Racial abuse unacceptable, peak of rowdy behaviour: Virat Kohli

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Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli on Sunday stood beside his team and addressed the alleged racial abuse being subjected at the visitors in the ongoing Australia Test series.

Kohli, who is in India expecting the birth of his first child with actress and wife Anushka Sharma, took to Twitter to address the racial incident directed at Mohammed Siraj by the Sydney Cricket Ground crowd in the third Test of the four-match Test series.

Sydney Test Racism: Mohammed Siraj complains of abuse, spectators removed

“Racial abuse is absolutely unacceptable. Having gone through many incidents of really pathetic things said on the boundary Iines, this is the absolute peak of rowdy behaviour. It’s sad to see this happen on the field,” Kohli said.

“The incident needs to be looked at with absolute urgency and seriousness and strict action against the offenders should set things straight for once,” he wrote in another tweet.

Play was halted for a few minutes on the fourth day of the match after India pacer Mohammed Siraj complained of abuse from a section of the crowd here, leading to expulsion of some spectators and an unreserved apology from the host board.

Local media reported that six people were expelled from the ground by the security during the nearly 10-minute halt in the on-ground proceedings.

Ravichandran Ashwin reiterated that this was not the first time the Indian players have faced racism in Sydney. Ashwin added, “In 2011, I didn’t know what racism is and how you are made to feel small. And people also join the laugh.”

Harbhajan Singh also took to Twitter to say that he was racially abused on previous Australia tours and asked how to stop them. “I personally have heard many things on the field while playing in Australia about Me My religion My colour and much more. This isn’t the first time the crowd is doing this nonsense..How do u stop them?”

Australian coach Justin Langer also condemned the unsavoury incident. “I have just read a book on the history of Australia and watched some good documentaries a couple of times in the last few months. It’s saddening, we are educating ourselves and it makes you feel very sad that people are subjected to racism,” Langer said referring to the Australia’s troubled history with regards the indigenous aboriginals.

“When you start getting educated… About what has happened in the history of Australia you can understand why it’s so hurtful,” he added.

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