India’s tour of Australia has been a source of joy for every cricket fan across the world as two evenly matched sides fight it out, down under. Unfortunately, the riveting contest on the field has been marred by off-field controversies as a section of players have allegedly faced racial abuse by the crowd during the ongoing Third Test match between the two sides. An embarrassed Cricket Australia has apologised for the racial abuses hurled at Indian players while also launching an investigation with the New South Wales police over the alleged racism incident.
Indian fast bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj on Day 3 of the ongoing third test match between India and Australia in Sydney were allegedly the subjects of racist abuses from the spectators present at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) with the Indian team lodging an official complaint with the match officials. Shockingly, the racist abuses spilt over to Day 4 of the test match too with the spectators who were found to be involved in the incident were promptly removed from the stadium after the complaints of Indian players.
Reportedly, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were both targeted by a section of ‘drunk’ Australian supporters at the SCG at the end of the third day’s play. Cricket Australia while condemning the incident has stated that the guilty parties will be banned from the SCG.
Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia’s Head of Integrity and Security, said, “Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour.”
He added, “If you engage in racist abuse, you are not welcome in Australian cricket. CA is awaiting the outcome of the International Cricket Council’s investigation into the matter reported at the SCG on Saturday. 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 NSW Police.”
Carroll also tendered an unreserved apology as he said, “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.”
We have launched an investigation in parallel with NSW Police following a crowd incident at the SCG today. Full statement 👇 pic.twitter.com/D7Qu3SenHo
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) January 10, 2021
However, what came as another embarrassment to Cricket Australia, the racist abuses spilt over to Day 4 of the Test match too with Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj being subject to racial abuse by the spectators while fielding on the fine leg boundary. After Siraj and Skipper Ajinkya Rahane brought the incident to the notice of the on-field umpires, the New South Wales Police then proceeded to evict six people from their seats.
Over the past few years, Australia has hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons with Indian offie Ravichandran Ashwin claiming that Team India has had few similar experiences down under, particularly in Sydney.
“We’ve had a few experiences in the past here in Sydney. Crowds have hurled abuses. We have lodged a complaint this time. It is definitely not acceptable in this day & age & must be dealt with an iron fist,” said Ashwin regarding the racism faced by Siraj and Bumrah in Australia.
Cricket Australia must deal with such incidents with an iron fist and ensure that the remainder of the series is not marred by allegations of racism as such high quality of cricket is getting bogged down by the low quality of fans.