Australian cricket fans allegedly called Indian star Mohammed Siraj “brown dog” and “big monkey” at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday, according to an anonymous Indian cricket official.
Speaking to the Times of India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India official alleged Siraj was targeted by racial slurs, adding that fans were “constantly” hurling abuse at his teammate Jasprit Bumrah.
Indian stars have also claimed racist abuse from Australian fans is nothing new.
“This is my fourth tour to Australia. Sydney, especially here, we have had a few experiences even in the past,” spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said in a virtual press conference after the day’s play.
“This has been a continual thing in Sydney,” he added. “I have personally experienced it as well.”
Those accounts differ from earlier reports on the incident, which saw other fans provide a different description of events.
Fans in nearby seats told the Sydney Morning Herald the six ejected spectators had called Siraj ‘Shiraz’, and said, ‘Welcome to Sydney, Siraj.’
They described the decision to remove the cricket fans as “confusing.”
A separate source with the inside track on the investigation told the Herald that some fans had sung the tune Que Sera, Sera, with Siraj’s name substituted in.
NSW Police ejected six Australian fans from the stands after Siraj notified umpires of the alleged abuse.
Cricket Australia yesterday said it would conduct an inquiry into the matter while awaiting the results of a NSW Police investigation.
“It is most regrettable that an otherwise excellent Test match contested in tremendous spirit by two friendly rivals has been tarnished by the actions of a small number of spectators over the past two days,” the organisation said.
“As hosts, we once again apologise to the Indian team.”
We have launched an investigation in parallel with NSW Police following a crowd incident at the SCG today. Full statement 👇 pic.twitter.com/D7Qu3SenHo
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) January 10, 2021
The alleged abuse has drawn condemnation from Australian politicians, including acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Day Five of the test will kick off today at the SCG.