Australia are embroiled in an ugly racism battle after Indian players alleged they were subjected to bigoted insults by viewers.
Day four of the third cricket test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday was interrupted when the Indian Mohammed Siraj stopped playing and told referees that he had been targeted with racist comments from fans.
Six spectators were escorted from the ground and Cricket Australia apologized to the Indian team, saying they would "follow the matter in full".
However, fans nearby said the comments from the expelled fans were "nothing abusive" and that it was "just a joke".
Indian cricketer Mohammed Siraj (center) claimed on Sunday that he received racist remarks on the fourth day of the third test between Australia and India
Siraj stopped playing to officially complain to officials about some spectators in the bay behind his field position at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday
Six men were ejected from the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday and were escorted from the venue by police
India's captain Virat Kohli, who is home to be with his wife-to-be, was outraged by the incident and went to Twitter to call for more action against the crowd's abuse.
"The incident must be viewed with absolute urgency and seriousness, and strict measures against the perpetrators should put things right," said Kohli Twitter.
& # 39; Racial abuse is absolutely unacceptable. This is the absolute peak of noisy behavior after going through many incidents of really pathetic things being said on the borderlines. It's sad to see this happening in the field. & # 39;
Sean Carroll, Head of Integrity and Safety at Cricket Australia, insisted that the matter be addressed.
"The abuse of cricketers by crowd members is unacceptable," he said. & # 39; We thank the Indian team for their vigilance in reporting today's incident that we are currently investigating.
& # 39; It is very unfortunate that an otherwise excellent test match played by two friendly rivals in a tremendous mood has been marred by the actions of a small number of spectators over the past two days.
"As hosts, we once again apologize to the Indian team."
Police were called in to remove the six men from the ground after Siraj filed the formal complaint
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli (pictured with his wife) said the incidents at the Sydney Cricket Ground were "unacceptable" and "pathetic".
Indian weirdo Ravichandran Ashwin is no stranger to sledding and abuse by Australian cricket viewers, but he said it was a step too far.
"They have been pretty nasty, they have hurled abuses too, but this is the time they are one step ahead and using racial abuse," all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin told Sky Sports.
& # 39; It's definitely not acceptable these days. We saw a lot, didn't we? We have evolved as a society. This definitely needs to be handled with an iron fist. And we have to make sure it doesn't happen again. & # 39;
Boria Majumdar, a well-known Indian sports journalist, reported on Sunday that Siraj was referred to as a "brown dog".
Kohli expressed his anger after players were allegedly mistreated in the Test against Australia
Siraj and Bumrah had informed the referee on Saturday that they had been verbally attacked by fans and they, along with substitute captain Ajinkya Rahane, brought this to the attention of Cricket Australia officials at the end of the game.
But more incidents followed on Sunday, and Siraj reported it to the referee and pointed to part of the crowd nearby where he had bet on his feet.
& # 39; Siraj threw a poor man over the over and he came back for a drink and someone in the crowd says, "You didn't deserve a drink like you threw a poor arm over the over," and Siraj "Got to the border and gave the bird to the crowd, middle finger," one viewer told The Daily Telegraph.
The publication reported police sources said the comments were heckling rather than racial abuse.
A bystander sitting at the Brewongle booth where the alleged abuse came from said it made no sense for the police to throw the men out of the oval.
Rishi Aryan said the audience just did a bit of sledding with the outfield players, first Jasprit Bumrah and then Siraj.
They kept calling him Shiraz and all that crap. Next they said, "Welcome to Sydney Siraj" and then he got the shit. It was literally. Then he went away, ”Mr. Aryan said to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Another viewer confirmed the "Welcome to Sydney" comment.
Others said some sang Que Sera, Sera by replacing the main lyrics with Siraj's name.
India's substitute captain Ajinkya Rahane reported the incidents of racial abuse to the referees
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin says the crowd went a step too far in their abuse
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) India (t) Twitter