Australia sorry for fans' racist abuse of Indian duo

Australia sorry for fans' racist abuse of Indian duo

January 11, 2021

SYDNEY • Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday apologised to the India team after visiting players alleged they had been racially abused by part of the crowd during the third Test at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Media reports said India captain Ajinkya Rahane spoke to the umpires at the end of the third day’s play on Saturday following complaints by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj that they had heard racist slurs while fielding near the boundary rope.

The Times of India newspaper reported that drunk fans had called Bumrah and Siraj “monkeys, w***** and m*****f*****”.

The unruliness continued yesterday, as six people were ejected while play was halted for nearly 10 minutes just before the tea break.

Siraj ran from the fine leg boundary towards the umpires, pointing at the crowd and although it was not immediately clear what had been said, local police were seen removing six men from their seats.

In a statement, CA condemned all “discriminatory behaviour” and said that it would act against anyone found guilty of vilification.

“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,” head of integrity and security Sean Carroll said. “Once those responsible are identified, CA will take the strongest measures possible under our anti-harassment code, including lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to (the) police.”

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has since launched a probe and according to the governing body’s anti-discrimination policy, it falls on CA to investigate the incident and submit a report within two weeks.

A man was banned from attending cricket matches in New Zealand for two years after being found guilty of abusing England fast bowler Jofra Archer in 2019.

Australian great Shane Warne called the crowd behaviour on Saturday shameful.

“Disgraceful to be honest, absolutely disgraceful,” he said while commentating on the match. “Let’s hope they come down heavy and find the culprits.”

Only 10,000 fans – less than a quarter capacity – are allowed each day due to Covid-19 concerns, making their chants more clearly heard. India are 98 for two and need another 309 runs to win, with the four-match series locked at 1-1.


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