'In their blood': India's disturbing new claims against Aussie fans

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Umpires Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson, Mohammed Siraj and Tim Paine, pictured here look at the crowd during a suspension in play at the SCG.
Umpires Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson, Mohammed Siraj of India and Tim Paine of Australia look at the crowd during a suspension in play at the SCG. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

An Indian journalist has detailed the racist abuse he suffered in Sydney on Saturday, claiming a senior Indian cricketer told him “it’s in their blood to look down upon us.”

Bharat Sundaresan, a journalist for cricbuzz.com, left the SCG on Saturday after Indian players complained of racial abuse from spectators and experienced some horrible treatment of his own.

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“I was outside the building in Potts Point where I’m renting an apartment, frantically looking for the keys to scan myself in,” Sundaresan wrote in an article for the website.

“I’d just returned from the SCG and my bag, water bottle and earphones were all spread out over the footpath. As my search continued, the sliding door opened, and a couple walked out of the building.

“But as I smiled and tried to enter, they stopped me with, ‘Mate, Uber Eats guys have to wait outside’.

“I smiled at them and replied, ‘I wonder why you’d think that. I know I can pass off as one’. They walked off with no expression as I eventually let myself in.”

Sundaresan claims a senior Indian player told him: “It’s in their blood to look down upon us.”

On Sunday, Cricket Australia vowed to investigate incidents of crowd misbehaviour after two days of drama overshadowed a close contest on the field.

India’s team made official complaints of racism after play on day three, before play was stopped for eight minutes on Sunday after claims of more alleged abuse on day four.

At this stage there is no suggestion the two incidents are linked, but it’s believed India will assert that they were again of a racial nature.

At least seven fans were removed from their seats after Mohammed Siraj ran in from the fine leg boundary, altering teammates before umpires passed on the message to security and police.

“Indian team management are convinced that the abuse dished out at the young fast bowler was ‘racist’ in nature on all three days of the Test,” Sundaresan reported.

Mohammed Siraj, pictured here speaking to the umpires after an alleged abusive comment.
Mohammed Siraj speaks to the umpires after an alleged abusive comment was directed at him from the crowd. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

A BCCI spokesperson told the Press Trust of India that “Siraj was referred to as ‘Brown Dog’ and ’Big Monkey’.

“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.”

India claim ongoing abuse from SCG crowd

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claims he has been the victim of abuse from Sydney crowds for almost a decade.

“This is my fourth tour of Australia and in Sydney we have had a few experiences even in the past,” Ashwin said.

“The way the crowd have been speaking ... they have been quite nasty and hurling abuse as well.

“There is a time where they have gone one step ahead and used racial abuses.

“There was an official complaint lodged yesterday and the umpires said we must bring it to their notice as it happens on the field.

“It is definitely not acceptable in this day and age. We have seen a lot and evolved as a society.

“Sometimes I think this roots back to the upbringing and the way one sees. This must definitely be dealt with an iron fist.”

Police officers, pictured here monitoring the crowd following a complaint by Mohammed Siraj at the SCG.
Police monitor the crowd following a complaint by Mohammed Siraj at the SCG. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Ashwin said he had been made to feel “little” by Australia’s crowds in the past, again stating he believed the SCG was worse than other grounds.

CA on Sunday night labelled the labelled the abuse of players as “unacceptable”, and apologised to the Indian team.

NSW Police, having interviewed several members of Sunday’s crowd before evicting them, and are also running their own investigation.

The SCG Trust have also vowed to ban any fans caught making racist taunts, after examining video footage from the end of day three.

with AAP

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