Mohammed Siraj recalls being subjected to racial abuse during SCG Test on the tour of Australia

The racial attack was one of the obstacles that the Indian team came across during that tour Down Under in 2020-21.

Mohammed Siraj | GettyIndia’s tour to Australia in 2020-21 not only saw the Asian giants scripting history but it was also marred by many controversies.

The racial attack was one of the obstacles that the Indian team came across during that tour Down Under. Fast bowlers Mohammad Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were subjected to racial abuse by the section of the crowd on the third and fourth day of the third Test at SCG.

A few drunk supporters took racial jibes at Siraj with taunts that were seriously insulting and called him “brown monkey”. The pacer brought the issue to the notice of then skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who reported it to the on-field umpires Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson.

Speaking on RCB Season 2 Podcast, Siraj recently recalled facing racist slurs on his debut Test series, saying that on-field umpires had given his team the option of leaving the third Test midway.

"When I was called a black monkey and things like that in Australia, I ignored them on the first day, thinking the people were drunk. But when it happened on the second day, I decided to go up to the umpires and complain about racism and I conveyed it to Ajju bhai (Ajinkya Rahane) who went to the umpires," Siraj stated.

After play was halted on the fourth day, six spectators were ejected from the stadium while Cricket Australia issued an unreserved apology to the Indian team.

"So, the umpires told him you are free to leave the ground till the matter is settled. But Ajju bhai said: 'We respect cricket and why should we leave the ground? But remove those people who are abusive and why should we leave the ground? We then focused on cricket as people would keep saying all these things," Siraj added.

Mohammed Siraj played a key role in India’s 2-1 Border-Gavaskar Trophy triumph in 2020-21 on Australian soil. The right-arm pacer took 13 wickets in the series at an average of 29.53, including a maiden five-wicket haul (5/73) to script the visitors’ three-wicket victory in the decider at the Gabba.


By Salman Anjum - 13 Mar, 2023

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