HomeSportThis has been a continuous thing at Sydney: Ajinkya Rahane recalls how...

This has been a continuous thing at Sydney: Ajinkya Rahane recalls how ugly racism incident unfolded Down Under


India were stretched thin in the 2020/21 series in Australia but pulled off an incredible heist against the Australian team.

File photo of Ajinkya Rahane from South Africa series. (Courtesy: Reuters)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ajinkya Rahane and the Indian team got together after Mohammed Siraj was abused
  • A group of supporters were evicted from the stadium
  • Ajinkya Rahane recalled facing similar incidents before

India’s stand-in captain in the absence of Virat Kohli in the tour of Australia, Ajinkya Rahane recalled the racism incident from Sydney. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo about the 2020/21 tour of Australia, Rahane said that the Indian team were constantly hustled by the crowd, but faced the worst from Sydney.

“Personally, I think Adelaide and Melbourne weren’t as bad. But this has been a continuous thing at Sydney. I have experienced it as well. They do tend to get nasty.”

Things got out of hand for a bit in the intensely fought series after India’s Mohammed Siraj was abused by the crowd. Siraj had alleged at the time that it was racist in nature and the team proceeded to complain to the umpire.

“(We) insisted on getting the abusers out of the ground,” Ajinkya Rahane, who stood in as India’s captain from the second Test in the series in Kohli’s absence, told ESPNCricinfo.

“When Siraj again came to me (on the fourth day, after being abused the day before), I told the umpires that (they) need to take action and we won’t play till then.”

India were given the option to stage a walkout from the ground, but Rahane chose not to and fought on.

“The umpires said that you can’t stall the game and can walk out if you want. We said that we are here to play and not sit in the dressing room and insisted on getting the abusers out of the ground. It was important to support our colleague given the situation he had been through. What happened in Sydney was completely wrong,” said Rahane.

The Sydney Test match changed the course of the series. India were outplayed throughout the game. However, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihar held on in the final innings of the game despite suffering injuries. They played a total of 258 deliveries between them to save the Test match. India would later draw spirit from the drawn Test and go on to stage an incredible win at the Gabba in Brisbane, Australia.



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