During the recently concluded Sydney Test between Australia and India, cricket fraternity witnessed some ugly scenes related to racism.
Indian pacers, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, were subjected to racial abuse by the SCG crowd on the second, third and fourth day of the drawn Test match.
In fact, play was halted for a few minutes after Siraj complained of racial abuse from a section of the crowd on the penultimate day, leading to expulsion of some spectators and an unreserved apology from Cricket Australia.
Sharing his views on this subject, veteran Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon on Wednesday (January 13) said Siraj has set an example for calling out poor crowd behaviour and described cricket as a sport for all with no room for racism or abuse.
“There is no room for any racial sledges or any abuse in any type. People think they are being funny, but it can affect people in different ways. For me, cricket is the sport for all and there is no room for it at all,” Lyon said during a virtual press conference, as quoted by PTI.
“If the time is right to call in match officials you do it. We have got a lot of security around the ground these days and if there is anyone doing it then they can be removed, as there is absolutely no place for it. It well may set precedence to report issues to officials.”
“I think it’s quite disgusting to be honest. Yes, I’ve been on the other end of it, coping abuse, whether that’s England, New Zealand, South Africa or wherever it may be. But there’s no room for it. As a player you’ve got to try your best to block it out,” he added.
After this incident, Lyon feels players have the option of stopping play and take their abusers to the task.
“It well may do (set a precedence to report issues to officials). It will be up to that player and how they have been affected.
“I just really hope in a whole world society, we can get over it and people can come to watch us play cricket, with players not going to work and not be worried about being abused or racially abused,” he remarked.
While the cricket community has condemned the racial abuse on Indian players, Australian cricketers have also supported their Indian counterparts, with skipper Tim Paine even joining the visiting team huddle on Day 4.
The fourth and final Test gets underway on Friday (January 14) in Brisbane, with the series locked at 1-1.
(With PTI inputs)