Ramprakash recalls Australian 'racism'
Mark Ramprakash, the former England batsman, says he only ever experienced serious racism on the cricket field when playing Australia. Ramprakash's comments came as the ICC announced that Harbhajan Singh's appeal against his three-Test suspension for an alleged racist comment to Andrew Symonds would be heard after the Australia-India Test series.
Ramprakash, whose father was born in Guyana to Indian parents, said at the British Asian Sports Awards that racism was not a major issue in cricket. "There's certainly no problem with racism in county cricket and overall I wouldn't say the game in the international arena suffers from it really," Ramprakash said, according to PA Sport.
"Of course I've played cricket for a long time now and you expect it now and again from a few supporters who are tanked up after drinking all day. The only time I've suffered any abuse of a serious racial kind in international cricket is against the Australians so I'm not sure what that says about them."
Ramprakash did not elaborate on when the abuse occurred or what was said, but he certainly faced the Australians plenty of times over the course of his career. He played 12 Tests against Australia across five Ashes series from 1993 to 2001 and clearly did not let them get to him - he averaged 42.40 in Tests against Australia compared to an overall career mark of 27.32.
He said he found it hard to believe Harbhajan would have directed a racist remark towards Symonds during the controversial Sydney Test. "I've played with Harbhajan for two seasons at Surrey and having got to know him well it's not the kind of thing I imagine he would say," Ramprakash said. "Some of the younger players in the India side especially said they would not shy away from having a bit of chat back after the series they played in India last year, so perhaps things have got a bit out of hand."