Former England international Monte Lynch has become the latest player to reveal that he experienced racial abuse during his time in county cricket.
Lynch, who was born in Guyana but moved to London as a 13-year-old, enjoyed a long county career with Surrey and then Gloucestershire. He also played three ODIs for England in 1988 and, since his retirement as a player, has enjoyed a secondary career as a coach.
Now, in an interview with The Cricketer magazine, he has claimed he was abused by both fellow players and spectators during his playing career and that he intends to release a tell-all autobiography in 2021.
“Racist notes were slipped under my hotel [room] door,” Lynch said. “My coffin was filled with orange juice and milk. There were lots of issues.
“At Headingley, when I played the ODI, three Yorkshiremen walked past and said: ‘We are going to give you black ***** a good ******* hiding tomorrow.’ We were often called ‘chocs’ and referred to as ‘you lot’.”
Lynch’s comments are the latest in a series of such revelations that have rocked English cricket this year. Perhaps inspired by events in America, and the death of George Floyd in particular, a series of former players have come forward with details of their own struggles with racism in cricket.
Among them, Michael Carberry suggested “cricket is rife with racism”, and Azeem Rafiq suggested Yorkshire, as a cricket club, was “institutionally racist”.
Meanwhile, Michael Holding and Ebony Rainford-Brent provided compelling experiences of their own on the issue for both ESPNcricinfo and on Sky.
“Sky asked me on with Ebony Rainford-Brent and Michael Holding,” Lynch added. “But I did not want to air my views nor reveal what happened to me on TV.
“People keep asking why I haven’t said anything but it will be in a book I plan to bring out next summer. It will cause a stir. It will say it all.
“Years later former players hugged me and said that they wished they had done something to help me.”
The Cricketer has been told off the record which fellow cricketers were involved and what was alleged to have been said and done to Lynch, and the stories are shocking.
He is the latest cricketer to bring such grisly memories to the surface.
Yorkshire have begun an investigation into allegations of ‘institutional racism’ and a review of the club’s culture after Azeem Rafiq said his experiences at Headingley left him close to taking his own life. The ECB is in the process of setting up a Diversity and Inclusion taskforce.
Glamorgan have also been accused of institutional racism by a former player, Mohsin Arif.
And Essex captain Tom Westley apologised after Feroze Khushi, a Muslim, had beer poured over him during their Bob Willis Trophy celebrations at Lord’s.