Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Sunday condemned the racial slurs hurled at Indian players by a section of a crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) during the third Test against Australia.
Harbhajan stated that he himself heard many things on the field while playing in Australia about him, his religion and his colour.
“I personally have heard many things on the field while playing in Australia about me, my religion, my colour and much more. This isn’t the first time the crowd is doing this nonsense. How do you stop them??? #AUSvIND,” tweeted Harbhajan.
His comments came after the Indian team raised complaints of racial abuse from the crowd at the end of the third day in the ongoing third Test against Australia. The abuse had been directed towards the likes of Mohammad Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.
On Sunday as well, Siraj raised concerns on the fourth day when play was stopped for a brief in the second session while as the umpires and security officials combined to take action, and removed at least six members of the crowd at the SCG.
VVS Laxman also slammed crowd racism and tweeted: “Very unfortunate to see what’s happening at SCG. There is no place for this rubbish. Never understood the need to yell abuse at players on a sporting field. If you’re not here to watch the game and can’t be respectful then please don’t come and spoil the atmosphere.”
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia (CA) have apologised to the Indian team and said that they are awaiting the outcome of the International Cricket Council’s investigation into the matter.
India had previously been involved in a racism controversy on their tour of Australia in 2008 although in that case, Andrew Symonds had alleged that Harbhajan had called him a monkey during the Sydney Test which the Indian player and the team denied.