During a podcast with sports presenter Cyrus Broacha, Farokh Engineer recalled the moments he faced racist comments in UK. He shared his experiences after the recent Ollie Robinson incident.
Engineer recalls racism
England fast-bowler Robinson was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) due to a racist tweet he had posted in 2012 and 2013. Former India cricketer Farokh Engineer applauded ECB saying they did “absolutely the right thing” by punishing Robinson for committing an error of judgement. The former wicketkeeper spoke about a couple of occasions when he was playing Country cricket for Lancashire. “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.”
The 83-year-old opined, “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.”
How IPL changed perspective
The veteran believes that the inception of Indian Premier League changed the tunes of former international players towards Indians. “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,”