Police talk to spectators as the game is stopped after a complaint by Indian players during play at SCG on Sunday
Police talk to spectators as the game is stopped after a complaint by Indian players during play at SCG on Sunday
PTI

Robin Roy

If a match stops for bad light or rain, it is natural, but the Aussies should be ashamed of the fact that the Sydney Test of the prestigious Gavaskar-Border Trophy came to a brief halt on Sunday and a group of spectators was driven out of the Ground for allegedly making racist comments against Mohammed Siraj. Again!

Siraj was earlier allegedly racially abused by a drunk spectator on Day 3 of the third Test at Sydney. On the third day of the match, Siraj was allegedly referred to as a "monkey" and a “brown dog”, reviving memories of the infamous Monkeygate episode of the 2007-08 series. Understandably, the all-powerful BCCI has said, "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 said.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia also condemned “in the strongest terms possible” all discriminatory behaviour," said Sean Carroll, CA's Head of Integrity and Security. "As series hosts, we unreservedly apologise to our friends in the Indian cricket team and assure them we will prosecute the matter to its fullest extent," Carroll further stated. And you bet, the Aussies must be terribly ashamed of themselves. Even legendary Shane Warne and Hussey jumped into the fray to condemn the racist slur. Cricket Australia MUST understand that Australia’s contribution to ICC is no match in terms of BCCI’s standards.

Being one of the richest sporting boards, in 2020, with (US) $405 million out of (US) $1,534 million, India had 26% share in the ICC FTP income disbursed to 10 Test playing nations, while ECB received US$139 million as the second highest earner.Whether the Whites like it or not, the mighty BCCI, has largely taken up the mantle of holding the unofficial veto power that the English Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) held for decades over the ICC. Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday said, "This is my fourth tour to Australia and Sydney especially here, we have had these type of experiences in the past as well. I think one or two times, players have reacted to this in the past and they have gotten into trouble, it is not because of the player, it is because of the way the crowd has been reacting. The fans have been quite nasty, but this is one occasion where they have gone one step ahead, it is a case of racial abuse, we lodged an official complaint yesterday and we brought it to the notice of the umpires.

It may be recalled how Australian cricketers "sucked up" to India and Virat Kohli by holding back on verbal sledging to protect lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) deals, according to former Australia captain Michael Clarke.

Back then, Clarke said that players were "too scared" to play normal game against India because of the influence of the world's wealthiest cricket tournament. "Everybody knows how powerful India are in regards to the financial part of the game, internationally or domestically with the IPL," Clarke said on Sky Racing television. "I feel that Australian cricket, and probably every other team over a little period, went the opposite and actually sucked up to India,” he signed off.

Australian players have made big bucks since the IPL started in 2008. Paceman Pat Cummins is the most expensive overseas star this year with Kolkata Knight Riders paying $2.17 million. Clarke, who played for the now-defunct Pune Warriors in 2012, said Australian players coveted the million-dollar deals on offer. "The players were like: 'I'm not going to sledge Kohli, I want him to pick me for Bangalore so I can make my $1 million for my six weeks'." Realising our potential, BCCI must not let this opportunity go by and if need be, we should also realize that it is the Right moment that we stand by our boys’ prestige and if need be we walkout of the fourth Test. We must understand that Our IPL is a HUGE job spinner for former cricketers too who are in dire need of occupation.

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