New low Down Under


Mohammed Siraj was called a “Brown Dog” and “Big Monkey” in a series of racist slurs hurled by a group of Australian spectators, reports Asian Lite News

India pacer Mohammed Siraj was called a “Brown Dog” and “Big Monkey” in a series of racist slurs hurled by a group of Australian spectators, who were ejected from the Sydney Cricket Ground during the third Test on Sunday, a BCCI official has alleged.

Siraj and his senior teammate Jasprit Bumrah were also subjected to racist slurs, something that the Indian team management officially reported to ICC Match Referee David Boon.

“Siraj was referred to as ‘Brown Dog’ and ‘Big Monkey’ both of which are racist slurs. The matter was immediately brought to the notice of on-field umpires. They were constantly abusing Bumrah too,” a BCCI source told NDTV on conditions of anonymity.

On Sunday, during the 86th over of the Australian second innings, Siraj was seen walking from his position in the deep and talking to the square leg umpire before the straight umpire and other senior players joined the discussion.

Play was halted for close to 10 minutes before stadium security as well as New South Wales Police checked in to the relevant stand from where the nasty comments were being hurled at.

After speaking to the spectators in the adjoining area, the police evicted six supporters, who are currently in the custody of New South Wales Police.

It is learnt that on Saturday, the Indian team brought the matter to the notice of match officials only after the third day’s play ended and by then the mischief-mongers had fled the stadium.

“Actually, the players didn’t want to lose focus during the proceedings and decided that the matter would be reported only after the day’s play was over. However, umpires have told us that moment anything of that nature happens, the players should report immediately,” the source added.

Cricket Australia has promised strongest action against the offenders and also unreservedly apologised to the visiting team.

Meanwhile, The International Cricket Council (ICC) has strongly condemned reported incidents of racism during the ongoing third Test match between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In a statement, ICC said that it has also offered Cricket Australia all necessary support in investigating the incidents.

“There is no place for discrimination in our sport and we are incredibly disappointed that a small minority of fans may think that this abhorrent behaviour is acceptable. We have a comprehensive anti-discrimination policy in place that members have to abide by and ensure is adhered to by fans and we welcome the action taken by ground authorities and Cricket Australia today,” said ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney.

“We will provide Cricket Australia and the relevant authorities with our full support in any ensuing investigation as we will not tolerate any racism in our sport.”

Captain Virat Kohli strongly condemned reported incidents of racial abuse during the third Test between Australia and India, saying it was sad to see what happened with his teammates at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Taking to Twitter, Kohli — who is in India for the birth of first child — said that strict action should be taken against the offenders to set things straight.

India fast bowler Mohammed Siraj

“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’s sad to see this happen on the field,” Kohli said.

“The incident needs to be looked at with absolute urgency and seriousness and strict action against the offenders should set things straight for once,” he added.

Australia coach Justin Langer has called the racial abuse incident in the ongoing third Test that saw a few Australia fans hurl abuses at Indians “sickening” and “a shame”. He also acknowledged the proactive step that team captain Tim Paine took to talk and offer support to the Indian team.

When play was stalled for a while on the fourth day of the third Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground after Mohammed Siraj complained of racial abuse, Paine walked to the Indian team huddle and offered support.

Later at tea, the Aussie team sat in their dressing room and condemned the incident.

“We talked a bit at tea about what was going on. As hosts, we don’t want to see our visitors get treated poorly. There are different levels of that. We went to England last year and some of our guys felt it before (referring to Steve Smith and David Warner being called cheats). There’s nothing pleasant about it. I guess it (Paine walking to them) was show of support that we don’t condone really, really bad behaviour,” said Langer after the end of the fourth day’s play.

Also read:Bumrah, Siraj allege racial abuse