Play was halted for a few minutes in the second session on the fourth day of the third Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday, after the visiting players complained to the umpires about disturbance from a section of crowd.
It is not yet clear what the the complaints from Indian players were but they brought to attention unruly behaviour from fans who were later removed from their seats.
Earlier, on Saturday, according to a report in Cricbuzz, Indian team management had lodged a complaint about two of their players - Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj - having faced racial abuse from a section of the SCG crowd.
It is unclear yet what was said on Sunday when it was Siraj once again who raised the issue with the umpires with Ajinkya Rahane walking over to square leg umpire Paul Reiffel at the start of a Bumrah over. After few moments of discussion where Siraj pointed his fingers at a group of fans, the umpires ventured towards the fine leg fence where he was fielding. Soon security was called in and television pictures showed a set of fans being evicted from the venue.
After stumps on day four, Cricket Australia put out a second statement regarding the match. The cricket board said that an investigation has been launched in parallel with the New South Wales police.
It was a day after a drunk spectator at the SCG allegedly directed racial abuse at Indian players. The BCCI has lodged a complaint with the ICC, PTI had reported.
During the second session of the fourth day on Sunday, India players huddled in the centre after Siraj, standing at the square leg boundary, complained of abuse. It happened not long after Siraj was hit for two consecutive sixes by Cameron Green in his over.
This prompted the security personnel to enter the stands and look for problem-makers before a group of people was asked to leave the stands. The umpires also intervened and were seen chatting with the players. According to Cricbuzz, more than six persons from the crowd were removed from the stands
“Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour,” said Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia’s Head of Integrity and Security according to a report in cricket.com.au, which added that the number of fans evicted was six.
“If you engage in racist abuse, you are not welcome in Australian cricket.
“CA is awaiting the outcome of the International Cricket Council’s investigation into the matter reported at the SCG on Saturday. Once those responsible are identified, CA will take the strongest measures possible under our Anti-Harassment Code, including lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police.
“As series hosts, we unreservedly apologise to our friends in the Indian cricket team and assure them we will prosecute the matter to its fullest extent.”
Australia declared this innings not longer after the incident, with the score 312/6 at tea on the fourth day of the third Test against India, extending their overall lead to 406 runs. India’s target was 407 to win the match or bat four sessions for a draw.
(With PTI inputs)