‘We respect the game’: Siraj reveals how Rahane turned down umpires’ offer to leave the field after racial abuse
- Siraj and his teammate, Jasprit Bumrah, faced racial abuse for two straight days during the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The incident forced the tourists to lodge an official complaint with match referee David Boon.
Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj arrived in India on Thursday after having a terrific Test series Down Under. During a media interaction on his arrival, the Hyderabad bowler revealed an incident from the Sydney Test where the on-field umpires gave the Indian team an option to leave the field midway after he was subjected to racial abuse by the crowd in Sydney.
Siraj and his teammate, Jasprit Bumrah, faced racial abuse for two straight days during the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The incident forced the tourists to lodge an official complaint with match referee David Boon.
Siraj brought the matter into the notice of stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane who then approached the umpires Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson during the game.
Speaking of the incident, Siraj said, “I faced abuses in Australia. The case is going on, let's see whether I get justice or not. My job was to report the incident to the captain,” the 26-year-old said during a press conference.
“The umpires told us that you can walk off the field and leave the game then Rahane bhai told the umpire that we won't leave, we respect the game. We did no mistake, so we will play,” he recalled.
Siraj returned as India's highest wicket-taker with 13 scalps during the historic 2-1 series win. He said the unruly crowd behaviour acted as a morale-booster for him during his debut Test series.
“The abuses which I faced in Australia made me mentally stronger. I didn't let them affect my game,” Siraj said.
Six spectators were expelled from the stadium after play was held up during the match on the fourth day of the Sydney Test that ended in a draw. Cricket Australia has promised to the strongest possible action those found guilty.
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