Former Indian wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer has opined his views regarding the recent incidents involving England fast-bowler Ollie Robinson’s racist tweets. Robinson was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for his abusive, racist and sexist tweets in 2012 and 2013. Engineer also spoke about how he was treated during his stint with Lancashire in County cricket and also said that the England players have started ‘licking Indians’ boots’ only because of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“I am reading in the papers about Boris Johnson. I think it is absolute rubbish for a prime minister to lend his name to such a statement. Punish the fellow (Robinson). I think the ECB has done absolutely the right thing by suspending him. He has committed an error of judgement, he should pay for it. It will be a deterrent,” Engineer told The Indian Express.
Robinson made his Test debut at Lord’s cricket ground against New Zealand last week but on his debut day itself, one Twitter user dug out his old tweets and exposed him in on social media. Soon, the news was reached to the ECB and at the end of the day’s play, Robinson apologized to everyone. Robinson was just 18 at that time so Engineer said that it is an age at which an individual is responsible.
“It is a real shame when you say he was a youngster who was 18 (when he tweeted). It is an age at which an individual is responsible. If they (cricketers) can get away with it, then things would be worse. People will make all sorts of comments against us (Asians). It has to be nipped in the bud. To talk about Asians like that in such a context or make other comments reflects on the upbringing,” Engineer said.
The Indian Premier League has been a source of large income for numerous English players and thus, Engineer believes that owing to the IPL and the money they earn, English cricketers have started licking Indians boots.
“We were all ‘bloody Indians’ to them till a few years ago. Now once the IPL started, they are all licking our backsides. It amazes me that just because of the money, they are licking our boots now. But people like me know what their true colours were initially. Now they suddenly changed their tunes. India is a good country to go for a few months and do some television work, if not play and make money,” he concluded.