File image of Irfan Pathan (TOI Photo)
NEW DELHI: Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has said that sometimes players hailing from South India face taunts when they come to northern or western states to play domestic cricket.
Pathan’s remarks come in the wake of a debate around racism in the sport that kick-started after West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy alleged racism during the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL).
Pathan said that during some first-class matches, there can be some people in the crowd who attempt to create a nuisance just to look funny.
“I have seen that in domestic cricket, some of our brothers who come from South India, when they come to play domestic matches in north or west India, they do sometimes get taunts, generally in first-class matches. You see a smaller crowd and when there is a smaller crowd, there is always one guy who is trying to be a joker, who is trying to be famous. He will just want to direct jibes at players and as a result, he crosses the line,” Pathan said.
“I believe in the society we need to educate everyone. Elders and family should teach what is right to say and what’s not. We need to value faith and beliefs of others, we can do better by educating kids,” he added.
On Saturday, former West Indies captain Sammy lost his cool as he learnt the meaning of the word ‘Kalu,’ a jibe which was directed at him during his IPL stint with SunRisers Hyderabad.
The former Windies T20 World Cup-winning skipper said that he, along with Sri Lanka player Thisara Perera, were subjected to ‘Kalu’ chants when they played for SunRisers Hyderabad.
“I just learnt what that word ‘kalu’ meant when I played for Sunrisers in the IPL. They called me and Perera by that name. I thought it meant strong stallion. My previous post tells me something different, and I am angry,” Sammy had written in his Instagram story.
However, talking about Sammy’s revelation, Pathan said that he was not aware that anything like this happened during the 2014 edition.
“If there was something like that, it would have come under our notice. There was no team discussion as such during 2014 IPL, we are not aware of that,” Pathan said.
Both Pathan and Sammy were a part of SunRisers Hyderabad during the 2014 IPL.
Sammy has been a vocal supporter of the protests that are currently going on in the United States over the death of African-American man George Floyd.
Sammy had also made an appeal to the ICC and other cricket boards to support the fight against social injustice and racism.
Opening batsman Chris Gayle had also condoled the demise of Floyd and had said that he too has been a victim of racism.