Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has called for banning alcohol at cricket venues. The 39-year-old wants the ban after a section of the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground hurled racial slurs at the Indian players during the third Test.
Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj was subjected to racial innuendos twice in two days at the SCG. On the third day of the Test, some drunk members in the crowd heckled Siraj and pacer Jasprit Bumrah when they were fielding on the boundary.
A similar incident occurred on Sunday and Siraj complained again. The play was stopped for a few minutes and the offenders were promptly removed from the ground. Talking to India Today, Gautam Gambhir also recommended bolstering the punishment for the offenders.
"The fact that cricket is happening should because of celebration hence incidents such as these are unfortunate. Also, I think alcohol should be stopped at cricket venues. It brings out a very indifferent behavior from the spectators. Besides, I would highly recommend a stricter punishment for the offenders. It should be exemplary so that others learn a lesson and it’s not repeated," said Gambhir.
While the Indian management lodged an official complaint to the ICC, Cricket Australia put out a statement condemning the act.
"The incident has taken the shine off the series" - Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir said the disgraceful incident has taken the 'shine off' the series. He had expected the crowd to show respect and sympathy towards the players, at least amidst a pandemic.
“I think this incident has taken the shine off a good, hard-fought series. One or two bad elements have tarnished the image of Aussie crowds. With the background of Covid and its impact, one would like to believe that crowds the world over would be sympathetic towards each other and the players," said Gautam Gambhir.
Australia dominated India on the first three days of the third Test but Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant's impressive partnership has done well to restore some balance in the game.Published 11 Jan 2021, 08:37 IST