Australia’s cricket board on Wednesday confirmed India’s players were subjected to racial abuse during the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground but cleared six spectators who were taken from their seats and questioned by police at the ground.
Cricket Australia (CA) launched an investigation with NSW Police after India fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj complained of hearing racist slurs while fielding near the boundary rope.
Play was held up for about 10 minutes on day three after Siraj approached an umpire to voice his concerns before police stepped in to take six male fans from their seats.
“CA confirms that members of the Indian cricket team were subjected to racial abuse,” CA integrity chief Sean Carroll said in a statement.
“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.
“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 three of the Test did not engage in racist behaviour.”
CA said it had submitted its report on the investigation to global governing body the International Cricket Council (ICC).
It said it was awaiting confirmation from police that they had completed their own investigation.
However, New South Wales Police told SBS News they had concluded their investigation and informed CA.
“Since 10 January, Police have continued inquiries, speaking with several people allegedly involved as well as a number of witnesses who were present in the area at the time,” a police spokesperson said.
“No evidence to support any prosecution for any offence has been located; as such the police investigation has been finalised.”.
The allegations of racism overshadowed the last two matches of the Test series, which India won 2-1.
India spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin said the team had been insulted by Sydney spectators in the past but the racial abuse had crossed a line.
“It is definitely not acceptable in this day and age. This must definitely be dealt with iron-fist and we must make sure it doesn’t happen again,” the bowler said.
A man was previously banned from attending cricket matches in New Zealand for two years after being found guilty of abusing England fast bowler Jofra Archer during a 2019 tour.
Additional reporting by Jarni Blakkarly.