Siraj, Bumrah racially abused by crowd, BCCI lodges criticism

Sydney, January 9

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has lodged a formal complaint with match referee David Boon after Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were allegedly racially abused by a section of the crowd during the third day of the third Test against Australia today.

According to BCCI sources, Siraj was allegedly referred to as a “monkey” by at least one drunk spectator in one of the stands at the Sydney Cricket Ground, reliving the infamous “Monkeygate” episode of the Indian team’s tour of Australia in 2007-08.

Another ‘monkeygate’

Players were allegedly referred to as “monkey” by a spectator, reliving ‘Monkeygate’ episode of the 2007-08 Australia tour.

Unconfirmed reports said that abuse was directed at up to four Indian players multiple times. It is learnt that the abuse was reported by the team to the umpires on the field, and to Boon at the end of the day’s play.

Jasprit Bumrah

“BCCI lodged a formal complaint with ICC match referee David Boon about two of their players, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, being abused by a drunk spectator,” a BCCI official said.

Incidentally, the “Monkeygate” episode also took place during the Sydney Test when Andrew Symonds claimed Harbhajan Singh called him a monkey multiple times. But the Indian off-spinner was cleared after a hearing on the matter. A long discussion was held among senior Indian players, including captain Ajinkya Rahane, the on-field umpires and security officers at the end of the day’s play, it is learnt.

The abuse was directed at the Indians while they were fielding during the Australian second innings. Though the complaint was filed with the ICC representative, as per the rules, Cricket Australia as hosts will probe and adjudicate on the case.

Australia, meanwhile, tightened the noose around India with a substantial 197-run lead on a forgettable Saturday for the visitors in the third Test. By the close of play, Steve Smith (29 batting) and Marnus Labuschagne (47 batting) gave an exhibition of how to bat on slow tracks with Australia reaching 103 for two. — TNS/Agencies

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