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Sydney Test: 'Osama, terrorist, monkey', the ugly side of cricket

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on January 12, 2021

(File photo)

Looking at some incidents that have taken place over the years involving players and spectators.

India’s brilliant show against the Australians in Sydney still lingers in the minds of cricket fans but the racist slur over the course of the Test match has left a bitter aftertaste which might need addressing again.

The Test match was blotted by ugly racist taunts with Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj at the receiving end. A small section of the spectators at the ground were alleged to have called Siraj objectionable names.

That resulted in play being stopped for a few minutes before seven fans were evicted by the police.

And while there are strict laws against racism, cricket is littered with many such incidents involving players and spectators, as well as between players.

Here we look at some of them which show the ugly side of cricket.

1. Harbhajan Singh & Andrew Symonds:

The very same ground, Sydney, was witness to the altercation between Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and Australian batsman Andrew Symonds, which famously came to be known as ‘Monkeygate’ It was alleged that Harbhajan had called Symonds “monkey” which later resulted in a ban for the spinner.

2. Moeen Ali:

England all-rounder Moeen Ali was allegedly called “Osama” during the 2015 Ashes series. In his autobiography, the full bearded Ali said that an Australian player had said: “Take that, Osama,” in reference to the terrorist Osama bin Laden.

3. Jofra Archer:

England’s pace ace Jofra Archer was subject to racist taunts from a fan during a Test match against New Zealand in 2019. New Zealand fans are known to be well behaved and Archer later pointed that too by saying: “Amazing crowd except for that one guy.”

4. Dean Jones & Hashim Amla:

Former Australian cricketer the late Dean Jones called South African batsman Hashim Amla a "terrorist" during a game in 2006. After Amla took a catch, Jones, who was in commentary, was heard saying: "The terrorist gets another wicket." Jones had made the comment during an ad break but the live feed was still on when he made that comment. He was fired and later apologised for the comment.

5. Herschelle Gibbs:

South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs made nasty comments during a game against Pakistan. The comments were caught on the stump pic and he copped a ban of two Tests. The comments cannot be printed here.





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