CA, police continue to probe SCG verbals

Rob Forsaith and Scott Bailey
·3-min read

India captain Ajinkya Rahane is satisfied that alleged racial abuse directed at Mohammed Siraj is being dealt with, adding that his team were deeply upset.

Cricket Australia and NSW Police continue to investigate verbals from fans at the SCG, where past players expressed hope that Mohammed Siraj's line-in-the-sand complaint could help improve crowd behaviour.

India made a formal complaint after play on day three of the third Test, furious about some words levelled at Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.

The situation escalated further on day four of the contest, when play stopped for eight minutes after Siraj claimed more abusive comments were made to him.

"Officials are taking action," Rahane told reporters.

"What happened was not acceptable at all. It should not happen anywhere in the world.

"We were really upset about it."

CA boss Nick Hockley said on Monday his organisation and NSW Police are still probing Sunday's incident, when a group of fans were evicted, and that bans for an "indefinite period of time" could be handed out.

Venues NSW also has the power to ban fans from all venues under its umbrella.

There remains mixed reports about what was said to Siraj at various points of the third Test.

"Cricket Australia and the Australian team don't condone any sort of abuse, especially racial abuse," Tim Paine said, having passed that exact message on to the tourists during Sunday's delay.

"Really disappointed that happens when teams come to Australia and we want it to stop.

"Wanted to make sure the Indian boys knew we were also against it and we support them."

Hockley will be keen to get to the bottom of the saga before the series finale starts on Friday in Brisbane, where a heated reception generally awaits most touring teams.

"We're supporting their (NSW Police) investigation, we're also doing our own investigation under the ICC's anti-discrimination protocols," Hockley said.

"That process is going to take a little bit more time.

"We've got an obligation to report back to the ICC within two weeks.

"We can't interfere with the police investigation, which is is ongoing."

The episode has triggered intense debate that continues to reverberate outside the sport, with acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack among those to join in.

Virat Kohli has called for the "racial abuse" to be treated with "urgency and seriousness".

Hockley hoped Siraj's stance could be a catalyst when it comes to verbal abuse from the outer.

"The foundation the whole game needs to be built on is respect ... that's really all we can ask for," he said.

Fox Commentator and former legspinner Kerry O'Keeffe was more blunt, saying it was time for Australian cricket fans to "grow up".

Indigenous allrounder Dan Christian, fresh from a match-winning knock for Sydney Sixers, suggested Australia has "a problem with casual racism in society".

Christian also admitted that crowd behaviour at BBL games has been "pretty ordinary when it comes to heckling or banter or abuse".