Just a few days after English U-19 captain Azeem Rafiq alleged that he faced racist abuses during his time at the Yorkshire club, former Pakistan pacer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has echoed similar sentiments and said that he fully supports Azeem’s remarks.
Speaking in an interview to ESPNCricinfo, Rana Naved said that he remained silent about the racist abuse from Yorkshire fans and the discrimination he faced at the club because he did not want to jeopardise his contract.
“I fully support what Azeem said and this has been the case with me as well. I never spoke about it because, as foreigners, we were temporary and somehow I managed to accept the way it is. So I just focussed on playing cricket. I never wanted to jeopardise my contracts,” the 42-year-old said.
“There was systematic taunting and it’s tough to do much about it. To us as overseas players from Asia, when you are not able to perform, the home crowd which should be supporting us, instead they started hooting and would taunt us with racist slurs like ‘Paki’.
“If you are performing then you get all the space but, in case I am not taking wickets, the attitude suddenly started to change. They started to give us a tough time, giving me a smaller hotel room and there used to be a clear case of discrimination.
“They would do some strange things to annoy us and make you feel lesser. It wasn’t abusive but their attitude wasn’t friendly towards Asians.
“At time I used to feel bad, but I decided to ignore it because I knew I was not going to live there permanently. But I know what Azeem went through. He did share his frustration in my playing days. The way he was released by the club wasn’t ideal and says a lot about them, but I had been advising him to stay strong and take it as a challenge,” Naved added.