Ebony Rainford-Brent says she sometimes questioned why she remained in cricket after being subjected to racial comments during her career in the sport.
The former England Women international, now director of women's cricket at Surrey and a successful commentator, was speaking alongside Michael Holding as part of Sky Sports' Black Cricketers Matter programme.
Rainford-Brent, the first black woman to play for England and part of the squads that won the 50-over and T20 World Cups in 2009, says she was "drip-fed" derogatory remarks about her ethnicity that caused her to suffer a lack of confidence.
"I grew up in a very multicultural, diverse London with all sorts of colours - a melting pot. [But] I noticed as soon as I walked into the world of cricket that comments started," she said.
"I had comments about where I grew up and how the fact I had a long name meant maybe my mum didn't know who my dad was. About my hair, body parts, especially the derriere, shall we say.
"About the food I ate and that it stank. Did I wash my skin? [People saying] everybody in your area gets stabbed. All these sort of things were drip-fed constantly. It was really difficult for me as a kid.
"I put on this bravado and I think my personality has developed to an extent to be jovial and bat it off. I never had the confidence to turn around and tell people to get lost and deal with it.
"I took it on internally and I think it wore away at my confidence for a lot of my early years.
"I have been in team environments dealing with people constantly referring to 'your lot'. When things would happen, like Barack Obama becoming president of the USA, having a paper thrown down in front of my face and saying, 'your lot must be happy'. The constant drip-drip was tough.
"I am not surprised people [of colour] who come into the environment don't want to deal with that - I questioned myself sometimes why I stayed so long.
"I love the game and think it has so much more to offer but it can be really difficult dealing with that day in, day out."
Rainford-Brent, who played 22 ODIs and seven T20Is between 2001 and 2010, says it was bittersweet to be the first black woman to play for England - proud at her achievement but tough accepting that she was alone as a player of colour.
"Making your debut for your country is an incredible experience. I remember getting my cap from Charlotte Edwards and it was pretty special," she said.
"For it to hit me that I was the first [black woman to play for England], I felt a mixture of emotions. Proud on one hand but also a bit embarrassed and uncomfortable.
"It took me a long time to really feel comfortable owning that because I wanted there to be more, I didn't want to be the only one. It's something I still feel a little bit plagued by now."
Rainford-Brent is one of few people from a BAME background in decision-making positions in cricket and says "structural problems" in sport as a whole must be addressed.
She said: "In our world of sport, people say there aren't any inequalities but you start to look around at people in positions of power.
"Statistics have come out that there are almost zero black people in any boards in our governing bodies. What does that say?
"Then you look at the grassroots level and cricket, rugby, golf, tennis, you name it. There are no opportunities for people coming through. There are structural problems."
Earlier this year, Rainford-Brent founded Surrey's African-Caribbean Engagement Programme (ACE), with the aim to encourage more 11-18-year-old boys and girls from the local African Caribbean community into the club's performance pathway. For more information, click here.