Updated: November 28, 2021 2:04:15 pm
Former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan has said that he, for years, has faced insults because of his skin tone.
Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, who has played 9 Tests and 16 ODIs for India, wrote on Twitter: “I have been criticised and colour discriminated all my life, so it doesn’t bother me anymore. This unfortunately happens in our own country.”
I have been criticised and colour discriminated all my life, so it doesn’t bother me anymore. This unfortunately happens in our own country
— Laxman Sivaramakrishnan (@LaxmanSivarama1) November 26, 2021
He was reacting to a Twitter post that hinted at the online trolling faced by commentators. “For all the criticism they get about their comm (comments) people like @Laxmansivarama1 sound so good when they r talking about spinners. The little nuances, finer aspects and technicalities of spin they talk r excellent points for any young spinner or coaches to listen.”
In the past, other former Indian cricketers too have spoken about facing colour discrimination. In August 2017, India and Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund had raised this issue on social media.
— Abhinav mukund (@mukundabhinav) August 9, 2017
In a statement posted on his Twitter page, Mukund, who featured in 7 Test matches for India, had said: “I am writing today not to garner sympathy or attention but with the hope to change the mindset of people on an issue I feel strongly about. I have been travelling a lot within and outside our country since I was 15. Ever since I was young, people’s obsession with my skin colour has always been a mystery to me”.
He further wrote: “Anyone who follows cricket would understand the obvious. I have played and trained day in and day out in the sun and not even once have I regretted the fact that I have tanned or lost a couple of shades.
“It is simply because I love what I do and I have been able to achieve certain things only because I have spent hours outdoors. I come from Chennai probably one of the hottest places in the country and I have gladly spent most of my adult life in the cricket ground.”
Three years later, in 2020, former India fast bowler Dodda Ganesh, too had opened up about his experience of racial discrimination.
This story of @mukundabhinav, reminded me of the racial jibes I went through in my playing days. Only an Indian legend was witness to it. It only made me strong & didn’t deter me from playing for Ind & ovr 100 mts for Karnataka @StarSportsKan
ಕಪ್ಪಗಿರೋರು ಮನುಷ್ಯರೇ. ಮೊದಲು ಮಾನವರಾಗಿ. pic.twitter.com/ZV8c8YPmpM
— ದೊಡ್ಡ ಗಣೇಶ್ | Dodda Ganesh (@doddaganesha) June 3, 2020
“This story of @mukundabhinav reminded me of the racial jibes I went through in my playing days. Only an Indian legend was witness to it. It only made me strong & didn’t deter me from playing for India & over 100 matches for Karnataka,” Dodda Ganesh had said on social media.
Dodda Ganesh said he did not understand racism back then and that he wishes no Indian go through ‘such ordeal’ in the future.
“Well TBH, I didn’t even know the seriousness of racism back then in the 90s. And there was no platform to express it as well. Hope no Indian in the future goes through such ordeal,” he said.
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