Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, former Pakistan seamer, has come put in support of ex Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq’s claims of blatant racism in the English county while also revealing some of his experiences during his stint.
Naved, who represented Pakistan in 9 Tests and 78 white-ball internationals between 2003-2010, played for Yorkshire for two complete seasons in 2008 and 2009, revealed that he himself was at the racist slurs from the county’s fans.
A few days ago, Pakistani-born cricketer, Azeem Rafiq had kicked up a huge storm when he revealed that he was on the brink of ending his life due to blatant racism and the refusal to accept the issue and bring about a change in the culture by the authorities.
The former Pakistani international, during an interaction with ESPNCricinfo, said that he didn’t want to jeopardize his contract by coming out in the open and that is the reason why he continued to put up with the racist attitude of the club.
“I fully support what Azeem said and this has been the case with me as well. I never spoke about it because, as foreigners, we were temporary and somehow I managed to accept the way it is. So I just focussed on playing cricket. I never wanted to jeopardise my contracts,” Naved said.
“They would do some strange things to annoy us and make you feel lesser”- Rana Naved-ul-Hasan reveals his ordeal at Yorkshire
Rana Naved revealed how the Asian players like him were subjected to racial taunts like ‘Paki’ during his time at Yorkshire.
“There was systematic taunting and it’s tough to do much about it. To us as overseas players from Asia, when you are not able to perform, the home crowd which should be supporting us, instead they started hooting and would taunt us with racist slurs like ‘Paki’. If you are performing then you get all the space but, in case I am not taking wickets, the attitude suddenly started to change. They started to give us a tough time, giving me a smaller hotel room, and there used to be a clear case of discrimination,” Rana Naved revealed.
“They would do some strange things to annoy us and make you feel lesser. It wasn’t abusive but their attitude wasn’t friendly towards Asians. At time I used to feel bad, but I decided to ignore it because I knew I was not going to live there permanently. But I know what Azeem went through. He did share his frustration in my playing days. The way he was released by the club wasn’t ideal and says a lot about them, but I had been advising him to stay strong and take it as a challenge,” Rana Naved added.