Video emerges of SCG crowd chant targeting Indian cricketer

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Mohammed Siraj, pictured here making an official complaint about abuse from the SCG crowd.
Mohammed Siraj made an official complaint about abuse from the SCG crowd. Image: Twitter/Getty

Video has emerged showing members of the SCG crowd chanting at Mohammed Siraj after the Indian bowler claimed he was the victim of racial abuse.

India made an official complaint to the ICC on Saturday night over alleged comments made to Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah on day three of the Sydney Test.

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The situation then escalated further on Sunday when Siraj claimed more abusive comments had been made to him just before tea, stopping play for eight minutes.

The halt in play brought the issue to a head, with seven spectators asked to leave the venue and NSW Police and Cricket Australia launching separate investigations into the second incident.

Video has since emerged on social media showing spectators chanting Siraj’s name as he fields on the boundary at the SCG.

While the video predominantly shows ‘Siraj’ being chanted repeatedly, some social media users claim to have heard racial abuse in the background.

On Sunday night a BCCI spokesperson told the Press Trust of India: “Siraj was referred to as ‘Brown Dog’ and ’Big Monkey’, both of which are racist slurs.

“The matter was immediately brought to the notice of on-field umpires. They were constantly abusing Bumrah too.”

The Times of India newspaper made similar claims, reporting that “Bumrah and Siraj were called monkeys, w**ker and motherf**ker by the people almost throughout the time they were fielding.”

However The Age newspaper in Australia has quoted spectators who reportedly overheard what was being said on Sunday, with claims none of it was racist in nature.

“All these boys were doing is a bit of sledging of the player on the outfield. First it was Bumrah then they had a sledge against Siraj,” one fan was quoted as saying.

“They kept calling him Shiraz and all that crap. Next thing you know they said: ‘Welcome to Sydney, Siraj’ and then he got the sh*ts. That was literally it. Then he walked off.

“I don’t know why (the police kicked the men out). Next thing you know you see police everywhere. It didn’t make sense. It was confusing.”

Virat Kohli calls for ‘strict’ action

India superstar Virat Kohli has since called for “strict” action against any spectator found to have made racial slurs.

“Racial abuse is absolutely unacceptable,” Kohli tweeted.

“Having gone through many incidents of really pathetic things said on the boundary Iines, this is the absolute peak of rowdy behaviour.

“It's sad to see this happen on the field.

“The incident needs to be looked at with absolute urgency and seriousness and strict action against the offenders should set things straight for once.”

Mohammed Siraj and India teammates, pictured here looking at spectators following a complaint about the SCG crowd.
Mohammed Siraj and India teammates look at spectators following a complaint about the SCG crowd. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

While back in India awaiting the birth of his child, captain Kohli was one of several India players to speak on the incident.

Injured quick Mohammed Shami labelled the the ongoing issue as “disappointing” and also called for “strict” action.

Veteran Ravichandran Ashwin wants the matter to be dealt with using an “iron fist” and said the abuse of India players had been an issue his whole career in Sydney.

“If I take myself back to my first tour in 2011-12, I had no clue about racial abuse and how you can be made to feel small in front of so many people,” Ashwin said.

“And the people actually laugh at you when you get abused, I had no idea what this was about.

“When I stood at the boundary line, you wanted to stand another 10 yards in to keep yourself away from these things.”

The SCG Trust are also investigating the matters, promising life bans for anyone found to have made racial remarks.

with AAP

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