A FORMER Indian cricketer has revealed that he faced ‘casual racism’ when he was a Lancashire player in England.
Former wicketkeeper batsman Farokh Engineer has said that Indians were ‘bloody Indians’ to them during the time.
“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 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.”
Engineer went to play for England’s County club Lancashire in the early 1960s. Though encountered racism he later became a popular figure at the Old Trafford.
While speaking in a recent podcast with comedian Cyrus Broacha, Engineer said that how Indian players would often face racism in international cricket as well.
He also mentioned about how former England captain Geoffrey Boycott used terms such as ‘bloody Indians’.
According to Engineer, the Indian Premier League (IPL) caused a shift in the attitude of the Englishmen.
He said: “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.”