Racism remains one of the biggest problems in sports. Time and again, incidents of players being abused on the field, be it in football, cricket or other sports, have been reported. Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj was also subjected to racism on the tour of Australia in 2021 during the Sydney Test. More than two years since the incident took place, Siraj has opened up on the dark episode of his career, revealing that he was called a ‘black monkey’ by a section of Australian supporters in the stadium.
“When I was called a black monkey and things like that in Australia, I ignored them on the first day, thinking the people were drunk. But when it happened on the second day, I decided to go up to the umpires and complain about racism and I conveyed it to Ajju bhai (Ajinkya Rahane) who went to the umpires,” Siraj said while speaking on RCB Season 2 Podcast.
In that match, it was Ajinkya Rahanw ho was leading the Indian team as Virat Kohli had returned home after the first Test in Adelaide. Rahane took up the matter with the umpires on the field and got those fans removed from the venue.
“So, the umpires told him you are free to leave the ground till the matter is settled. But Ajju bhai said: ‘We respect cricket and why should we leave the ground? But remove those people who are abusive and why should we leave the ground? We then focused on cricket as people would keep saying all these things,” Siraj added.
Siraj and the entire Indian team had a memorable tour of Australia in that series that saw them lift the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1.