Southampton, July 9 (IANS) Former English cricketers Saj Mahmood and Owais Shah responded with candour to fans after the first day of the first Test between England and West Indies at Southampton. Speedster Saj Mahmood was extremely moved by listening to former West Indies pacer and respected commentator Michael Holding speaking on racism. Whereas, Owais Shah confessed that playing without fans in a stadium is spooky as the sound echoes in an empty stadium.
Speaking to fans during a freewheeling chat session “Q20” on GloFans, former English fast bowler Sajid Mahmood said, “As cricketers, fans, coaches, commentators, we have to eliminate racism and there’s no way anywhere in the world for racism. If we all can work together and kick it out from sports and the world, we can reduce it.
“Michael Holding was in tears on TV which is a very sad thing to see, racism in the world is absolutely not done.”
While sharing ENG v WI post match reviews on GloFans, Mahmood further added, “All the players are wearing the logo, there’s a big campaign going on. All the players are supporting it and I think sports are a fantastic way to get different races together, different countries together.
“In each team, you will have different colours, different races, different religions, different communities, and it is an absolutely fantastic place to bring all together and reduce the level of racism. It’s a very very sad thing and it still exists today which is appalling.”
Shah confessed that playing without fans is actually spooky in empty stadiums. While answering to a fan question during the chat session ‘Q20′ on GloFans, Shah said, “There will be no crowd so the biggest thing, it really stands out when the ball hits the bat, it makes a huge loud echoing sound in an empty stadium, ofcourse, and that’s gonna be very different. For me, it’s gonna be very weird because when a player gets his wicket and when he looks at the crowd for some applause and acknowledgement, or a batsman is getting 50 or a 100, they raise their bat to the crowd to say thank you very much for applauding.”
However, Shah is happier about seeing cricket back to the TV screens. He said, “The most important thing is that sport is back on television, we can view sport, we can spend the whole day watching the game of cricket, and it is really good for the generations who are trying to promote cricket, and for the kids of today to watch their heroes back on television. It’s really great to be back on TV.”