Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah are among the Indian players to have complained to match officials about alleged racist abuse and foul language directed at them from sections of the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the ongoing third Test against Australia.
ESPNcricinfo understands that up to four Indian players were at the receiving end of the abuse, which was reported by the Indian team to the on-field umpires and the match referee at the end of third day's play. The incident further dampened the mood in the visitors' dressing room after India endured a difficult Saturday, as Australia ended a dominant day taking a 197-run lead with eight second-innings wickets in hand.
It could not be confirmed whether India have lodged an official written complaint with the match officials yet. Not much detail, too, has emerged about the alleged abuse, which is understood to have been taken place more than once.
The fact a problem had arisen emerged at stumps when a group of senior India players, including captain Ajinkya Rahane, had a lengthy conversation with umpires Paul Wilson and Paul Reiffel before the discussions were taken to the dressing room. It is understood that match referee David Boon visited the Indian dressing room after that and there were further conversations between India officials and security staff outside. Fingers were pointed towards an area at the Randwick End where Siraj had been stationed when fielding at fine leg. Siraj was then spoken to by officials shortly before the team left the ground.
Last year, New Zealand Cricket banned a fan from entering all their venues after being found guilty of racially abusing England fast bowler Jofra Archer in 2019. The 28-year-old fan had pleaded guilty of using insulting language against Archer.
Cricket Australia, not ICC, to probe 'inappropriate conduct'
Although the match officials are appointed by the ICC, Cricket Australia, the hosts, will be the adjudicating authority in this case. Incidents such as these are classified as 'inappropriate conduct' in ICC's anti-discrimination policy that was updated in August 2019. This policy is followed by ICC and all member countries in tournaments - both international and domestic - they conduct.
Any incident(s) need to be filed with the ICC within two weeks after the match by the anti-discrimination administrator. Under the policy, the ICC has recommended boards need to remind spectators at all times before and during a match about about inappropriate conduct.
"It shall be a breach of the terms and conditions of entry to the venue for any ticket-holder to engage in any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise) which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any other person (including players, match officials or spectators) on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, nationality, ethnic origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status and/or maternity status," the policy states.
"Such action will not be tolerated and is likely to result in ejection from the venue, the imposition of other sanctions, such as being banned from the venue in the future and possible further action including criminal prosecution."
With inputs from Andrew McGlashan in Sydney