Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan said he has witnessed players in Indian domestic cricket being racially abused.
Pathan’s comments come the day after former West Indies captain Darren Sammy asked fellow cricketers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to clear the air after learning they may have been mocking him due to the colour of his skin.
"We need to educate our people because I’ve seen them (racial jibes) in domestic cricket. Some of our cricketers from the south, especially, have faced that in the northern and western parts of the country,” Pathan said on Wednesday.
"What happens is among the crowd, someone tries to act like a jester. It’s not because people are racist, but it’s like someone trying to be popular by saying something seemingly funny that amounts to crossing the line on certain occasions.”
Sammy said in a video on Instagram he was frequently called “kalu” by his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates while playing in the IPL in 2013 and 2014. Kalu means black in Hindi, but Sammy said on Monday he thought the word meant “strong stallion” and that it was “uplifting,” and he would gladly tell people that’s his name.
Pathan said he wasn’t aware of any such racial jibes at Sammy.
"I was there with him (Sammy) in 2014. I feel had this really happened, the matter would definitely have been discussed, so I’m not aware of such things as nothing was discussed in a larger way,” Pathan told ThePrint.
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