Have faced racism in Sydney earlier, needs to be dealt with iron fist: Ravichandran Ashwin

Tags: India tour of Australia, 2020-21, Australia, India

Published on: Jan 10, 2021

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday alleged that racial abuse from a section of the crowd at Sydney was not nothing new. He claimed that they have faced similar issues at the SCG in the past as well. Ashwin's allegations come in the wake of Mohammed Siraj facing racial slurs from a section of the Sydney crowd on Day 4 of the Test against Australia.

A few supporters were evicted from the SCG on Sunday after abusing Siraj, who complained to the umpires and teammates over the issue. Earlier, on Saturday, India filed a formal complaint with match referee David Boon at the end of day’s play after Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were subjected to racial abuses from the crowd.

Speaking to the media after the day’s play on Sunday, Ashwin said, "Have faced racism in Sydney earlier; needs to be dealt with iron fist.”

He added that Adelaide and Melbourne were not as bad, but this (abuse) has been a continuous thing in Sydney. “I have dealt with it in the past, the fans here tend to get nasty, I do not know why they do it, unless and until it is dealt with, people don't find the necessity to look it in a different way.

"I was surprised to see some section of the crowd going on with it and they were not pulled up for it, it was surprising to see, this issue had to be dealt with, disappointing is a very mild word for this issue, I must say," he added.

The off-spinner pointed out that this was his fourth tour of Australia, and the team has had these type of experiences in the past as well at Sydney.

“I think one or two times players have reacted to this in the past and they have gotten into trouble, it is not because of the player, it is because of the way the crowd has been reacting. The fans have been quite nasty, but this is one occasion where they have gone one step ahead, it is a case of racial abuse, we lodged an official complaint yesterday and we brought it to the notice of the umpires," Ashwin added.

"It is definitely not acceptable in this day and age, we have evolved as a society and this roots to the upbringing, this should be dealt with an iron first, by iron fist I mean the way we deal with it," he went on to add.

In an official statement, Cricket Australia condemned the behaviour of a section of the SCG crowd, adding that they have a zero-tolerance behaviour towards racism.

"Cricket Australia has reaffirmed its zero-tolerance policy towards discriminatory behaviour in all forms following the alleged racial abuse of members of the Indian cricket squad by a section of the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday," the CA said in a statement.

Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia’s Head of Integrity and Security, added, “Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour. If you engage in racist abuse, you are not welcome in Australian cricket.”

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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