Farokh Engineer said during his stint with Lancashire, he tackled racism.© AFP
Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Farokh Engineer opened up on his experience of facing racism in England after the Ollie Robinson incident there. Last week, England fast-bowler Robinson was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pending an investigation into racist and sexist tweets he had posted in 2012 and 2013. Farokh Engineer said ECB has done “absolutely the right thing” by punishing Robinson for committing an error of judgement. Recalling his own experience of facing racism, the former wicketkeeper said he did face racist comments on a couple of occasions when he joined Lancashire because he “was from India” and that they used to “make fun of his 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 was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
Engineer, 83, said that apart from his words, his glove work and batting also did the talking for him.
“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,” he added.
Engineer also highlighted the fact that the emergence of IPL has changed the tunes of former international players.
“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,” he had said during a podcast with sports presenter Cyrus Broacha.
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