Several spectators were on Friday reportedly evicted from the Melbourne Cricket Ground for their racially motivated chants during the third Test between Australia and India.
Chants of “show us your visa” were heard at the MCG during the first two days of the Test, reported ESPNcricinfo, which led to a formal warning being issued by Cricket Australia to the spectators.
Cricket Australia had warned the spectators that they would be evicted if they did not stop the chanting, the report said.
Videos of the chants were passed on to the Victoria Police and the MCG stadium management, after which “several fans” were eventually ousted on day three of the Test, the report added.
“Cricket Australia takes a zero tolerance stance against any form of abuse or racial vilification at any of our matches, whether it be towards fans, players, or staff, the report quoted a Cricket Australia spokesperson as saying.
“Fans are able to report this to stadium staff or security. Victoria Police and MCG stadium security monitored the behaviour of the crowd in a section of the stadium today and evicted several fans for inappropriate behaviour. They will continue to monitor the area for remaining days of the Test,” the spokesperson added.
Indian-born migrants make up 3% of Melbourne’s total population, according to the Victorian state government’s website. Since 2001, the number of Indian-born migrants in Melbourne has more than tripled. As many as 58,015 Indians have migrated to Victoria since 2011.
Chants of “Kohli is a w*****” were also heard at the MCG during the first two days, but were not deemed worthy of a warning, the report said. The Indian captain was photographed doffing his hat towards the abusers while on field.
The MCG crowd had even booed one of the home players, Mitchell Marsh, on the first day of the Test, after the all-rounder replaced local cricketer Peter Handscomb in the Australian XI for the match.
Australia’s Travis Head had criticised the fans for booing his teammate. “I don’t think it’s great,” Head had said in a press conference. “Obviously we’ve seen it with Kohli as well but for Mitch, who worked his bum off today, I thought he bowled exceptionally well.
“I thought he created pressure in tough conditions and fought really hard. I don’t think any Australian cricketer in Australia deserves to be booed.
“I understand the Victorian crowd, Petey [Handscomb] obviously missing out, but I think it’s pretty poor for Mitchy [Marsh] to cop that.”
India are in a position of command at the end of day three of the Melbourne Test, despite a second-innings collapse. At stumps, India were 54/5, but lead Australia by 346 runs after the hosts were bowled out for 151. India had declared their first innings at 443/7 on day two.