Sydney/New Delhi, January 10
Indian cricketers, especially pacer Mohammed Siraj, allegedly endured racist slurs from the crowd for a second successive day in the third Test against Australia in Sydney, causing a brief halt in the fourth day’s play, expulsion of some spectators from the ground and an all-round condemnation of the incidents.
Siraj, still grieving the death of his father a little over a month ago, was called a “Brown Dog” and “Big Monkey” from the SCG stands, BCCI sources told PTI.
Siraj promptly went up to his skipper Ajinkya Rahane and the on-field umpires, who halted play for about 10 minutes and called in the security, which evicted six people.
Siraj walked from his fielding position near the boundary with arms raised, and the Indian team formed a huddle — remarkably, Australia captain Tim Paine, who was batting at the time, joined the Indians. Yesterday, Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were abused by a drunk man. BCCI has already complained about it to match referee David Boon.
“As series hosts, we unreservedly apologise to our friends in the Indian cricket team and assure them we will prosecute the matter to its fullest extent,” said Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia’s Head of Integrity and Security.
Ravichandran Ashwin articulated the Indian players’ deep sense of hurt. “This is my fourth tour to Australia and Sydney, especially here, we’ve had a few experiences in the past,” Ashwin said. “I think one or two times the (India) players have reacted and got into trouble, and that’s not because of the player it’s been because of the way the crowd has been speaking, especially the people on the lower tier of the stands. They have been quite nasty, they have been hurling abuse as well.”
“But this time they’ve actually gone up step higher and used racial abuse, and there was an official complaint that we lodged yesterday and the umpires also mentioned that we must bring it to their notice as it happens on the field,” he said. — TNS