A cricket fan removed from the SCG on Sunday has spoken out in defence of the actions of fellow spectators.
Cricket Australia and NSW Police have launched an investigation into alleged racial abuse from members of the SCG crowd against Indian players on the third and fourth days of the Sydney Test.
On Sunday, Cricket Australia vowed to thoroughly investigate allegations of misbehaviour from the crowd, after two days of drama took away the attention from the close contest occurring on the field.
The Indian team made an official complaint of racism after day three of the Test, and play was stopped for eight minutes after claims of more alleged abuse on day four.
At least seven people from the crowd were asked to leave after Mohammed Siraj alerted teammates, to which the umpire then passed on the message to security and police.
The Indian team claimed the crowd once again racially abused Siraj, but one of the men who was ejected has since spoken out to deny all of the allegations.
Witnesses insist there was no racist sledging at the @SCG yesterday and claim the accused spectators are the real victims. New video emerging on social media is only adding to the confusion. https://t.co/VsVpSNpKLZ #AUSvIND #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/ryRcYPuCtd
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) January 11, 2021
A BCCI source told the Press Trust of India: “Siraj was referred to as ‘Brown Dog’ and ’Big Monkey’,” while The Times of India reported that “Bumrah and Siraj were called monkeys, w**ker and motherf**ker.”
But Prateik Kelkar, who was sitting close to the main group of fans that are currently under investigation, says Siraj was not racially abused.
“He (Siraj) turned around, flipped them the finger and then walked off to tell the umpire that he was racially abused,” Kelkar told 7NEWS on Monday.
“But there wasn’t a single racist word said … I would’ve said something myself. I’ve experienced racism in Australia.”
Kelkar said he was removed from the SCG after trying to defend his fellow spectators to police.
“We wanted to speak up because we saw they were getting pulled out and it was just not fair,” he said.
This article originally appeared on Over60.