‘If the time is right to call in match officials you do it’, Lyon backs Siraj for calling out racist abuse in Sydney
Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon on Wednesday condemned the racism row which marred the third Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He stated that there is no space for such sledges as it can affect people in different ways.
A group of spectators directed racial slurs at Indian pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Siraj on the third and fourth day of the Test match after which the visitors lodged an official complaint with the ICC.
Interacting with media personnel in a virtual presser, Lyon said that Siraj has set a new standard for calling out poor crowd behaviour.
“There is no room for any racial sledges or any abuse in any type. People think they are being funny, but it can affect people in different ways. For me, cricket is the sport for all and there is no room for it at all,” Lyon said.
“If the time is right to call in match officials you do it. We have got a lot of security around the ground these days and if there is anyone doing it then they can be removed, as there is absolutely no place for it. It well may set precedence to report issues to officials,” he added.
Lyon further asserted that as a cricketer, an individual should step up and ‘try his best’ to curb such acts.
“I think it's quite disgusting, to be honest. Yes, I've been on the other end of it, coping abuse, whether that's England, New Zealand, South Africa or wherever it may be. But there's no room for it. As a player you've got to try your best to block it out,” Lyon said.
“I just really hope in a whole world society, we can get over it and people can come to watch us play cricket, with players not going to work and not be worried about being abused or racially abused,” he added.
The Australian players had supported their Indian counterparts after the incidents with skipper Tim Paine even joining the visiting team huddle after Siraj's complaints on the fourth day of the drawn match.
The four-match series is currently tied 1-1 with the fourth Test scheduled to be held here from Friday.
(With PTI Inputs)