New Delhi, Jan 12 (UNI) After the racial slurs were hurled at Indian players during the the Sydney Test, former opener Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday said that racism is unacceptable in any sport and there should be stricter laws to curb it.
During the 3rd Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Indian bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah alleged racial abuse from the Australian crowd on the third and fourth days of the match and six fans were thrown out of the stadium after the Indian team complained to the umpires.
‘Very unfortunate and that is something which is absolutely not acceptable. Not only cricket, but in any sport and that’s where I think there is need for us to have stricter laws. When it happens to a certain player, it is only that individual who feels about it,’ Gambhir said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.
The former India cricketer also mentioned that incidents of racist taunts being hurled at cricketers happen a lot in countries like Australia and South Africa and it must stop.
‘You do get abused, in places like South Africa, Australia, when you are playing in a Boxing Day Test match and those kind of stuff as well. But then, you got to accept that, but it depends what kind of an abuse that is and what all has been said to you, that is something which is not acceptable, especially on your colour of skin and the abuse as well,’ he said.
‘It does happen a lot, especially in places like Australia and South Africa. So, these things need to be stopped,’ he added.
Unfazed by the controversy, Indian team put up an extraordinary battling display on the fifth day to eke out a draw and keep the series tied at 1-1.
Gambhir lavished praise on the Indian team, highlighting efforts from Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara.
‘Unbelievable. That just shows the character of the team as well. Rishabh Pant batted really well. Obviously, he batted the way he should’ve batted and he backed his strengths and he lived by the sword and you die by it,’ he said.
Pant missed out on a century by just three runs after getting to Nathan Lyon, but Gambhir backed the youngsters’ shot selection against the spinner.
‘Yes, people might just say that there was no need to play that shot, but he kept playing and kept India in the game. Had he batted a bit more longer India could have actually gone on to win the Test match, which probably would have been the most historic win ever,’ he said.
‘On the other side, when we talk about Cheteshwar Pujara, you can talk as much as you can and as much as you want about his strike-rate, but there are very few batters going around in world cricket who can actually play time and session and he’s one of them,’ he added.
The former opener also said that such draws are ‘probably as big as winning in Australia’.
‘You can actually go on to win the series as well if you play good cricket, probably in the fourth Test match and you can come back winning the series which is again, going to be historic,’ he said.
UNI AVK ASN 1957