Saying he would play cricket anywhere in the world except England because of the prevalence of racial discrimination there, former West Indies cricketer Tino Best narrated a story when Wasim Jaffer made Best’s detractors pay after he felt discriminated against.
Speaking with Dr. Yash Kashikar on his Instagram live show Say Yash to Sports, Best recalled an incident when he had been not allowed to feature in the playing XI of Lashings CC at the last moment because “people in the league – European people” had complained to England’s cricket board that Best had turned out for lower league clubs in the same season.
“I came to the ground (to play a T20 match) but I was not allowed to play. Their coach was looking at me in the nastiest way,” Best said.
“Wasim Jaffer scored a 120 in that T20 game. He embarrassed them. Wasim is a quality batsman, I love that man. I told Wasim what happened, and he said ‘Okay’. You know he’s very soft spoken. So he just said ‘Okay’ to me, but then just smoked them. We beat them badly.”
Best, who played 25 Tests and 26 ODIs for West Indies, said he did not face racial discrimination in international cricket but that his time in England showed him a different side of cricket.
“I would have liked to play more league cricket in my career, but not in England. It’s a very racial place. The umpires, the opposition teams target you. Because it’s an opportunity for them to play with somebody they see on TV, they get aggressive.
“I used to come to the ground and bowl quick and guys would have wanted to beat me up for bowling fast. I was in this situation when if I did not have a strong team they would have probably lynched me.
“But, you know I tell everyone Tino La Bertram Best is a different type of black man. I was a free black man. Don’t come to me. If you ever disrespect me. I am going to hurt you,” he added.
“And he literally wet his pants. He literally hung his head like a little child. Bear in mind, I’m putting my career [on the line], and it probably ended up being the final nail in my coffin in that club. I won’t name the club,” Michael Carberry recalled
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Best, one of the most promising fast bowlers for the West Indies in the early 2000s, also lent his support to his countrymen speaking out about the prevalence of racism in cricket like Darren Sammy and Chris Gayle.