Disappointing to see shadow of racism on cricket: Shami calls for ‘strict action’

New Delhi: India pacer Mohammad Shami on Sunday said it is disappointing to see the shadow of racism being cast over cricket and stressed that “strict action” should be taken against the guilty.

Shami’s remarks came after the touring team was subjected to racial abuse by a few individuals in the stands during the ongoing third Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

“Disappointing to see that my teammates were subjected to racial abuse repeatedly in Sydney. There is no place for racism in today’s world and it is not acceptable. I hope that strict action is taken against those who misbehaved. #TeamIndia,” Shami tweeted.

The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah also condemned the incident and said Cricket Australia has ensured him of strict action against the offenders.

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“Racism has no place in our great sport or in any walk of society. I’ve spoken to @CricketAus and they have ensured strict action against the offenders. @BCCI and Cricket Australia stand together. These acts of discrimination will not be tolerated. @SGanguly99 @ThakurArunS,” Shah tweeted.

Replying to Shah’s tweet, Shami wrote: “It is disappointing to see the shadow of racism being cast over such great cricket Down Under. I’m happy that @BCCI is standing up to such discrimination #TeamIndia.”

The Indian team 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. The crowd did not stop on day four of the ongoing Pink Test as 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.

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Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia’s Head of Integrity and Security, on Sunday said that strict action will be taken against the section of fans who hurled racial slurs at Indian pacers Mohammad Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah. “Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour. If you engage in racist abuse, you are not welcome in Australian cricket,” said Carroll, Cricket Australia’s Head of Integrity and Security in an official release.

“CA is awaiting the outcome of the International Cricket Council’s investigation into the matter reported at the SCG on Saturday. Once those responsible are identified, CA will take the strongest measures possible under our Anti-Harassment Code, including lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police. 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,” he added.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) also “strongly condemned” reported incidents of racism and have offered Cricket Australia all necessary support in investigating the incidents. “Under the ICC Anti-Discrimination policy, Cricket Australia will now be required to investigate the issue and provide a report to the ICC on the incident and any action taken to ensure the issue has been dealt with appropriately,” ICC said in a statement.

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