Former Australian Test opener and its current head coach Justin Langer has hailed skipper Tim Paine for his heartfelt gesture that won the hearts of fans and pundits alike on what was a controversial day at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
24 hours after the Indian team-management lodged an official complaint regarding racial abuse hurled at pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, six spectators were booted out of the stadium on Sunday after Siraj complained of having once again coped with discriminatory remarks.
Play was halted for around 8-10 minutes before the Tea break as the New South Wales police ejected the perpetrators from the stadium.
During this time, Tim Paine was batting alongside Cameron Green and the Aussie captain decided to enter the Indian team huddle. Langer hailed his skipper for his gesture and called him a ‘class act’ at the virtual press-conference.
“It was nice to have Tim out there when that incident happened today. He’s a class act as we know. The game of Test cricket is always going to be played tough but there’s been a really good feeling amongst both teams and let’s hope that continues,” Justin Langer said.
Speaking further on Tim Paine’s gesture, Langer said:
“We talked at tea about what was going on. As hosts, we never want to see our visitors being treated poorly do we? And there’s different levels of that. We were in England last year and some of our guys have felt it before, there’s nothing pleasant about it,” Justin Langer added.
“I’m not exactly sure what was said out there between Tim and the Indians, I think it was just a show of support that we don’t condone any of that really, really bad behavior,” Langer said.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has issued a public apology to the Indian team where it condoned the incident besides revealing that an investigation is underway.