Ajinkya Rahane Recalls The Racism Incident Against Mohammed Siraj
By CricShots - Jun 3, 2022 12:08 pm
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The veteran Indian batter, Ajinkya Rahane played a crucial role in India’s most famous series wins over Australia in the 2020-21 season down under. Under his captaincy, Team India made a comeback after being bowled out for 36 in the opening Test in Adelaide to win the series remarkably 2-1. During the third Test of the series in Sydney, Indian pacers, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were racially abused by a section of the SCG crowd.

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj during the Sydney Test

The BCCI has a zero-tolerance policy on racism and thus lodged a formal complaint to the match officials after which the spectators were evicted from the ground. Rahane, who led the Indian team in the absence of Virat Kohli, revealed that he told the umpires that they want immediate action to be taken against the accused or else his team won’t play the match.

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During the launch of ‘Bandon Mein Tha Dum’, a documentary on India’s historic series win in Australia, Ajinkya Rahane said, “When Siraj again came to me (on the fourth day, after being abused the day before), I told the umpires that (they) need to take action and we won’t play till then. The umpires said that you can’t stall the game and can walk out if you want.”

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane and Mohammed Siraj with umpire

He further added, “We said that we are here to play and not sit in the dressing room and insisted on getting the abusers out of the ground. It was important to support our colleague given the situation he had been through. What happened in Sydney was completely wrong.”

The match is remembered for the gritty knocks of Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin, who batted and managed to bat for almost35 overs on Day 5, to help India save the Test. After the historic save, R Ashwin spoke about the incident and revealed that the continuous abuses were very intimidating for the Indian cricketers.

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The web series focuses on how Team India played extraordinarily high-quality cricket and simultaneously redefined the concept of hard work, perseverance, determination, and commitment, setting the highest standards of sportsmanship while breathing new life into the longest format of the game. 

Explaining the same, Ajinkya Rahane said, “This has been one of the most satisfying tours for us as a team. We tackled various obstacles to emerge victorious, something which seemed difficult to many outside the team back then. When I took over as the captain, my major focus was to make sure that the morale of the team remained intact. After the first defeat, we managed to come back stronger in the second Test match held in Melbourne.”

He concluded, “It has been an emotional journey for all of us. However, the second victory was followed by injuries to some of the team’s key players, which gave rise to more challenges. Bandon Mein Tha Dum beautifully encapsulates this journey.”

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Explaining the same, R Ashwin said, “The India tour of Australia remains to be amongst most unforgettable experiences as a cricketer. I remember how Hanuma and I were on the field for more than two-and-a-half hours despite enduring some serious injuries. But it was a do or die situation for us. Nothing seemed more important than India’s victory against Australia, and I couldn`t be more proud of being a part of that historic tour. Bandon Mein Tha Dum unfolds an emotional journey that ultimately led to a remarkable victory.”