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Warne slammed for racial slur at Pujara

By Rediff Cricket
December 18, 2020 07:10 IST
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IMAGE: Shane Warne called Cheteshwar Pujara 'Steve' while on air on Day 1 of the 1st Test on Thursday. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
 

Shane Warne was slammed by cricket fans for using a racial name for Cheteshwar Pujara on Day 1 of the 1st Test at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

Warne, who is on the commentary panel of Fox Cricket, called Pujara 'Steve&' on air and laughed while making the racial reference.

'Steve' was a name given to Pujara by his team-mates at Yorkshire during his stint at the county club in 2018.

Yorkshire is at the centre of a raging controversy with its former players and employees backing cricketer Azeem Rafiq's claims of 'institutional racism' at the club, including the reference to Pujara with a generic name.

According to ESPNcricinfo, two former Yorkshire employees -- Taj Butt and Tony Bowry -- have given evidence against the club which has institutionalised racism.

'They called every person of colour 'Steve'. Even Cheteshwar Pujara, who joined as an overseas professional, was called Steve because they could not pronounce his name.'

Viewers labelled Warne's comments as 'unprofessional' and 'racist'.

Cricket writer Siddhartha Vaidyanathan called Warne 'tone deaf' for using the racist slur against Pujara.

One user @DeepTake tweeted: 'Shane Warne is sick. He was an incredible cricketer but his lack of sensitivity & ignorance on a lot of occasions is baffling. You know the guy was hurt by the nickname & it has racial annotations to it and you still make a joke out of it on national TV.'

@vinayakkm tweeted: 'Yikes, Shane Warne. Given everything that's going on, not sure it is the right thing to joke about Pujara being called Steve during his country stint. Such tone-deafness this is. Read the news, man.'

Kanishkaa Balachandran @kanishkaab wrote: 'A little bit of context would help this Aus commentary panel realise that the Pujara "Steve" reference is no laughing matter #AUSvIND'.

Krizztorpha @krizztorpha tweeted: @ShaneWarne mate you need to apologise to Pujara, laughing at Steve as a nickname is racist just because you can't say his name.'

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