Controversy erupted on the very first day of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia in Adelaide, as Aussie legend Shane Warne referred to Cheteshwar Pujara as ‘Steve’. The former leg-spinner was slammed for ‘casual racism’.
While commentating for Fox Cricket during the first session of the opening day’s play, Warne referred to India’s No. 3 batsman using the controversial nickname given to him during his county cricket stint with Yorkshire. He was heard saying:
“Cheteshwar Pujara’s name was not the easiest to pronounce and so his English teammates referred to him as ‘Steve’.”
Shane Warne also took a dig at Cheteshwar Pujara after the batsman stopped play as he wanted the sightscreen adjusted. He quipped:
“Look how wide the sightscreen is. Come on, that (cover) can’t be putting him off. Are you for real? That can’t be it! That’s not serious.”
Twitter users clearly weren’t happy with Warne’s comments on Cheteshwar Pujara
Here are some reactions from enraged cricket lovers:
Why is Cheteshwar Pujara being referred to as ‘Steve’ controversial?
On December 5, English cricket county Yorkshire found itself in the midst of controversy. This came about after Taj Butt, a former Yorkshire Cricket Foundation employee disclosed that Cheteshwar Pujara was referred to as a 'Steve' during his stint at the county.
Butt was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo:
"They called every person of colour 'Steve'. Even [India batsman] Cheteshwar Pujara, who joined as an overseas professional, was called a Steve because they could not pronounce his name."
Earlier, former Pakistan-born English cricketer Azeem Rafiq had also opened up about instances of racism at Yorkshire. The 29-year-old revealed that he was on the verge of committing suicide after being targeted because of his race. The serious allegations are being investigated.
Meanwhile at Adelaide, Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed for a stubborn 43 from 160 balls, caught at leg gully off Nathan Lyon.
Having won the toss and decided to bat first, India got off to a poor start in the Day-Night Test at the Adelaide Oval.
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