The issue of racism, simmering since the first day of the third Australia-India Test at Sydney Cricket Ground, boiled over on Sunday when Indian pacer Mohammad Siraj, abused constantly by a section of the crowd while fielding on the boundary line, went up and complained to his skipper Ajinkya Rahane and on-field umpires. Play was halted for 10 minutes before tea break, police called in and six people were ejected from the stadium.
The six told Siraj and fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah, “You brown dog, go home. We don’t like you”. The two had been called “monkeys, wanker and motherf*” on Saturday following which Team India had lodged an official complaint with ICC, which is looking into the matter. On Sunday, Cricket Australia (CA) “unreservedly” apologised to the Indian team and launched a parallel probe with NSW police, promising to take the “strongest measures” against anyone found guilty of vilification.
“These crowds have been free to come to the stadium and move around freely in Sydney, mouthing off. The Indian players have been subjected to all kinds of abuse at the same ground. The players are going through hell,” said a member of the Indian contingent.
Cricket Australia (CA) “unreservedly” apologised to the Indian team. “As series hosts… we assure them (Indian players) we will prosecute the matter to its fullest extent,” CA head of security and integrity, Sean Carroll, said.
India captain Virat Kohli, himself the victim of racial abuse on the boundary line in the past in Australia, tweeted: “Racial abuse is absolutely unacceptable. Having gone through many incidents of really pathetic things said on the boundary lines, this is the absolute peak of rowdy behaviour. It is sad to see this happen on the field. The incident needs to be looked at with absolute urgency and seriousness and strict action against offenders should set things straight for once.”
An Indian team official said, “We will move on from this incident — like possibly many such incidents that former Indian teams or other sides from the subcontinent have been subjected to on tours over the years. Whatever this culture change that they (Aussies) harping about, fact it this (sort of abuse) comes naturally to them.
“It just doesn’t end. At airports, while leaving the hotel, inside the stadium, on the streets — somewhere you’re going to get it. It’s nobody’s fault that some nameless, insensitive and vile human is going to let his or her tongue loose. But it’ll happen and there’s no running away from it. That’s a fact,” he added.
With inputs from Times of India
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Kashmir Today staff and is published from a syndicated feed.).