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‘People will make all sorts of comments against us, has to be nipped in the bud’: Farokh Engineer
Former India and Lancashire wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer says he shook his head in disbelief while reading the morning newspaper. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s disapproval, conveyed via his spokesperson, of seamer Ollie Robinson’s suspension by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for racist and sexist tweets got Engineer’s goat.
"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 judgment, he should pay for it. It will be a deterrent," an Engineer tells The Indian Express from Manchester. Engineer has not taken kindly to politicians pushing for Robinson to be let off lightly. A senior vice-president of Lancashire, the county he played for from 1968 to 1976, Engineer is talking from a position of authority and experience. He faced casual racism when he first moved to England in 1966-67 and started playing professionally shortly after. “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, who played 46 Tests for India, says.