New Delhi [India], January 10 (ANI): India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday said that it was disappointing to see the Australian crowd hurling out racial slurs even when the team filed an official complaint with the match referee and umpires regarding the issue a day earlier.
The Indian team on Saturday lodged an official complaint after the crowd at the SCG racially abused pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj over the second and third day of the ongoing Pink Test. The crowd did not stop on day four of the ongoing Pink Test as Siraj along with India skipper Ajinkya Rahane had a word with umpire Paul Reiffel regarding the unruly behaviour of the crowd.
Visuals on television indicated that there were some words spoken for Siraj who was fielding near the boundary rope. Both the umpires then had a word with each other and the police then asked a group of men to leave the stand.
"Adelaide and Melbourne were not as bad, but like I said this has been a continuous thing in Sydney, I have dealt with it in the past, the fans here tend to get nasty, I do not know why they do it, unless and until it is dealt with, people don't find the necessity to look it in a different way. I was surprised to see some section of the crowd going on with it and they were not pulled up for it, it was surprising to see, this issue had to be dealt with, disappointing is a very mild word for this issue, I must say," Ashwin said while replying to an ANI query during the virtual press conference.
Elaborating further on the whole issue, Ashwin said: "I would like to point out something, this is my fourth tour to Australia and Sydney especially here, we have had these type of experiences in the past as well. I think one or two times players have reacted to this in the past and they have gotten into trouble, it is not because of the player, it is because of the way the crowd has been reacting. The fans have been quite nasty, but this is one occasion where they have gone one step ahead, it is a case of racial abuse, we lodged an official complaint yesterday and we brought it to the notice of the umpires.
"It is definitely not acceptable in this day and age, we have evolved as a society and this roots to the upbringing, this should be dealt with an iron first, by iron fist I mean the way we deal with it," he added.
Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia's Head of Integrity and Security, on Sunday said that strict action will be taken against the section of fans who hurled racial slurs at Siraj and Bumrah.
"Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour. If you engage in racist abuse, you are not welcome in Australian cricket," said Carroll, Cricket Australia's Head of Integrity and Security in an official release.
"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. 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," he added.
India has been set a target of 407 to win the third Test at the SCG. At stumps, Ajinkya Rahane-led side reached the score of 98/2, with Rohit Sharma playing a knock of 52 runs while Shubman Gill scored 31. Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahane are currently unbeaten on 9 and 4 respectively and the visitors still need 309 runs to win the match. (ANI)