‘We were all ‘bloody Indians’ to them’: Farokh recalls his experience with racism in England
Racism is prevalent all over the world and there are countless people who were affected by racist comments. Not just the citizens even the celebrities, cricketers and other personalities are still suffering the wrath of netizens uttering racist comments on them.
Recently, England’s Ollie Robinson who made his Test debut at Lord’s made the headlines after his 9-year-old tweets went viral on the internet. Almost a decade ago, Robinson posted racist and sexist tweets on his Twitter handle. When he made his Test debut, those old tweets came back to haunt him now.
Although he issued an apology, England and Wales Cricket Board didn’t spare the cricketer as the board slapped with a suspension from all forms of international cricket.
Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Farokh Engineer disclosed his encounter with racism in England during his stint as a Lancashire player. The former Indian wicketkeeper played for England’s County club Lancashire from 1968 to 1976.
During his stint as a wicketkeeper-batsman, he shared how Indian players were racially abused in England. “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 told The Indian Express.
“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 straight away. 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.”
Once the IPL started, they are all licking our backsides: Farokh Engineer
Speaking on a recent podcast with comedian Cyrus Broacha, Engineer added about how former England captain Geoffrey Boycott used cuss words such as ‘bloody Indians’. The former wicketkeeper revealed how the lucrative Indian Premier League caused a sudden shift in the attitude of the Englishmen.
“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 had said on the podcast.