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Indian cricketers racially abused during Sydney Test, Cricket Australia confirms

The incident happened before the start of the 86th over on Day 4 in Australia’s second innings when Siraj went to skipper Ajinkya Rahane and raised the issue.

SNS | New Delhi |

Cricket Australia on Wednesday confirmed that Indian players did face racial abuse by a section of the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) crowd during the third Test against Australia of the recently-concluded Border Gavaskar series.

The incident happened before the start of the 86th over on Day 4 in Australia’s second innings when Siraj, fielding on the boundary line, went to skipper Ajinkya Rahane and raised the issue that some fans were passing abusive comments directed at him.

Rahane then walked up to the square leg umpire Paul Reiffel and complained about the same. While players huddled in the centre, security personnel entered the stands and a group of six Australian fans were removed from their seats by New South Wales Police.

Following that incident, Cricket Australia had launched an investigation and the International Cricket Council (ICC) had also asked the Australian cricket board to submit its report.

“Cricket Australia has submitted its report into crowd behaviour at the SCG during the third Test against India to the International Cricket Council,” Sean Carroll, CA’s Head of Integrity & Security, said in a statement.

“CA confirms that members of the Indian cricket team were subjected to racial abuse. CA’s own investigation into the matter remains open, with CCTV footage, ticketing data and interviews with spectators still being analysed in an attempt to locate those responsible. Spectators who are found to have breached CA’s Anti-Harassment Code face lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police.

“CA’s investigation concluded that the spectators filmed and/or photographed by media in the Brewongle Stand concourse at the conclusion of the 86th over on Day Three of the Test did not engage in racist behaviour,” he added.

At least six spectators were removed from the Sydney Cricket Ground stands by the security officials after Siraj raised concerns on Day 4 to skipper Ajinkya Rahane.

Siraj, who played a crucial role in helping India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, had revealed that the umpires in Sydney had told India skipper Ajinkya Rahane that the team can walk off the park.

“The case (on racial abuse) is going on. Let us see if we get justice or not. I told my captain that some audience are abusing me. The umpire said you can leave the ground but the captain said we will not go as we respect the game of cricket and you may send them out,” Siraj had said upon his arrival in Hyderabad.

Cricket Australia, on its part as well as Australian players including David Warner and head coach Justin Langer, had condemned the incident.