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

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 staff 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 problem is being mentioned threadbare and authorities are taking word. However to make an actual change, they need to additionally begin imposing punitive measures for such behaviour.

“I confronted a little bit of discrimination after 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 after 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 anticipate me to overhear it. Once 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 staff which received its maiden sequence in England in 1971, informed TOI from Manchester on Wednesday.
Engineer, although, managed to seek out his place within the BBC’s Check Match Particular staff, and commentated through 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 liked my commentary. Had it not been for them, I would not have been there within the TMS staff. 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 cases. 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 folks up on their faces. They did not have the center to say something after that,” reminisced Engineer, who scored 2611 Check runs @31.08, together with two Check tons of.
Despite the fact that Lancashire is Yorkshire’s neighbouring county, issues, on the subject of racism, had been significantly better off in his county, Engineer stated. “Thank God I performed for the ‘Crimson Rose’ (Lancashire), AND NOT the ‘White Rose’ (Yorkshire). Over time, there have been all types of rumours occurring about Yorkshire. I’ve heard many issues, however not skilled something personally,” he stated.
The racists at Yorkshire, he felt, focused the ‘little-known’ gamers like Rafiq, relatively 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 staff and had been extremely revered within the dressing room. We had been the 2 abroad stars of Lancashire, who carried the staff,” recalled Engineer.
His former Lancashire captain, David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, and ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan too have been beneath hearth 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 finished a number of ‘displays’ with Vaughan. We have at all times had mutual respect for one another,” stated Engineer.
Speaking about Rafiq’s robust allegations of dealing with racial discrimination, Engineer stated: “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, exhibits that they had been responsible.
“I am completely happy that Yorkshire and the ECB, who ought to have stepped in and finished one thing, have held their hand up and confessed they didn’t do sufficient to curb this menace.”

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