India reveals list of racial slurs allegedly said to its cricketers in Sydney

Cricket chiefs and NSW police have launched investigations into allegations of racist abuse of the India team from sections of the crowd in the third Test, after six people were ejected and play halted for nearly 10 minutes on Sunday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) probe followed Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah allegedly being targeted while they fielded by the boundary ropes of the Sydney Cricket Ground late Saturday.

In a second incident, play was halted just before the tea break on Sunday when Siraj ran from the fine leg boundary towards the umpires, pointing into the crowd.

It was not immediately clear what was said as six men were removed from their seats by police.

One witness told the Sydney Morning Herald he only heard someone say “Welcome to Sydney, Siraj” but overnight reports from India paint a far different picture.

“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 the Press Trust of India.

The Times of India newspaper said that the fans on Saturday had been drunk. “Bumrah and Siraj were called monkeys, w**ker and motherf**ker by the people almost throughout the time they were fielding,” it claimed.

Cricket Australia (CA) said a number of spectators had been interviewed by police before they were thrown out.

Mohammed Siraj points out the alleged offenders to Tim Paine. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“While we await the outcome of the investigation by NSW Police, CA has launched its own inquiry into the matter,” said CA’s head of integrity and security Sean Carroll, calling the episode “regrettable”.

India captain Virat Kohli, who is missing the last three Tests of the four-match series for the birth of his first child, tweeted that such racist behaviour was “pathetic”.

The ICC in a statement “strongly condemned” the reported abuse. “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,” wrote 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,” he added.

Jay Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), tweeted that “racism has no place in our great sport or in any walk of society”.

“BCCI and Cricket Australia stand together. These acts of discrimination will not be tolerated,” he added.

Jasprit Bumrah (left) was also allegedly targeted. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Cricket Australia earlier issued an apology to India and said anyone found guilty of abuse would face consequences, including bans, other sanctions and referral to police.

“Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour,” said Carroll.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

Australian coach Justin Langer said such antics had no place in sport. “It’s upsetting and it’s disappointing,” he said.

“Anybody who knows me, knows I’ve said for years one of my greatest pet hates in life is that people think they can come to a sporting event, pay their money and think they can abuse or say whatever they like.

“I’ve hated it as a player, I hate it as a coach. We’ve seen it in different parts of the world and I’m really sad to see it happen in Australia.”

Veteran spinner Ravi Ashwin said it was not the first time there had been issues for India in Sydney.

Police monitor the crowd following a complaint by Mohammed Siraj. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“This is my fourth tour to Australia and Sydney, especially, we have had a few experiences here in the past,” he said, describing them as “nasty”.

“But this is the time where they have gone one step ahead and used racial abuses.

“It’s definitely not acceptable in this day and age … we must make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Only 10,000 fans — a quarter of the capacity — have been allowed into the Sydney Cricket Ground each day due to coronavirus concerns, making their chants and shouts more clearly heard.


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