Racial abuse at the SCG 2021

Indian Australians and Australian fans of Indian cricketers still have MonkeyGate scandal of 2007-08 fresh in their minds and are coming to terms with the Brave New Cricket World and its new normal with players crossing borders and playing together and against each other – practically leaving no room whatsoever for any racial abuse at SCG. Players playing against each other today may be team mates tomorrow playing in the IPL or other game.

Logically thus one would ask – Why would fans abuse a player unless they are down right racists?

Thus, when the racial abuse continued for the second consecutive day, it was enough for the Indians – NOT TO COMPLAIN. And what followed is well on public record. The BCCI has now lodged a formal complaint with match referee David Boon after Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were allegedly racially abused by a section of the crowd during the third Test against Australia at the SCG.

It is alleged that Siraj was called a “monkey” by at least one drunk spectator in one of the stands at the Sydney Cricket Ground, bringing the memories of the infamous “Monkeygate” episode of the Indian team’s tour of Australia in 2007-08 when Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh played for India.

Some unconfirmed reports suggested that the abuse was directed at up to four Indian players multiple times. It is learnt that the abuse was reported by the team to the umpires on the field, and to Boon at the end of the day’s play.

In contrast to how Indians act, no Australian player or the captain was seen coming to the aid of Indians. This is shocking and more so because it has not been long when Virat Kohli came to the rescue of Steve Smith – when crowed booed him when he came back after serving his ban for ball tempering.

Virat Kohli explained his gesture to the asking journalists that he felt bad when people did not show him respect despite the fact that he (Steve Smith) had done his time for the crime (ball tampering) – who in Kohli’s mind deserved second chance and respect.

Steve Smith had also missed out on his IPL games (and thus revenue) for more than a year.

No such gesture from anyone in the Australian side in Sydney, including Steve Smith for Siraj or Bumrah.

Indians should thank Australian cricketers in particular for returning the favour with very painful reticence.

“BCCI lodged a formal complaint with ICC match referee David Boon about two of their players, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, being abused by a drunk spectator,” a BCCI official said.

The abuse was directed at the Indians while they were fielding during the Australian second innings. Although the complaint has been filed with the ICC, the rules are that the host country body – in this case Cricket Australia will probe the alleged racial abuse at SCG and adjudicate on the case.

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