Sydney: Indian fast bowler Mohammed Siraj was once again subjected to abuse by Australian fans during the fourth day of third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday, leading to a 10-minute halt in the match.
The second session on day four witnessed high drama after Siraj along with India skipper Ajinkya Rahane had a word with umpire Paul Reiffel regarding the unruly behaviour of the crowd.
Visuals on television indicated that there were some words spoken for Siraj who was fielding near the boundary rope. Both the umpires then had a word with each other and the police then asked a group of men to leave the stand.
This came in the concluding minutes of the second session on day four, Siraj, fielding on the boundary line, went to skipper Ajinkya Rahane and raised the issue that some fans were passing abusive comments directed at him.
Rahane then had a word with umpire Paul Reiffel and the play was stopped for a few minutes at SCG until the police removed the fans from that section of the stands where Siraj pointed out.
Earlier, the Indian team had on Saturday lodged an official complaint after the crowd at the SCG racially abused Bumrah and Siraj over the second and third day of the ongoing Pink Test.
A BCCI official in the know of developments told ANI that the Indian cricket board stood with the boys as such behaviour is "unacceptable".
"The tour has surely turned sour and the last thing you expect in a civilized society is racial abuse. The ICC (International Cricket Council) and Cricket Australia need to be very responsive to this as the possible alternatives are not very pleasant for cricket, especially during the present circumstances. The Sydney Test has now become an acid test for CA interim CEO Nick Hockley and we are in complete solidarity with our boys. Racial abuse is unacceptable," the official explained.
Cricket Australia said it has zero-tolerance policy towards discriminatory behaviour.
"Cricket Australia has reaffirmed its zero-tolerance policy towards discriminatory behaviour in all forms following the alleged racial abuse of members of the Indian cricket squad by a section of the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday," the Australian cricket board said.
Sources aware of developments in the team said that the bowlers initially brought the matter up with stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane before the team went into a huddle with the coaching staff led by Ravi Shastri and decided that this sort of behaviour should not and will not be ignored.
The relationship between the two teams has taken a turn in recent times with Queensland's Health Shadow Minister Ros Bates' comments regarding quarantine guidelines for the fourth Test in Brisbane also painting the visitors in poor light. With questions raised on whether the Indian team would be willing to follow strict quarantine protocols for the final Test of the series at The Gabba, Bates had said: "If the Indians don't want to play by the rules, don't come."
(With ANI inputs)