With its green cover and small stands, Vadodara’s Reliance Ground was the most pleasant venue of the India-Australia series. Ironically, it was also the stage of its biggest controversy.
Spectators at the ground allegedly subjected Australian allrounder Andrew Symonds, the team’s only black member, to racist abuse. It embittered an already rancorous relationship between the two teams. As it is, the Australians were irritated by India’s shrill celebration of the World Twenty20 win and Sreesanth’s over-the-top, displays of fire.
Symonds has not said much about the racist taunts in Indian forums. He has let his bat talk. But he did express disappointment over Indian authorities not acknowledging the Vadodara episode.
“I’m not disappointed that it happened, but I heard that people refused it happened and that’s disappointing,” Symonds said on Sunday. He was seemingly referring to BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah’s comments on the matter.
“I don’t understand where this anti-racism thing has come from as we have had no complaint,” Shah had said. Shah’s statement was contrary to the scene at the match with local officials flashing the ICC Anti-Racism code around the venue.