#23NewsBulletin – Former Pakistan cricketer and qualified cricket coach Atiq uz Zaman has revealed how he and other Asian cricketers were subjected to racism in England and how it was common for people to use derogatory terms like “Paki” or “bloody Asians” for players from Pakistan.
Zaman in an exclusive chat with a news channel revealed the identity of the person he mentioned in one of his tweets last month without naming anyone.
Zaman claimed that a development officer named Paul Bryson at Lancashire targeted him racially.
“It was back in 2006, I was introduced to Bryson by another development officer for some coaching assignment. I got a stint and did a couple of sessions. For the third session, I couldn’t reach as my car was having some problem,” he recalled.
“I texted Paul about the problem but he didn’t reply to my messages or my calls. The same evening, he phoned me and complained about my absence. When I reminded him that I had texted him, we exchanged some heated words before dropping the phone. After a few hours, he texted me again, asking if I was that ‘samosa seller’ he saw at Edgbaston,” Zaman said.
According to Atiq, it was racially offensive to him, as Paul would’ve never referred to any British as a “samosa seller”.
He confirmed that he did not report the case, but instead shared it with another officer, who did not consider it a complaint.
“I was new to the society, I was still finding a job and wanted to settle, that’s why I refrained from taking it further as I believed that it could’ve jeopardized my career there,” the cricketer said.
“Also, it was normal for us to hear words like Paki or bloody Asians. It would hurt us then but we couldn’t do much about it,” he went on to say that racism was not limited to one or two counties, but was deeply rooted in English cricket.
The former Pakistan wicket-keeper confirmed that he was interviewed by officials of the Lancashire county cricket club after his tweet in November and that he informed the club officials about everything.
He informed them that steps must be taken to ensure that Asian coaches and cricketers are not discriminated against.
“If someone is highly qualified and yet not getting any opportunities, then he would surely think that it is because he’s from a different race,” the former Pakistani cricketer said.