Farokh Engineer went to play County cricket in England in the early 1960s. (Getty Images)
Farokh Engineer went to play County cricket in England in the early 1960s. (Getty Images)

We were all 'bloody Indians' to them': Farokh Engineer recalls his encounter with racism in England

  • Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer has revealed how he faced casual racism in England during his time as a Lancashire player.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 09, 2021 11:20 AM IST

Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer has revealed how he faced casual racism in England during his time as a Lancashire player. Engineer went to play for England's County club Lancashire in the early 1960s, and although over the years, he would go on to become a popular figure at the Old Trafford, the former wicketkeeper batsman did have a bit of 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.

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"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."

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Engineer, while speaking in a recent podcast with comedian Cyrus Broacha, has revealed how Indian players would often face racism in international cricket as well. Engineer talked about how former England captain Geoffrey Boycott used terms such as 'bloody Indians', and shed light on how the Indian Premier League caused a 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.

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