Australian cricket team and the crowd cheering that cricket team, have always been notorious for using racism as one of their defence strategies. When the team fails, the crowd and the players try to bring the opposition down with racial slurs.
This time though the host team has stayed clear of such matters the fans took charge in their hands. Ravichandran Ashwin, senior player of the team and a player who has toured Australia three times in the past raised this concern during the third test against Australia.
R Ashwin said that it was not something new that they were facing at the Sydney Cricket Ground but this time the matter should be dealt with strictly. The incident of shouting racial abuses was so severe that few spectators were asked to leave the stand for targeting Indian players.
MOHAMMED SIRAJ WAS THE TARGET
During the third test match against Australia, the new Indian player, Mohammed Siraj was targeted by the Australian fans, not once but on two consecutive days. He was subjected to racial slurs.
Siraj brought up the matter in front of his seniors in the team and that is when Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rohit decided that this issue needs to be faced and dealt with. The Indian team has lodged an official complaint against the incident of racism that the players had to face.
Ashwin also talked about the support of the umpires and how fair they have been with the guest team. Ashwin said, “Umpires also mentioned we must bring it to their notice as and when it happens.” As per Ashwin, “It is not acceptable in this day and age” and we agree with the player.
“THIS HAS BEEN A CONTINUOUS THING AT SYDNEY”
Though Ashwin mentions without any hesitation that the Sydney Cricket Ground has always been infamous for showing the ugly face of racism in Australia. The player said, “Adelaide and Melbourne weren’t as bad but like I said this has been a continuous thing at Sydney.”
The player referred to his own experiences and told that he also had to face racism many times in Australia, especially playing at this ground. He said, 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”.
Ashwin goes on describing how bad these incidents can get and how they affect a player’s mindset and of course his game. He said, “When you stood at the boundary line, you wanted to come 10 yards inside to avoid all these things.”
HISTORY DIDN’T REPEAT ITSELF
Ajinkya recalls that moment on the ground when Virat Kohli was captured showing his middle finger to a section of the crowd in 2011 which was hurling racial slurs at him and said that some players had reacted in the past and had to pay for it.
But without asking any questions, he actually did raise many questions on the morality of the crowd. He said, “This roots back to upbringing and the way one sees”. Ashwin feels and clearly stated too that the matter needs “to be definitely dealt with an iron fist.”