Fresh twist in cricket’s racism storm

A cricket spectator has claimed he was evicted from the SCG on Sunday afternoon after defending a group of men accused of abusing Indian paceman Mohammed Siraj.

There were dramatic scenes on day four of the New Year’s Test when Siraj interrupted play to complain about members of the crowd.

Cricket Australia confirmed a number of patrons had been removed from the venue, and NSW Police was investigating the incident. CA has also launched its own inquiry into the matter.

On Saturday, India lodged a complaint to the ICC after two players allegedly faced racial abuse from the SCG crowd on day three.

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In a fresh twist, cricket fan Prateik Kelkar has claimed he was directed to leave the venue on Sunday after attempting to explain to police Siraj had not been racially abused.

“(Siraj) turned around, flipped them the finger and then walked off to tell the umpire that he was racially abused,” Kelkar told 7NEWS on Monday.

“But there wasn’t a single racist word said.

“I would’ve said something myself. I’ve experienced racism in Australia.

“We wanted to speak up because we saw they were getting pulled out and it was just not fair.”

Indian players look to towards a section of crowd.Source:Getty Images

Several eyewitnesses have reported Sunday’s incident did not feature abuse of a racial nature, but India alleged Siraj and teammate Jasprit Bumrah were racially abused by spectators on Saturday.

“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,” a BCCI source told the Press Trust of India.

The cricket fans evicted from the ground face life bans if proven to have racially abused the Indian players, but will receive refunds if cleared.

“We are working with the NSW Police. We’re supporting their investigation, we’re also doing our own investigation under the ICC’s anti-discrimination protocols,” CA boss Nick Hockley said on Monday.

“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 and we’re very committed to doing so.

“We can’t interfere with the police investigation, which is which is ongoing at the moment.”

Police monitor the crowd following a complaint by Mohammed Siraj.Source:Getty Images

The third Test between Australian and India ended as a draw after the tourists pulled off a remarkable comeback on day five.

Speaking to reporters after day four, Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed he had been subjected to abuse from Australian crowds for almost a decade.

“This is my fourth tour to Australia, and … we’ve had a few experiences in the past,” Ashwin said on Sunday evening.

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

“And people actually laugh at you when you get abused, and other people laugh along when these things are happening.

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

With the series delicately poised at 1-1, the fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will commence at the Gabba on Friday.

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