"I don’t see this is a Sydney, NSW or Australia problem" - Mark Taylor on racism row in SCG Test

Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor was disturbed to know about Ravichandran Ashwin’s accounts of racial abuse, which the Indian side faced in Sydney. The off-spinner described the Sydney crowd ‘nasty’, but Taylor believes the issue isn’t restricted to Australia and needs to be tackled globally.

The controversial drawn third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground saw Indian pacers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Burmah racially abused by a section of the crowd. After the fourth day’s play, Ashwin criticized the incident, stating it wasn’t an isolated one.

Speaking to Wide World of Sports, Mark Taylor expressed his disappointment on the matter as a New South Welshman.

“I was disappointed to read Ravi Ashwin’s comments around Sydney being particularly bad. From a New South Welshman’s point of view, that really disappoints me because I don’t think there’s a need for it in the game," said Taylor.
“I’d like to see it stamped out if possible. But I don’t see this is a Sydney, NSW or Australia problem – it’s something that can happen anywhere in the world. Players don’t have to put up with continual abuse. It’s mundane and a slight on the game. The vast majority of the crowd just want to watch some good cricket,” Mark Taylor added.

Mark Taylor finds motivation of such fans astounding

Indian players complaining to the umpire.
Indian players complaining to the umpire.

Mark Taylor, who explained he finds the motivation of such fans astounding, feels the consistent abuse of sportsmen happens across the world.

“It always astounds me why people go to sporting events just to abuse people. I’m not against a little bit of banter, a ‘nice shot’ or ‘well fielded’. A little sledge or banter – as a player you expect that and you don’t mind that. As a professional player, you need to be able to handle it", Taylor said.
“But this consistent abuse of people, not just in Australia, it happens around the world at sporting events. I don’t know why people want to go, if that’s what they’re going to do. I reckon they should go and do something else. Because at the SCG there was only 25 per cent of the crowd allowed, tickets were limited. So why waste those if that’s what you’re going to do,” Mark Taylor added.

In the wake of the crowd behaviour in Sydney, Cricket Australia (CA) were forced to apologize to India twice. The fourth day’s play was also halted for 10 minutes before police escorted six fans out of the stadium. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have also condemned the incident. CA are parallelly investigating the case with the NSW Police, and ICC have pledged their support to the inquiry.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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