Laxman Sivaramankrishnan, a former right arm leg-spinner and latest sportscaster expressed his emotions to The Quint regarding his individual experience of racial discrimination.
Keeping in mind about the modern cricketer Ollie Robinson, from England received a momentous inauguration in international cricket last week. His splendid performances were blackened due to tweets posted by him 10 years ago which marked racism. This misconduct stopped him from playing his second test match and was suspended.
Sivaramankrishnan had joined indian cricket team at the age of 16.He had to faced racial discrimination not only in other countries but also in India. On a certain occasion he was blocked at the entrance of a luxury hotel in Mumbai, until he had to prove his identity to the receptionist.
He had to face racial discrimination in Asia as well as Australia, people often called him as ka**a(Blacky).
These actions had affected the mental health of Sivaramankrishnan as he was too young. He also mentioned that as a flourishing player, it wouldn’t affect but would hold back as a substandard performer.
“As a player or a performer, these things don’t impact you as much when you’re doing well. But when you’re going through poor form, it affects you, especially if you’re young. I was 21 years old when I played my last Test match; it was a combination of factors- ordinary form, lack of confidence, and the effect of being abused by the crowd.”
Being disappointed about the situation, even today he is stopped by security while others are allowed.
Expressing woe he mentions that strict actions should be taken against racism, as every individual has equal rights
“Racism or discrimination affects a player, unless you’re very mature, strong mentally and thick-skinned. Especially for us Asians, it is very important that the respective cricket boards sit down with individuals and educate them on what to expect when they tour certain countries, and how to react and cope with those situations.”
He also mentions that English should not mark dominance. Every performer should be seen on his performance and talent rather than their color and the language of communication.
Having to do with Ollie Robinson, the England and Wales cricket board(ECB) should have researched his past before letting him play. As the ECB would nominate a player looking at their disciplinary manner and not causing any violence.