Ijaz Khan – From Parks to Pavilions – Cricket Heritage – Short

It was street sport. It was outside. It
was homemade bats. It was any ball we could find. It was you know milk creates, back alleys. I got married on a Monday because I was playing cricket Saturday, Sunday. By then I’d done my Quranic study sort of thing. Passed my Quran. And once you done you ‘Khatum’ as they called it, you were almost free to go
off and do… … you know you can go enjoy your sport or whatever. My dad was, God blessing him,
was a hard-working mill-worker Mum was illiterate. Forms probably
came to the house, nobody really followed it. We ended up being put in schools where
nobody else was going to go because we didn’t get these forms back, didn’t know Erm… So I ended up being bused out to a school from the age of …seven. We went to a school where for every 50 white kids there was one Asian. We were lucky and fortunate that we had a couple of big lads in our sort of year so You know it was the year of the ‘skids’. ‘Skids’? The Skinheads. The Punks. And effectively if they weren’t fighting each other,
then they was …baiting young Asian lads. If we didn’t catch a bus by half-past three
having left school at 25 passed. If we didn’t get on the first bus by half passed. The next one was 20 minutes later and you … and those were quite frightening twenty
minutes. Walked into this changing room and you got guys with bags the size of I’d
never seen. Equipment had never seen I had no Whites. I had to go in and get an
old white shirt or something. God knows what colour the trousers were. And I remember Mum going up to Canon mills and buying some boots for me and they were like secondhand but they were like I don’t know if people. My age will remember Billy’s boots from the comic. I wore them for 10 years believe it or not? That was the first time I really noticed, off the field, this little bit of undercurrent of bloody hell their all Asians. You know… we can’t really have that. And I know of talent, talent Asian lads who would never fit in a non-asian changing room because of their mentality, their mindset. And I suppose it was different
at that time because you had and I played in teams such as this where there
was a big drinking culture. Erm… you know the simple things, like
getting naked in the showers You know, to a non-Asian that’s norm. I came to Saltaire and I just asked the lads just out respect guys, You know… let’s not be walking around with your tickle tackle out type thing.. We played at, erm… a club called
Bradford GymKhana in the Mutual League. We were having teas and we were all just sat there and they put on an Asian tea, which was basically samosas. I remember one guy called Jack… So at half time he used to get the
newspaper and basically it got his newspaper ‘What you having for tea Jack?’ ‘Oh, they’ve got Cornish Pasties on’. Right so he’s sat there is Jack. You know. Cornish pasty. Reads his paper. Takes a bite. Next thing
you see is ….. and he’s off because he’s bitten a samosa, with chillies in it. We played up in the hills in the Heavy Woollen. ‘ManchaKhan Charlie’, you’ve got a
forgiving because it comes from Chaksawar so we make allowances for him. And basically, we go there and it’s getting his tea and I’m not being funny. He’s got
himself a cheese and onion pasty or somemat And he’s whacked custard on it. Keithley. Rugby crowd comes out. Sunday afternoon. Absolutely vitriolic abuse. Racist abuse. You name it we got. We beat them up off the last ball again, or somemat like that. Were all in. They’re all sat there. They’ve all been drinking on a Sunday afternoon in the sun. Red faces. Sat there giving it all, or whatever. So [inaudible]… One of the lads had a pizza shop round
corner. ‘Do me a favour, get me six pizzas’. Pizzas come. We got some for our lads and we had three or four. I said just send them
over there, and say they’re from us. Went over. Took these pizzas. They were like. Alright. Lunging in. Next thing they come over. They chat, ‘Ah, you’re alright, you lads. Ey. Good game of cricket’ and all this lot. Four pizzas, for a Tenner. Brought down the taboos that them lads had held for years and years and years. There’s a combination of things, that I think restricted or prevented folk from my generation playing at a more higher
level but it’s certain one down to the lack of talent.

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