In the wake of racism incidents during the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australian captain Tim Paine has urged the fans to leave ‘the abuse at the gate’ and show respect to all those involved in the series decider at the Gabba including the umpires.
Despite the quality of cricket in Sydney, the Test match was marred by racism incidents. The matter first came into the spotlight when the Indian team management lodged an official complaint at the end of the third day after pacers Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj alleged that they have been racially abused by a section of the crowd at the SCG.
Matters escalate further on the fourth afternoon when Siraj once again complained of having been at the receiving end of discriminatory remarks. As a result, play was halted for around 10 minutes as the New South Wales police ejected five such perpetrators.
Cricket Australia immediately issues an apology to the Indian team besides launching their own investigation. Australian captain Tim Paine and head coach Justin Langer apologized for the crowd’s behavior, asserting that there is no place for racism in cricket. Even David Warner apologized to Mohammed Siraj and the Indian team on behalf of the spectators in a post on his official Instagram account.
“In terms of crowd behaviour – we don’t condone the abuse of anyone; let alone from the racial standpoint. So we want people to come along to the Gabba, enjoy the game of cricket, support Australia, support India. Support the umpires if you like. But my suggestion is you leave the abuse at the gate and just respect the players, respect the game and have a good time,” Paine said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
Meanwhile, Australia are back to the Gabba- a venue where they are yet to lose a Test match since going down to the West Indies i the summer of 1988/89.
Paine acknowledged that the bounce in the wicket at the Gabba can be disconcerting for even non-Queensland cricketers, let alone the visiting teams.
“Yeah it [the Gabba] is right up there, no doubt about that. It’s a hard place to come and play cricket. Even for Tasmanians and Victorians to come here, it can be challenging to adjust to the different bounce and speed of the wicket. It’s something that has been to the advantage of Australian teams for a long time,” he added.
India has played 6 Tests in Brisbane, out of which they have lost 5. The only instance of them drawing a Test at the Gabba came in 2003/04 under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly, who smashed a brilliant 144.