Friday, October 30, 2020

‘I don’t hold grudges against Ishant Sharma’

'I don't hold grudges against Ishant Sharma'

Former West Indies captain Daren Sammy has said he has spoken to Ishant Sharma, one of his former team-mates at Sunrisers Hyderabad, and cleared the air with him over Sharma’s use of a derogatory nickname.

Sammy played for Sunrisers during the 2013 and 2014 IPL seasons. In a video in June, Sammy asked his team-mates from that time what they meant when they referred to him as “kalu“, a Hindi word with a racist connotation that he only later came to know about. He called on them to explain if they had meant it in “any way, shape or form” that was degrading, and if so to apologise.

Social-media posts from some of the Sunrisers players of the time have indicated that they did refer to Sammy by that nickname. One of these was an Instagram post from Ishant Sharma in May 2014.

ALSO READ: Sammy to Sunrisers Hyderabad team-mates: You called me ‘kalu’, what did you mean?

Speaking to PTI from Trinidad, where he is set to captain St Lucia Zouks in CPL 2020, Sammy revealed that he has spoken to Ishant about this issue.

“I don’t hold grudges. I have spoken to Ishant Sharma,” Sammy said. “I consider him a brother like I did back in 2014 and ’15 when playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad.”

ALSO READ – Sambit Bal: It’s time we South Asians understood that colourism is racism

Sammy however said he would speak out once again if racist slurs are directed at him in the future. Several other cricketers, including Sammy’s 2016 T20 World Cup-winning team-mate Carlos Brathwaite have taken a strong stance against racism in the wake of the custodial killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white policeman in Minneapolis. Floyd died on May 25 after the police officer held him down with his knee on his neck for over eight minutes while he was handcuffed. The incident has sparked widespread global outrage and support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“But again if I find out that a possible racial slur is being used to describe me, no matter what time I find out, I will ask questions about it and that’s what I did,” Sammy said. “I have spoken and voiced my opinion and I am moving on. All these issues started a conversation in the cricket fraternity. I have no regrets talking about that.

“George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel’s back. People had to raise their voice against the systemic injustice, police brutality against people of colour.”

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