Former Indian swashbuckling batsman Virender Sehwag on Sunday termed it "very unfortunate" that pacer Mohammed Siraj was once again subjected to unsavoury comments from the fans at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and said they are "spoiling the vibes of a good Test series".
His remarks came minutes after the security personnel asked the unruly group to leave the stands at SCG. Sehwag, known for his humour and sarcasm, took to social media to share his thoughts. "Tum karo toh Sarcasm, aur koi Kare toh Racism. Very unfortunate with what some of the Australian crowd has been doing at the SCG and spoiling the vibes of a good test series," Sehwag wrote on Twitter
The incident happened in the concluding minutes of the second session on day four when 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.
Former Australia cricketer Tom Moody reiterated Sehwag's sentiments and said there is no room for racism and the matter should be dealt in the most severe way.
"Unacceptable behaviour there is no place for racism, I hope this is dealt in the most severe way. #AUSvIND," Moody tweeted.
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.
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."