Brisbane: Some spectators at the Gabba on Friday called India bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Washington Sundar “bloody grub” on the first day of the fourth Test against Australia, less than a week after racist abuse allegations directed at the bowler during the third Test in Sydney.
A report in Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on Friday quoted a spectator as saying that speedster Siraj was repeatedly abused by vocal spectators in Section 215 and 216 of the stadium when he was fielding there. A video posted on twitter by the SMH reporter also shows spectators shouting out Siraj’s name before calling out “you bloody grub”.
The report said: “At one point, a man in that section was heard yelling, ‘Siraj, give us a wave, give us a wave, give us a wave. Siraj, you bloody grub’.”
Siraj can be seen turning around and waving towards the stand at which point the spectators let out a cheer.
‘Grub’, an Australian slang, is used for a person who is unclean or who has messy habits.
According to the spectator quoted in the newspaper report, debutant off-spinner Sundar was also subjected to the same chat from the unruly section.
“The guys behind me have been calling — shouting — both Washington and Siraj grubs,” a spectator named Kate was quoted as saying in the report.
“It started targetted 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,” she added.
The report further said that the spectator was seated in a section of the stadium where several men dressed as lifeguards had a beer snake dismantled by security guards and another man was escorted out of the ground for standing on his seat and starting an “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” chant.
This is not the first instance of Indian players being targetted by spectators. During the drawn third Test in Sydney, Siraj and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah had complained of racial abuse after they were subjected to by a section of the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Day Three and Four.
These incidents have been condemned by all across the cricket spectrum.
Before the start of the final Test here on Friday, Australia captain Tim Paine had urged the Brisbane crowd to treat the visiting Indian team respectfully.
“In terms of crowd behaviour, we don’t condone the abuse of anyone, let alone from the racial standpoint,” Paine had said on Thursday.
“So, we want people to come along to the Gabba, enjoy the game of cricket, support Australia, support India. Support the umpires, if you like. But my suggestion is you leave the abuse at the gate and just respect the players, respect the game and have a good time.”
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