NEW DELHI, June 10: Former India opener Aakash Chopra has alleged that he was subjected to racist remarks during his stint in England�s league cricket.
The former Indian batsman, who played for the Marylebone Cricket Club back in 2007, said that he was called �Paki�, a racial slur directed at people of South Asian origin, primarily in English-speaking countries.
�We (cricketers) at one point or the other, have been victims of racism. I remember when I used to play league cricket in England, there were two South Africans in one of the opposition teams and both of them really went on an abusive spree,� Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
�Even when I was at the non-striker�s end, they were after my life. They were constantly calling me Paki. Now many believe Paki is a short form of Pakistan but that is not true. If you are brown skinned. If you�re anywhere from Asian subcontinent, this term is used to racially abuse,� he added.
Chopra said his team backed him but that didn�t change the fact that the two players racially abused him.
�You�re called Paki, and nobody likes it. The moment you call anybody Paki in England, you know the intention behind it. That�s what happened with me at that time. My team stood by me but the truth is the person in front of me was doing it,� he recalled.
The 42-year-old, who has featured in 10 Tests for India, spoke about how deep-rooted the problem is all around the globe.
�Even if you�re white-skinned, it happens then as well. When they come to this part of the world, they are also subjected to this kind of behaviour,� Chopra said.
He recalled the infamous incident when Australian Andrew Symonds was subjected to monkey chants while fielding in India.
�In fact, when Andrew Symonds came to India, so many monkey chants started filling up the Wankhede Stadium. That is when people were told that your entry will be banned,� Chopra said.
Chopra�s comments have come after the West Indies duo of former World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy and star batsman Chris Gayle, alleged racial abuse while denouncing the death of African-American George at the hands of a white police officer.
In the wake of Floyd�s death, which triggered violent protests in the US, international cricketers have opened up on their own experience in dealing with racism. � PTI