An eyewitness who attended the Australia-India Test in Sydney has levelled fresh accusations at the SCG crowd for directing abuse of a racial nature at India players.
According to a report in Gulf News, a spectator has given a first-hand account of the alleged abuse against India players, stating that he had heard skipper Ajinkya Rahane being called “a sucker”, and other members of the Indian team being referred to as “curry munchers”.
Last week, the Indian team had filed a complaint after the end of the third day’s play, stating that two players, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah, were subjected to racial abuse while fielding. The matter was heavily condemned by cricketers both past and present, and Cricket Australia issued an “unreserved apology” for the incident. The following day, six members of the crowd were evicted after a lengthy delay in play, and the Indian players were involved in a discussion with the umpires.
A report in the Sydney Morning Herald later quoted one of the six members, who claimed that there was no racist abuse from the group that was evicted.
In the Gulf News report, the spectator spoke about the abuse directed at the India team players from the crowd. “They called (Ajinkya) Rahane a sucker when he was batting and addressed the Indian team as curry-munchers, which is certainly seen as racial abuse,” he said. “An Indian fans’ group, who call themselves Fans of India, seated closer to us got into a heated argument with them and for a while, it was quite an uneasy atmosphere for me and my friend.”
“I saw the racist side of Australia for the first time that day at the ground,” he continued. “At one point, Mohammed Siraj was fielding close to us in the deep and I could hear the group uttering a profanity about his mother. For the first time during my stay in Australia, I could see this racist side.”
The same spectator later appeared on Sports Today’s YouTube channel, where he further spoke about the incident that occurred in Bay 11. He said that he saw five six guys, aged between 19 and 23, allegedly chanting “Rahane is a sucker, all Indians are suckers”.
He further said that he was asked to stop waving the Indian flag by members of the crowd, and claimed the word “currymunchers” was repeatedly doing the rounds. He went on to say that there were continuous chants against the India players such as: “Siraj, your mother knows me”, “Siraj, I know your mother”, “Pant is fat because he’s eating from the dole provided by Centrelink”, and “Where is your captain Kohli, has he gone to pop babies?”