"We were all bloody Indians to them" - Farokh Engineer remembers racism in England
Former Indian wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer represented the national cricket team in 46 Tests and 5 ODIs. The former Indian cricketer scored 2611 runs in the longest and purest form of the game. He didn't get opportunities to bat although he scored 1 run in the 50-over format.
He was a pretty good wicketkeeper for India where he took 66 catches and affected 16 stumpings in Test cricket. In ODIs, he affected 1 stumping. But in first-class cricket, he took 702 catches and affected 2 run-outs and 120 stumpings.
The former wicketkeeper-batsman had opened up on how he faced casual racism in England during his stint as a Lancashire player. Farokh went to represent England's County club Lancashire in the early 1960s. He went on to make a name for himself at Old Trafford.
During that time, the wicketkeeper-batsman did have a bit of a nasty encounter and decided to give it back. "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 straight away. 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."
Because of the money, they are licking our boots now: Farokh Engineer
While speaking in a recent podcast with comedian Cyrus Broacha, the former Indian cricketer has revealed how Indian cricketers would often face racism in international cricket too. Engineer spoke about how former England skipper Geoffrey Boycott used abusive terms such as 'bloody Indians'.
Farokh also threw light on how the cash-rich Indian Premier League caused a major shift in the attitude of the Englishmen. "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.