Imran Khan, a former Pakistani prime minister and cricket captain, has spoken out about prejudice in English cricket during the 1970s and 1980s, when he played for Sussex and Worcestershire counties.
Imran Khan revealed in a recent interview with Times Radio that he witnessed overt prejudice in English and county cricket when he first began playing in 1971.
He disclosed that even Pakistani athletes, particularly in the north of England, were subjected to racist comments and abuse from “skinheads” on the street. However, he also noted that, as his career came to a close, racism became less evident, as if it were hidden.
“From the time I began playing cricket as a teenager in 1971 until I retired in the mid-1980s, I witnessed a transformation in England.
At the beginning of my career, there was a great deal of overt prejudice in English cricket and county cricket, but by the end of my career, if there was any racism, it was concealed.
Imran Khan’s remarks followed the infamous racism scandal in Yorkshire County, where former player Azeem Rafiq claimed he experienced bigotry and bullying while playing for the county.
The England and Wales Cricket Board lodged charges against seven individuals with prior ties to the club in response to the allegations.