CHENNAI: There’s something about Sydney. Last time it was the infamous Monkeygate involving former players, India spinner Harbhajan Singh and Aussie all-rounder Andrew Symonds. Racial abuse once again reared its ugly head on Saturday when the Indian team management lodged an official complaint with the International Cricket Council match referee David Boon.
According to team sources, it involves pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj, who pointed out that they were “racially abused” by a section of the crowd. It is learnt that some of the spectators hurled abusive words at Siraj and Bumrah while they were stationed near the boundary ropes. Initially, not much of attention was given but as the day progressed the cuss words apparently took a racial turn.
It is learnt that Siraj was subject to even monkey chants, which led to him informing captain Ajinkya Rahane. The matter was immediately brought to the notice of umpires Paul Reifel and Paul Wilson and match referee David Boon. According to a member of the Indian team, Boon and the security officials have already spoken to the players and are set to review the video footage to identify the fans.
As all the spectators are registered because of the Covid protocol and about 800 cameras are monitoring the ground, the authorities are expected to resolve the matter soon. As if the India-Australia Test series needed more controversy and drama. It is learnt that the BCCI has requested Cricket Australia to shift the fourth and final Test from Brisbane.
The BCCI is understood to have cited the UK variant of the coronavirus as the reason for not travelling to Brisbane. Sydney could be the venue for the fourth Test as well. As the England series is scheduled days after the team’s return, it is understood India did not want to take any chance.