I encountered racist remarks as commentator in England: Farokh Engineer | Cricket News

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MUMBAI: Former Yorkshire participant Azeem Rafiq‘s sensational testimony to the parliamentary Digital, Tradition, Media and Sport (DCMS) panel on Tuesday on the rampant racism he encountered within the county group has left English cricket shaken.
It has additionally opened previous wounds of former cricketers of south Asian descent who’ve performed and later labored in England. On Wednesday, ex-India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer, who performed for a very long time for Lancashire within the 70s and went on to reside in England for the remainder of his life, revealed to TOI that years in the past, he encountered “racial discrimination” whereas beginning out as a commentator in England.


Engineer’s plight additional underlines how deeply racism is entrenched in English cricket. It’s good that the difficulty is being mentioned threadbare and authorities are taking notice. However to make an actual change, they need to additionally begin imposing punitive measures for such behaviour.

“I confronted a little bit of discrimination once I began out as a commentator in England. There have been a few people who made the odd remark which did not sound correct. There have been events once I overheard one or two feedback, snide remarks from them about me which had been distasteful. It was obvious that they did not need me due to my color, my Indian heritage. They did not count on me to overhear it. After I confronted them about it, they shut up immediately,” Engineer, who performed 46 Assessments for India and was one of many heroes of the Indian group which gained its maiden collection in England in 1971, instructed TOI from Manchester on Wednesday.
Engineer, although, managed to search out his place within the BBC’s Take a look at Match Particular group, and commentated in the course of the 1983 World Cup in England, which India went on to win. “My fellow commentators like Brian Johnston, who was the chief commentator in TMS these days, and Christopher Martin-Jenkins had been completely nice. They completely cherished my commentary. Had it not been for them, I would not have been there within the TMS group. I used to be the one South Asian in it,” recalled the 83-year-old.
Engineer burdened that he by no means “by no means confronted racism at Lancashire,” “although he did hear the odd remark whereas taking part in county cricket.” “You probably did discover the odd individual making derogatory feedback in county cricket, however these had been all very odd situations. Cricketers from South Africa and Zimbabwe would make enjoyable of our (Indian) accent. I can recall a former England captain doing that. I might pull such individuals up on their faces. They did not have the center to say something after that,” reminisced Engineer, who scored 2611 Take a look at runs @31.08, together with two Take a look at a whole lot.
Though Lancashire is Yorkshire’s neighbouring county, issues, on the subject of racism, had been significantly better off in his county, Engineer mentioned. “Thank God I performed for the ‘Pink Rose’ (Lancashire), AND NOT the ‘White Rose’ (Yorkshire). Through the years, there have been all kinds of rumours occurring about Yorkshire. I’ve heard many issues, however not skilled something personally,” he mentioned.
The racists at Yorkshire, he felt, focused the ‘little-known’ gamers like Rafiq, slightly than the massive weapons. “When Sachin (Tendulkar) performed for Yorkshire (in 1992), he was obtained very nicely, I do not suppose he obtained any racial slurs, however solely Sachin may reply that. They might solely decide on little-known gamers, I assume,” he noticed.
“In Lancashire, each I and Clive Lloyd (former West Indies captain) are life vice-presidents of the membership. We have each been elected as legends of the membership. Each I and Clive had been senior members of the group and had been extremely revered within the dressing room. We had been the 2 abroad stars of Lancashire, who carried the group,” recalled Engineer.
His former Lancashire captain, David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, and ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan too have been below fireplace from Rafiq. “Bumble‘ has apologized to Rafiq. As our teammate at Lancashire, he by no means made any derogatory remarks about me or Clive. He was at all times stuffed with reward for us. I can not touch upon Vaughan. I’ve completed a number of ‘shows’ with Vaughan. We have at all times had mutual respect for one another,” mentioned Engineer.
Speaking about Rafiq’s sturdy allegations of dealing with racial discrimination, Engineer mentioned: “He spoke very nicely, he was fairly assured about his views. I did not suppose he was bluffing. I am glad that any person has come out with this. The actual fact that the Yorkshire county did not make that report (on his allegations) public, reveals that they had been responsible.
“I am comfortable that Yorkshire and the ECB, who ought to have stepped in and completed one thing, have held their hand up and confessed they didn’t do sufficient to curb this menace.”

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