India fast bowler Mohammed Siraj was targetted for abuse by a section of the crowd on the opening day of the fourth Test against Australia, a newspaper here reported, claiming that he was called a “grub” by some spectators.
The reported incident happened a few days after Siraj was racially abused by spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground on the third and fourth day of the drawn third Test. That had led to an expulsion of six people from the stands and an unreserved apology from Cricket Australia to the visiting team.
On Friday, a report in the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ quoted a spectator as saying that a section of the crowd at the Gabba targetted Siraj.
“The guys behind me have been calling – shouting – both Washington and Siraj grubs,” a spectator named Kate was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
“It started targeted at Siraj and it was a chant similar to the SCG one (in which fans sung to the tune of Que Sera, Sera but substituted the lyrics with Que Shiraz, Shiraz).
“But this time it was Siraj. I suspect it’s not a coincidence that it’s Siraj being targeted post the SCG stuff.”
According to the newspaper, at one point, a man in the crowd was heard yelling, “Siraj, give us a wave, give us a wave, give us a wave. Siraj, you bloody grub.”
— Utkarsh Singh (@utkarshs88) January 15, 2021
Play was halted during the Sydney Test for about 10 minutes after Siraj complained of racial abuse from a section of the crowd. The BCCI had also lodged a complaint with the match referee against the abuse.
CA had promised strongest possible action against the offenders, which included the possibility of them being banned for life from the SCG.
The ICC had condemned the incidents of Indian players being subjected to racial abuse by the spectators and had sought an action-taken report from CA.
Former cricketers and current players like India captain Virat Kohli, Australia skipper Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer had also condemned the incidents at the SCG.