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Ish Sodhi says racism has no place in sport and change must set in

New Zealands India-born spinner Ish Sodhi says racism has no place in sport and change must set in

Auckland, July 13: The racial abuse issue in sports and the associated Black Lives Matter movement have gained widespread attention in recent times. Several sportspersons have come forward to speak out against the evil as the statements of the likes of Michael Holding, Jasom Holder, Daren Sammy, Jofra Archer and Lungi Ngidi made quite an impact.

New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi too said racism has no place in sports and the change, however slow it might be, should set in.

"Diversity for me is something I've grown up with and it's something I'm lucky to have been exposed to at such a young age," Sodhi told Newstalk ZB's D'Arcy Waldegrave.

"I know I probably haven't done enough as I would like and expect myself to do, in terms of getting in the community and engaging with different ethnicities."

"I don't really see it as a responsibility. It's pretty cool that I'm a player of Indian origin who represents New Zealand. And I'm not the only one, we've had Jeet Raval, Ajaz Patel, we've had Mark Chapman and he's got a Chinese mum, we've got players born in South Africa like Neil Wagner and BJ Watling, so the diversity is there. It's just a matter of engaging more of those people at a grassroots to show them that there is a pathway for people of all origins to make cricket a career."

"There's no space for that, and when someone comes to our country, we want to create the best experience for them. Incidents like that get dealt with pretty quickly," said Sodhi.

"Ignorance is the worst thing. And at the moment social media is so big so the conversation is open. But the danger is people want the change here and now. They expect a 180-degree shift instantly and that's quite dangerous, as it can create some aggression or confrontation that doesn't sit well.

"But if we can look at it like a progressive thing and start that conversation now and educate as much as we can, and look at it as a long-term thing, we'll start to see the benefits from it. It might be 10, 20, 30, 40 years, but as long the work's done now, we'll benefit from it in the future," Sodhi, who born in Punjab, India, added.

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Story first published: Monday, July 13, 2020, 11:47 [IST]
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