Former Prime Minister and Pakistani cricket captain, Imran Khan, has spoken out about the presence of racism in English cricket during his time playing with Sussex and Worcestershire counties in the 1970s and 1980s.
In a recent interview with Times Radio, Imran Khan shared his experiences of witnessing open racism in English and county cricket when he first started playing in 1971.
He revealed that even Pakistani players, particularly in the north of England, were subjected to racist remarks and abuse on the streets by ‘skinheads’. However, he also noted that towards the end of his career, racism was not as apparent as before, as if it went under the covers.
“From the time I started, which was 1971 as a teenager, to the point I was finishing cricket in the mid-80s, I saw a change take place in England. There was a lot of open racism in English cricket and county cricket when I started but by the end of my career somehow if there was racism it went undercover,” he said.
Imran Khan’s comments came after the infamous racism scandal in Yorkshire County, where former player Azeem Rafiq claimed that he faced the racism and bullying during his time with the county.
The allegations led to charges being filed against seven individuals with prior connections to the club by the England and Wales Cricket Board.