as well. I was simply proud I put India on the map as an ambassador for the country.”