Mohammed Siraj of India stops play to make a formal complaint to umpire Paul Reiffel about racism.
Australian Test spinner Nathan Lyon has blasted the “disgusting” comments made by a group of fans at the SCG toward Indian bowler Mohammed Siraj during the Sydney Test.
Play paused for more than 10 minutes on the stroke of tea on the fourth day when a clearly agitated Siraj spoke to captain Ajinkya Rahane and umpires Paul Wilson and Paul Reiffel about the crowd’s behaviour.
NSW Police ejected a number of patrons allegedly involved in the incident labelled as “regrettable” by Cricket Australia’s head of integrity and security Sean Carroll.
Despite conflicting reports that nothing racist was in fact said, Lyon didn’t mince his words when he called out those involved in the abuse, calling on the Aussie crowd to shape up.
“There’s no room for any racial (sledges) or any abuse in any type,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“People think they are being funny, but it can effect people in different ways. For me, cricket is the sport for all and there is no room for it at all.
“I think it’s quite disgusting to be honest. Yes, I’ve been on the other end of it copping abuse, whether that’s England, New Zealand, South Africa or wherever it may be. But there’s no room for it. As a player you’ve got to try your best to block it out.
“But if the time is right to call in match officials (you do it). We’ve got a lot of security around the ground these days and if there are anyone doing it then they can be removed, as there’s absolutely no place for it.”
It was the second potential incident of abuse in the third Test being investigated by the International Cricket Council, after it was reported Siraj and fellow India paceman Jasprit Bumrah had copped racial abuse on days two and three.
But spectator Rishi Aryan told The Sydney Morning Herald the day four allegations were incorrect.
“All these boys were doing is a bit of sledging of the player on the outfield,” Mr Aryan said.
“First it was (Jasprit) Bumrah then they had a sledge against Siraj. They kept calling him Shiraz and all that crap. Next thing you know they said: ‘Welcome to Sydney, Siraj’ and then he got the shits.
“That was literally it. Then he walked off. I don’t know why (the police kicked the men out). Next thing you know you see police everywhere. It didn’t make sense. It was confusing.”