Australian legend Shane Warne was slammed on social media after he started discussing Cheteshwar Pujara‘s alleged nickname at Yorkshire Country Club, where the 32-year-old was playing county cricket. Warne paid no heed to the fact that he was ON-AIR and conceded that English players found it difficult to pronounce his name-Cheteshwar.
Racism in English county Yorkshire has been a raging issue since their former captain, a Pakistan-born 29-year-old made some stunning revelations. An ESPN Cricinfo report has stated that every person of ‘colour’ was called by a nickname ‘Steve’. That included India batter Cheteshwar Pujara.
Even when India toured Australia in 2018, senior commentator Kerry O’Keeffe had made some remarks about the Indian batsman.Pujara had said earlier that it was a nickname given to him by him teammates at Yorkshire because they could not pronounce his first name.“Well I would prefer Cheteshwar, but it’s difficult to pronounce so the guys have come up with Steve,” Pujara is quoted as saying by ESPN in this cricket.com.au report in 2018.
“But personally, I would prefer Cheteshwar. Jack Brooks started off with this. He couldn’t pronounce my first name so he was asking me what nickname do I have. I said I don’t have any. “So they said, ‘we will start calling you Steve’. Initially, they started calling me ‘Puj’, but they have started calling me Steve again. It’s a good nickname, but I prefer Cheteshwar.”
Referring to Pujara as ‘Steve’ is:a) unprofessionalb) disrespectfulc) racistLearn to say his name
— Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee) December 17, 2020
Goes on to show what is the importance of reading at least about the sport that earns you bread and butter. @7Cricket commentators @ShaneWarne and others are laughing about Pujara’s nickname ‘Steve’ and I am optimistic that they’re naive about the racist context of that name. https://t.co/yyWbFrqpJI— Mayank (@kmayank9) December 17, 2020
Ah there comes the predictable Channel 9 old boys bit about lol lol how it is difficult to pronounce Cheteshwar Pujara’s first name and lol they nicknamed him Steve. It’s not #INDvsAUS without an Aussie commentator being casually racist.— Gaurav Sabnis 🇮🇳🇺🇸 (@gauravsabnis) December 17, 2020
Hey @ShaneWarne, the story behind the “Steve" nickname for Pujara.“They called every person of colour ‘Steve’. Even [India batsman] Cheteshwar Pujara, who joined as an overseas professional, was called Steve because they could not pronounce his name." This is as of Dec 2020.— Prashant Kondi (@PrasKon) December 17, 2020
Oh ye gods, Warne is cluelessly making jokes about Pujara being called “Steve" at Yorkshire, and how that is “easier to pronounce" than “Cheteshwar".Hey Warney, you might want to read up on that whole racism scandal at Yorkshire!#AUSvIND
— Lea, Leopard that doesn’t want to change her spots (@LinuxLea) December 17, 2020