Australian coach Justin Langer called it a shame and one of his biggest “pet hates” on Sunday after some spectators targeted Indian players racially abusive during the third test here and were banned from the Sydney Cricket Ground for their behavior. Play was interrupted for a few minutes on the fourth day after a visit to pacemaker Mohammed Siraj complained of racial abuse by part of the crowd, leading to the exclusion of some spectators and an unconditional apology from the host board.
At the end of the day’s play, multiple questions about the matter were asked of Langer, and the former opener in Australia focused on education.
“I just read a book on the history of Australia and saw some good documentaries a few times in the last few months. It’s sad, we are educating ourselves and you feel very sad that people are being exposed to racism,” Langer said referring to Australia’s troubled history with regard to indigenous aborigines.
“When you start to get an education … About what has happened in Australia’s history, you can understand why it is so hurtful,” he added.
The unsavory incident on Sunday came a day after a drunken bystander at the SCG allegedly targeted Jasprit Bumrah and Siraj for racial abuse. The BCCI has filed a complaint with the ICC.
Commenting on the two episodes of racism against the visiting team in as many days, Langer said it was a shame that such a hard-won series was tainted by incidents like this one.
“Sorry, it is disturbing and it is disappointing,” he said.
“… it’s one of my biggest pet hates in life, that people can think they can come to a sporting event, be it cricket or whatever, and pay their money and think they can abuse or whatever they want.
“I mean I hated it as a player, I hated it as a coach, we’ve seen it in different parts of the world, it’s really sad to see this happen in Australia,” he said.
Langer said it’s especially frustrating when the cricket itself has been nothing short of arousing so far. “I think our series has been played in such a great atmosphere so far, it was incredible cricket, it was brilliant to see on the field, it was played with really good spirit between both teams.
“It’s a shame to see (the series) marred by incidents like the ones we hear about today and last night.”
Local media reported that six people were evicted from the SCG by security during the nearly 10-minute stop in the proceedings on the ground.
During the second session of the fourth day, the players from India huddled in the middle when Siraj, standing on the boundary of the square leg, complained of abuse after being hit by Cameron Green in his over for two consecutive sixes.
This prompted the security personnel to enter the stands and search for the troublemaker before a group of people were asked to leave the stands.
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