Ashwin livid at racial abuse on Siraj: “Sydney is worst”

10th January 2021

10th January 2021

It is usually the happenings on the ground that international players are bothered about, as also focussed on. In Sydney, however, senior Indian player R Ashwin found action outside in the stands a bit too much. Sydney crowds have behaved in a nasty manner during the past visits too, he said.

He was referring to the racial abuse hurled at Mohammad Siraj on the third day for which the Indian side lodged an official complaint. Despite that, on the fourth day too, there was an unpleasant incident after which some spectators were evicted from the stadium.

He recounted that this was his fourth tour to Australia, and in Sydney, there were some unsavoury incidents in the past too. Once or twice, some players reacted and got into trouble in the past. "That's not because of the players, it is actually because of the way crowd has been speaking, especially the people close to the boundary edge," Ashwin recalled.

He was perhaps referring to an incident that occurred during India's 2011-12 tour of Australia. It was Virat Kohli who got pulled up for gesturing inappropriately to the crowd, but this was apparently in response to some provocation. Ashwin said inappropriate behaviour from crowds should be dealt with severely. 

He said Sydney crowds have often behaved in a nasty manner in the past too but they went a step ahead and used "racial abuse". He said an official complaint was lodged on Saturday and the umpires mentioned it to us "that we must bring it to their notice as soon as it happens".

He was emphatic that "this must be dealt with an iron first so that it doesn't happen again". He said he was appalled that fellow spectators did not called out those indulging in bad behaviour. "It definitely has to be dealt with. Disappointing is a very, very mild word, I must say," Ashwin said.

Recalling the tour of 2011-12, Ashwin said he was naive and did not know about racial abuse and such other things. He said it is good that a newcomers like Siraj is aware of it all and brought it to the team's notice. "Ajinkya, myself and Rohit got together and went to the umpire and did report it," he said.



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