Drink … drink… this man’: How English cricketers tried to force liquor down Hashim Amla’s throat
Former West Indies pacer Tino Best has sent the cricketing world into a spin after he revealed that English cricketers tried to force South African batsman Hashim Amla to drink alcohol as a part of the racial abuse.
“There was a guy at Hashim Amla’s table who pressurized him for three to four hours to drink. Every minute, he’s like, ‘drink this, drink that.’ Hashim, in a very humble way, said, ‘Sir (with a big smile) I don’t drink.’ However, this guy kept on forcing him. I then went to that guy and said: ‘Hashim is a Muslim and Muslims don’t drink. Can you please stop forcing him? It’s unbearable brother’,” recalled the 40-year-old in a conversation with Sky Sports.
The new revelations come weeks after Pakistan-born former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq disclosed that he was forced to drink alcohol when he was 15. Rafiq’s cricketer career ended after he was subjected to racial abuse.
For the unversed, Amla is known for his strong belief. He even refused to endorse alcohol brands in his jersey while for South Africa. Best also explained how the entire drinking culture has an impact on the English district circuit.
“The culture around cricket is drinking. That is a big problem. People shouldn’t be pressured to go into the clubhouse and drink eight or nine pints to be a part of the team. If you’re not a part of the drinking culture, if you’re not a part of the boys’ club, you’re not going to get opportunities after cricket. That is something that is hampering people of color and Asian ethnicity,’ Best told BBC Sport.
Best also recalled how several non-white cricketers were mistreated at Yorkshire in 2010 and how they feared repercussions. “Me being a person of color as well, I would always be with them as well. It was just astounding to hear what those guys were saying back in 2010,” he asserted.