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By Stewart Perrie
Six Australian cricket fans have been ejected from the Sydney Cricket Ground for alleged racial verbal abuse.
Indian bowler Mohammed Siraj raised the alarm in the 87th over that he could hear nasty comments from the stands during Day Four of the Third Test with Australia.
Play was stopped for around 10 minutes while Siraj, Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane, the umpires and a handful of security guards went to a section of the boundary to find the alleged culprits.
Police were called in to interview some of the spectators in the SCG's Brewongle Stand. After their inquiries, four men were escorted out of the ground and two more followed shortly after.
Indian sports journalist Boria Majumdar said Siraj was called a 'brown dog' in some of the abuse on Sunday (January 10).
However, an Indian spectator who was sitting near the players who were ejected said most of the sledging was just that.
Rishi Aryan told the Sydney Morning Herald: "All these boys were doing is a bit of sledging of the player on the outfield. First it was Bumrah then they had a sledge against Siraj.
"They kept calling him Shiraz and all that crap. Next thing you know they said: 'Welcome to Sydney, Siraj' and then he got the s***s. That was literally it. Then he walked off."
While some might think the comments were trivial, cricket authorities say they won't stand for that kind of behaviour.
Cricket Australia's head of integrity and security Sean Carroll said in a statement: "Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour.
"If you engage in racist abuse, you are not welcome in Australian cricket.
"Once those responsible are identified, CA will take the strongest measures possible under our anti-harassment code, including lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police.
"As series hosts, we unreservedly apologise to our friends in the Indian cricket team and assure them we will prosecute the matter to its fullest extent."
The Sunday incident came less than 24 hours after alleged racial verbal abuse was hurled Indian players on Day Three of the Third Test between Australia and India at the SCG.
The International Cricket Council has been called to investigate claims Indian players Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were victims of more abuse.
The Times of India reported drunk spectators called Siraj and Bumrah 'monkeys', 'wanker' and motherf***er'.
Indian cricket legend Virat Kohli was shocked at the claims that arose on Saturday (January 9) and wants those responsible to be punished.
"Having gone through many incidents of really pathetic things said on the boundary Iines, this is the absolute peak of rowdy behaviour," Kohli tweeted. "It's sad to see this happen on the field.
"The incident needs to be looked at with absolute urgency and seriousness and strict action against the offenders should set things straight for once."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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