Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon believes that young pacer Mohammed Siraj has set an example by holding up play and calling in the match officials to deal with the alleged racial abuse.
Mohammed Siraj, who was playing only his second Test match, was a victim of alleged racial abuse at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the third and fourth days of play.
At least one alleged cry of "brown dog" was heard from the crowd after which Mohammed Siraj approached the match officials to deal with the spectators. At least six people from the particular section were evicted after this.
“It's a very interesting one, and for me, there's no room for anything racial or any abuse in any type. You've got to try as a player to do your best to try and block it out, but if the time's right call in the match officials. We've got a lot of security around the grounds these days so hopefully, they can do their job, and if there's anyone doing that they can be removed because there's absolutely no place for it,” Nathan Lyon said.
Nathan Lyon admitted much like Mohammed Siraj, he has also been at the receiving end of such crowd abuse during tours to England, New Zealand and South Africa.
“I know people think they're being funny, but it can affect people in different ways. I think it's quite disgusting, to be honest with you. Yes, I've been on the other end of it, copping abuse, whether that's in England or New Zealand or South Africa or wherever it may be, but there's no room for it,” Lyon added.
Besides Mohammed Siraj, fellow Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah was also at the receiving end of racial slurs from a section of the crowd at the SCG.
Ed Cowan joined Nathan Lyon in lauding Mohammed Siraj
Former Australian opening batsman Ed Cowan lauded Mohammed Siraj for not accepting the racial abuse and calling it out. He urged other players to follow suit and start raising their voice.
“The real hero on this is the young Indian Siraj, for calling it out, for having the courage to say 'you know what, this is only my second Test match, I know what I heard', he's called it out and there should be every single inch of investigation, and that is the example that it's set, that it's not on, and we need to start calling it out,” Ed Cowan told ESPNCricinfo.
Cowan believes racial behaviour is not restricted to cricket or sports, but it is a reflection of the whole society.
“That is my view, and this is not bound to cricket or sport, it is merely a reflection of the society we live in, and it's not good enough. The big thing other people haven't spoken about is this happens every game. This is not an outlier,” Cowan added.
India drew the Sydney Test to keep the series at 1-1. They will face Australia in the fourth match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Gabba from 15th January.