After booing hometown hero Sachin Tendulkar during the Test against England in April last year, the Wankhede crowd displayed their hostility and stupidity yet again on Wednesday in the seventh ODI between India and Australia when they racially abused Andrew Symonds.
Symonds must have got used to racial abuse by now. After facing similar behaviour in the last two ODIs at Vadodara and Nagpur, Symonds was again subjected to a round of monkey chants, especially from the North Stand, which was overflowing due to duplication of tickets.
When the man in stupendous form began walking towards the crease after Australia lost their second wicket on Wednesday, he was taunted with the same monkey chants he was subjected to in Vadodara six days ago. When the Australian team management complained to match referee Chris Broad, the latter directed the ICC security manager to ensure that police immediately swung into action.
A lot of people were evicted and police arrested four of them who were captured by an Australian photographer.
After the match, as Symonds headed towards the dais to receive the Man of the Series award, the Garware Pavilion joined the North Stand and booed him. Probably, this promoted Symonds to skip the post-match media conference.
But captain Ricky Ponting did not waste time in displaying his disappointment. "Some of the stuff that went on today was totally unnecessary," he said. "I just hope that it does not happen again in another venue that I play in because it leaves a bad taste in everybody's mouth."
Earlier in the day, the chiefs of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Cricket Australia had condemned racial abuse in a joint statement. Ponting appeared to be satisfied with the action taken by the authorities on Wednesday.
"I believe there has been a bit of action taken from what I understand with a few members of the crowd being arrested and taken away from the ground," he said. "That sort of stuff as we all know is totally unacceptable at any place at any time, not only in sport but in society in general."
"To have that sort of stuff happen to him again today for the second time is disappointing particularly with how much has been made of it over the last few days."