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Cricket Australia confirms racist abuse at Sydney Test but culprits remain unknown

Guardian sport
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Six spectators accused of racially abusing the India bowler, Mohammed Siraj, during the third Test earlier this month have been cleared of wrongdoing, as Cricket Australia continues its investigation into the incident which marred the match at the SCG.

CA confirmed on Wednesday that members of the India team were subjected to racist abuse from the stands on day four of play in Sydney earlier this month. But the identity of the perpetrators remains unknown and under further investigation.

Related: Matthew Wade dropped for Australia's Test tour of South Africa

A group of men were escorted from the stands by police as play was held up for eight minutes after Siraj complained of hearing racist slurs while fielding near the boundary. The men were questioned by police before voluntarily leaving the ground.

CA submitted a report to the International Cricket Council on Wednesday after its investigation found that group was not responsible for the racist slurs.

“CA’s own investigation into the matter remains open, with CCTV footage, ticketing data and interviews with spectators still being analysed in an attempt to locate those responsible,” Sean Carroll, CA’s head of integrity and security, said.

“CA’s investigation concluded that the spectators filmed and/or photographed by media in the Brewongle Stand concourse at the conclusion of the 86th over on day four of the Test did not engage in racist behaviour.”

CA has vowed to punish those responsible in the strongest possible way. “Spectators who are found to have breached CA’s anti-harassment code face lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police,” Carroll said.

India made a formal complaint after play on day three of the Sydney match – which ended in a draw – and expressed anger about some words levelled at Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah from fans.

That escalated the following day when Siraj took a stand and alerted the umpires to the abuse.

India captain Ajinkya Rahane said after the match was drawn that it “not acceptable at all” and “it should not happen anywhere in the world”, while veteran Ravichandran Ashwin claimed he has been the victim of abuse from Sydney crowds for almost a decade

The allegations overshadowed the last two matches of the Test series, which India won 2-1 after a thrilling victory in the final match at the Gabba.

“As stated at the time of the incident, CA has a zero tolerance policy towards discriminatory behaviour in all forms and, as hosts of the Border-Gavaskar series, apologises to the Indian men’s cricket team,” Carroll said.