The independent voice of cricket


Abhinav Mukund opens up on racism in his cricketing career

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

India Test batsman Abhinav Mukund has opened up on experiencing and addressing racism on the Red Inker podcast.

Mukund, who last played Test cricket in 2017, opened up on “people’s obsession with my skin colour” in a Twitter post that same year, writing: “I have been subject to a lot of name calling and I have laughed and shrugged it off because I had bigger goals…Today I am speaking up, not just for me, but for many from our country who experience ridicule based on the colour of one’s skin.”


On the Red Inker podcast with Jarrod Kimber, Mukund said: “The minute I wrote my article about racism, there were friends of mine who were scared to call me by those names. There were friends of mine who used to call me all of these funny things. Really close friends, and the way they call you doesn’t matter… I’m OK with that.

“I’ve been called all sorts of names, and as a young cricketer there is a very, very big impact on your mental health. Because of that you certainly feel like you’re not good enough.

“I just wanted no-one else to go through the same thing that I did, so I just wrote down what I felt.”

Virat Kohli and a number of fellow India internationals praised Mukund on social media after his Twitter post in 2017. Mukund made mention of this on the 81 All Out Podcast last year, praising Kohli for making the decision to stop endorsing fairness products.

“After that post was out, he came out publicly and supported me on Twitter… he showed it in his actions,” Mukund said in 2020. “Since then he has not endorsed a single brand which made fairness cream. And that to me is change, but not too much is written about it because people just want to write – ‘He’s Virat Kohli, the extreme athlete that he’s become, we want to talk about his vegan diet, about how he’s not endorsing carbonated water or unhealthy foods’.

“Only when the issue of racism crops up do people realise: ‘If he wanted, he could be making millions endorsing all these brands’. But he made a conscious decision to not endorse these brands and that’s something a lot of people don’t know.”

*This story was updated after both Jarrod Kimber and Abhinav Mukund issued clarifications on social media regarding comments made about Virat Kohli on the podcast:


Subscribe to the Wisden Cricket YouTube channel for post-match awards, player interviews, analysis and much more.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99