The thrilling third Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground was marred by the incident of racism. India fast-bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah faced abuse from a section of the crowd on the third day of the game before the former faced a similar situation on the fourth day. Following the incident on the fourth day, police were called and at least five spectators were asked to leave the stadium.
Unsurprisingly, the incident is being widely condemned with several big names from the game urging the authorities to take strict action in order to ensure that such incidents do not take place again. But amidst all these, an Indian-Australian fan has added a new twist to the saga. The fan has claimed he did not hear racist taunts from the six people who were ejected from the SCG on Sunday.
The fan named Prateik Kelkar has told the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) he was also removed from the ground after trying to explain to authorities that he felt Mohammed Siraj was not being racially abused. Play had to be stopped for around 10 minutes on day four after Siraj reported the group before police investigated and ejected six men.
Kelkar told SMH that he didn’t hear any racist abuse, and that he was removed from the ground while trying to explain that to police and security. He also claimed that Siraj was pissed off after conceding two sixes and was ‘copping it a bit’ while fielding near the boundary. Kelkar said police took his statement but a Cricket Australia employee said he couldn’t be allowed back in to watch the game.
“We got kicked out as well for sticking up for them, for saying that they didn’t say anything,” Kelkar told SMH.
“(Siraj) was pissed off because he got hit for two sixes the previous over. He came to field on the boundary. He was copping it a bit and then they said: ‘Welcome to Sydney, Siraj’. Next thing we knew they were getting kicked out.
“Nothing happened to anybody, except getting kicked out. They just said, ‘Look, we’re hearing two sides of the story. No one is under arrest or anything of the sort, we just can’t have you come back today’,” he added.
Kelkar further defended the group that was ejected but admitted something racist may have been directed towards Siraj from somewhere else at the ground. A video has been circulating on the social media with no obvious racist taunts being clear. However, sports journalist Boria Majumdar believes the taunt “brown dog” can be heard.
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