‘We were all ‘bloody Indians’ to them, now they are licking our backsides’ – Farokh Engineer opens up on how he tackled racism in England
Farokh Engineer firmly believes that the IPL has brought a change in the shift of the mindset of English people.
Updated - Jun 9, 2021 11:42 am
Former India wicketkeeper-batter Farokh Engineer has now shared his experience of racism in England while he was playing County cricket for Lancashire in the early ’60s and how he dealt with it. The charismatic former wicketkeeper made quite a name for himself for his fearless and positive brand of cricket for the club.
But, Engineer faced a lot of casual racism while his time in England and he decided to give it back with his own unique style. Racism is currently the hot topic of discussion due to the Ollie Robinson controversy in which the 27-year-old pacer made racist and sexist remarks on his social media handle when he was a teenager in 2012 and 2013.
After Robinson, a lot of other England players’ historic tweets have now resurfaced to which the England Cricket Board (ECB) are out investigating the matter. Engineer now has opened up about his past experiences of racism.
“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.”
Farokh Engineer sheds light on racism
The former Indian cricketer also spoke in detail about racism in a recent podcast with Cyrus Broacha and gave many instances of the Indian cricketers facing racism from the England crowds and players. Former England player Geoffrey Boycott didn’t use any good names to refer to the Indians and instead mocked by calling them ‘bloody 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,” Engineer had said on the podcast.