Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday confirmed that Indian cricketers were subject to racial abuse during the third Test in Sydney earlier this month. However, it has said the six fans who were ejected from the venue and questioned by police have been clear of the charges.Also Read - Jasprit Bumrah Press Conference Ahead of ODIs vs South Africa: Virat Kohli's Role to India's Playing XI; Things That Could be Revealed
The incident first occurred during the close of play on Day 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground when Indian cricketers first complained to the on-field umpires about the alleged incident of racist slurs being directed at them. However, on the fourth day, play was halted for about 10 minutes when Siraj approached the on-field umpires, again complaining of hearing racist slurs. Also Read - Ravichandran Ashwin Can be a Good Choice to Take Over From Virat Kohli as India's Next Test Captain
“CA confirms that members of the Indian cricket team were subjected to racial abuse,” CA’s head of integrity and security Sean Carroll said in a statement on Wednesday. “CA’s own investigation into the matter remains open, with CCTV footage, ticketing data and interviews with spectators still being analysed in an attempt to locate those responsible.” Also Read - BCCI to Officially Name Rohit Sharma as India's New Test Captain After South Africa Tour: Report
“Spectators who are found to have breached CA’s Anti-Harassment Code face lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police. As stated at the time of the incident, CA has a zero tolerance policy towards discriminatory behaviour in all forms and, as hosts of the Border-Gavaskar series, apologises to the Indian men’s cricket team,” he added.
While CA is awaiting the investigation of New South Wales Police, it has said the six fans in question did not engage in racist behaviour. “CA’s investigation concluded that the spectators filmed and/or photographed by media in the Brewongle Stand concourse at the conclusion of the 86th over on day four of the Test did not engage in racist behaviour,” Carroll said.
“CA is awaiting confirmation from NSW Police that it has completed its investigation into the matter and will not offer further comment until it is received,” he added.
Siraj later revealed that the on-field umpires had offered them the chance to stage walkout. “The umpires had said we can leave the game and go if we are upset with the racist comments, but (Ajinkya) Rahane said ‘why should we leave the game, we respect the game and we are here to play’,” Siraj said during a recent interaction with media.
“That incident made me mentally stronger, and I am happy that I didn’t let it affect my game,” the fast bowler, who finished as India’s highest wicket taker in the Test series,” he added.