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'Class act' – Justin Langer praises Tim Paine for joining Indian huddle after Sydney racism row

Australia v India: 3rd Test: Day 4
Australia v India: 3rd Test: Day 4
Modified 11 Jan 2021, 07:31 IST

Australia coach Justin Langer has praised his captain Tim Paine, calling him a ‘class act’ for joining the Indian team huddle after pacer Mohammed Siraj was subjected to racial abuse on fourth day of the Sydney Test.

Play was temporarily stopped in the second session of the fourth day of the SCG Test after Mohammed Siraj complained of racial abuse from a section of the crowd. 

A similar incident occurred on the third day of the Test. A spectator had allegedly directed racial abuse at Jasprit Bumrah and Siraj, after which BCCI had lodged a formal complaint.

The sequence of incidents left the cricket community fuming on social media. But Paine’s gesture, who was batting at the time Siraj brought the racial abuse to the officials' notice, of joining the visiting team huddle was welcomed by every one.

“It was nice to have Tim out there when that incident happened today. He’s a class act as we know. The game of Test cricket is always going to be played tough, but there’s been a really good feeling amongst both teams and let’s hope that continues,” Justin Langer said of Paine.

Not only six spectators were expelled from the arena, but Cricket Australia also sent out an unreserved apology to the visitors.

Justin Langer said that incidents like these spoils a well-fought series that has been played in the right spirit between two highly competitive teams.

“We saw it throughout the white-ball series, both series. And we’ve seen it through this Test series. I was interviewed before the summer started (and was asked) what would be the perfect outcome and I mentioned that this series, with everything that’s happening around the world, would be played with great sportsmanship and with that great spirit that I’m talking about.
“I think we’ve seen that, haven’t we? It’s been great to watch,” the former Australian opener added.

As hosts, we never want our visitors treated poorly: Langer

Langer went on to praise his captain Tim Paine, adding that as hosts, they don't want the visitors 'treated poorly'. The PTI quoted Langer as saying: 

“We talked at tea about what was going on. As hosts, we never want to see our visitors being treated poorly, do we? And there are different levels of that.
“We were in England last year, and some of our guys have felt it before, there’s nothing pleasant about it.
“I’m not exactly sure what was said out there between Tim and the Indians, I think it was just a show of support that we don’t condone any of that really, really bad behaviour.”

Even the sport’s governing body, ICC, joined the cricketers in condemning the incident and stated that it would provide Cricket Australia and the relevant authorities their full support in any ensuing investigation.

As far as the match is concerned, the injury-marred Indian side were left staring at a tough final day, needing 407 in the fourth innings to get the better of Australia.

Published 11 Jan 2021, 07:31 IST
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