Racism in sports is much more present than it should be. Whether it’s football or basketball, there’s a racial slur that makes waves in the media or a more serious issue every month. While it’s not as widespread as in football, racism in cricket happens every now and then.
No matter how much we close our eyes to it, there are plenty of less-than-charming examples said in on the pitch. This goes double for Indian players. According to pro players, there’s a slur thrown in around one in 10 games, which is still more than we’re hoping for.
Time to Adopt Zero Tolerance
While it doesn’t happen that often, Indian players have often been abused by sections of crowds. For example, on January 21, Mohammad Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were repeatedly called “brown dogs” by spectators on the stands. This occurred during the third test match between Australia and India. Siraj complained to the umpires who acted quickly. The police ejected six people from the stadium who were later banned from coming to matches.
It’s only one example in a sea of many. It happens on all levels. In a recent suburb game, an Indian batter heard someone say “Let’s get this curry back to the kitchen” during the game. While many will ignore it, it’s certainly not the most pleasant part of the game.
It’s a sad example of something that doesn’t have a place in sports. Just like any other sports team, cricket teams are a close-knit bunch of people from all nationalities. They work together toward one goal and if they could overcome their differences, so should everyone else. Sadly, racism is part of the game when it really shouldn’t be.
The aforementioned example is only the latest one in a series of racist issues in cricket matches. Cricket stars such as Virat Kohli have spoken out against this unacceptable behavior. It remains to be seen what steps will the ICC take to eradicate racism from the popular sport. Many are calling for an iron fist approach against the slurs which are really killing the spirit of the game.
A Long History of Racism
Racism in cricket has a pretty long history. One of the most notable examples were the 1983 West Indies rebel tours in South Africa. In 1982, international cricket bodies banned the South Africa team from cricket due to the apartheid. The West Indies went on a rebel tour that year, in that way supporting the affected players.
A year before, West Indian Colin Croft accepted a place on the rebel tour in violation of the sports ban in the country. Croft was ejected from a train for seating in a whites-only department which sparked the ire of many cricket stars. All players who played in the rebel tour were banned for life including Croft who would later move to the USA.
Racism doesn’t have a place in any sport, yet unfortunately, it still makes its way to the headlines. It’ll take a lot of effort to eradicate it and it all starts with personal examples. Stricter regulations should also be written if we are to defeat racism in cricket once and for all.