Former India opener Aakash Chopra has also joined the bandwagon of cricketers who are raising their voice against racism in the game. Unlike other sports, racism is not very prevalent in cricket but at the same time, one cannot deny that it does not exist in gentlemen’s game at all.
In the recent past, the likes of Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy have raised their voice against racism in the wake of the protests in USA after the death of an African-American man named George Floyd. And now Aakash Chopra has also revealed an incident where he was the victim of a racial slur.
The former cricketer-turned-commentator has said he was called a ‘Paki’ during his stint in English league. Aakash Chopra, who played 10 Tests for India after making his debut in 2003, said he was subjected to the racist slur by 2 South African cricketers from an opposition side in the English league.
“Cricketers at one point or the other, have been victims of racism. I remember when I used to play league cricket in England, there were two South African in one of the opposition teams and both of them really went on an abusive spree.
“Even when I was at the non-striker’s end, they were after my life. They were constantly calling me ‘Paki’,” Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“Many believe ‘Paki’ is a short form of Pakistan but that is not true. If you are brown-skinned. If you’re anywhere from the Asian subcontinent, this term is used to racially abuse. You’re called Paki, and nobody likes it.
“The moment you call anybody Paki in England, you know the intention behind it. That’s what happened to me at that time. My team stood by me but the truth is the person in front of me was doing it,” he added.
Earlier, Sammy alleged that some of his former Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates had addressed his ‘kalu’ during his stint with the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise in 2013 and 2014. Former India fast bowler Dodda Ganesh said he too went through racial jibes during his playing days and one Indian cricket legend was witness to it.
“This story of @mukundabhinav reminded me of the racial jibes I went through in my playing days. Only an Indian legend was witness to it. It only made me strong & didn’t deter me from playing for Ind & ovr 100 mts for Karnataka,” Dodda Ganesh said on social media.