L Sivaramakrishnan: 'I have been colour discriminated all my life'

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan demonstrates his bowling action Arun Venugopal / © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

L Sivaramakrishnan, the former India legspinner, has said that he has been "colour discriminated" all his life.

Responding to a tweet on cricket commentators facing online trolling, 55-year-old Sivaramakrishnan wrote: "I have been criticised and colour discriminated all my life, so it doesn't bother me anymore. This unfortunately happens in our own country."

Sivaramakrishnan is not the first Indian cricketer to have spoken out publicly about discrimination. Opening batter Abhinav Mukund, who last played international cricket in 2017, has also spoken out on the issue in the past.

"I have been travelling a lot within and outside our country since I was 15. Ever since I was young, people's obsession with my skin colour has always been a mystery to me," Mukund had tweeted in August 2017. "Anyone who follows cricket would understand the obvious. I have played and trained day in and day out in the sun and not even once have I regretted the fact that I have tanned or lost a couple of shades.

"It is simply because I love what I do and I have been able to achieve certain things only because I have spent hours outdoors. I come from Chennai probably one of the hottest places in the country and I have gladly spent most of my adult life in the cricket ground."

Racism in cricket has been a big matter of debate and discussion over the past year or so.

West Indian cricketers Daren Sammy and Chris Gayle were among the first active players to join a growing number of sports personalities around the world in publicly raising their voices against racism in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Since then, big steps have been taken in South African cricket to make anti-racism statements and, even at the recent T20 World Cup in the UAE, players from all the teams took part in making gestures in support of anti-racism movements around the world.

Across in England, the Azeem Rafiq allegations about racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, followed by a testimony before a parliamentary select committee, has forced the cricket establishment in the country to confront accusations of institutional racism.