India’s cricketers allegedly suffered racial abuse from a section of the crowd on day three of the third Test against Australia in Sydney, according to reports.
Fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj are said to have complained of hearing racist slurs while fielding near the boundary rope at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday.
India captain Ajinkya Rahane and other senior players spoke to the umpires at the end of the day’s play, but they have not spoken publicly about what happened.
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara did not answer when asked about the matter at the end-of-day news conference.
It is not clear whether the Indian cricket board (BCCI) has officially lodged a complaint with Cricket Australia. The two boards and the International Cricket Council (ICC) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla told Indian news agency ANI: “We’ve come to know about the issue. Cricket is a gentleman’s game and these kinds of things are not allowed or accepted.”
In remarks reported by the WION news agency, he added: “If somebody is using racial comments, I think the Australian court should take cognisance of it and these kinds of incidents must be prevented.
“There is no place for such acts and these kinds of things are not allowed or accepted. I think every board should take cognisance of it and take strict measures to ensure such acts aren’t repeated.”
Bumrah, Siraj and members of India’s team management held “long discussions” outside the Indian dressing room after play ended, WION said, adding that Indian officials are “fuming” and that the abuse has happened for the past two days.
It is not the first time a match between the two countries has been marred by accusations of bigotry.
Australian crowds have a history of hostility towards visiting players, with England’s often targeted.
Former Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds accused India’s Harbhajan Singh of calling him a “monkey” during a game in 2008. Harbhajan was banned for three matches, later overturned on appeal.
According to the ICC anti-discrimination policy, the host board would have to investigate any incident relating to “inappropriate conduct” and submit a report to the world governing body 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 during a 2019 tour.
Australia are in control of the match against India, leading by nearly 200 runs with eight wickets left in their second innings. The series is tied at 1-1, with one remaining test.