Rediff.com  » Cricket » Faced racism in Sydney earlier too, says Ashwin

Faced racism in Sydney earlier too, says Ashwin

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 10, 2021 14:46 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

'This roots back to upbringing and the way one sees; this needs to be definitely dealt with iron fists. We must make sure it doesn't happen again.'

India's players watch from the middle as security personnel eject spectators from the Sydney Cricket Ground for allegedly abusive comment directed at pacer Mohammed Siraj on Day 4 of the third Test.

IMAGE: India's players watch from the middle as security personnel eject spectators from the Sydney Cricket Ground for allegedly abusive comment directed at pacer Mohammed Siraj on Day 4 of the third Test against Australia. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Racist abuse from the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground is not new and needs to be dealt with an iron fist, said seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, after some spectators were ejected for targeting India’s players during the ongoing third Test against Australia, in Sydney, on Sunday.

 

Speaking at the end of the fourth day's play, Ashwin said the Indian players faced racism in Sydney earlier too, and "disappointment" will be a "mild word" to describe how they are feeling after young pacer Mohammed Siraj was subjected to racial slurs on two consecutive days.

"Look, I would like to point out something. This is my fourth tour to Australia. Sydney, especially here, we have had a few experiences even in the past," Ashwin said, at the virtual press conference, when asked how the team is looking at the unsavoury incident.

Without naming skipper Virat Kohli, he also referred to an incident where he was photographed showing his middle finger to the crowd during the tour of 2011 after being constantly abused by a section of the crowd.

"One or two times even the players have reacted and have got into trouble in the past, and not because of players but actually the way the crowd has been speaking, especially the lower tier of the stands."

Local media reported that six people were expelled from the ground by security personnel during the nearly 10-minute halt in the on-ground proceedings during the fourth day of the ongoing Test.

India skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Mohammed Siraj lodge a formal complaint with the umpires after spectators abuse the latter during Day 4 of the third Test, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, on Sunday

IMAGE: India skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Mohammed Siraj lodge a formal complaint with the umpires after spectators abused the latter during Day 4 of the third Test, at the SCG, on Sunday. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

On Saturday, the BCCI lodged a complaint with the ICC after Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were abused.

"They have been quite nasty and have been hurling abuses as well. But this is the time when they have gone one step ahead and used racial abuses," the senior member of the team said.

Ashwin said that both umpires, Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson, told them to report any incident of racism immediately.

"Like we already mentioned, we have lodged an official complaint yesterday and umpires also mentioned we must bring it to their notice as and when it happens.

"It is not acceptable in this day and age when we have seen a lot," said Ashwin, adding it needs to be dealt with an iron fist.

"This roots back to upbringing and the way one sees; this needs to be definitely dealt with iron fists. We must make sure it doesn't happen again."

Ashwin said that the team did not face any racism in the earlier Test venues, Adelaide and Melbourne.

"Personally, I think Adelaide and Melbourne weren't as bad but, like I said, this has been a continuous thing at Sydney. I personally experienced it as well. They do tend to get nasty. I don't know why or for what reason."

Ashwin was surprised that the security personnel did not round up the perpetrators at the first instance and let it linger.

"Unless people don't find the necessity to look at it in a different way, in fact I was surprised that a section in crowd continuously did and they were not made to surround or pulled up for it.

"They needed to be dealt with and yes, disappointing is actually a very mild word, I must say," he said.

Ashwin then went on to narrate some of his own experiences on previous tours.

"If I take myself back to the first tour of 2011-12, I had no clue about racial abuse and how you were made to feel small in front of so many people and people actually laugh at you and another set of people who laugh along when these things happen. I had no idea at all what this was.

"When you stood at the boundary line, you wanted to come in 10 yards inside to avoid all these things. As things have moved on and we have toured more and more, this has definitely been not acceptable.

"So when Siraj brought it up, Ajinkya (Rahane), Rohit (Sharma) and myself, we all got together and reported the matter to the umpires. A new boy like Siraj knows this is a line someone cannot over-step. We were quite happy that these people were evicted."

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT

India tour of Australia 2020

India's tour of Australia 2020