Thursday, June 13, 2024

Siraj had tears rolling down his cheeks, recalls Tim Paine

Former Australia skipper Tim Paine has recalled the racism incident involving India pacer Mohammed Siraj that took place during the Sydney Test match between India and Australia in January 2021. 

The 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy will be remembered as one of the most memorable overseas tours for India as the team went on to clinch a 2-1 victory in the four-match Test series against the mighty Aussies. A full-power Australian unit led by Paine lost the series to a visiting squad, which missed the services of their biggest players. 

Speaking about the incident on the sports documentary named, Bandon Mein Tha Dum, Paine said, “I still remember walking up to Siraj, he actually had tears in his eyes and tears rolling down his cheeks. So it obviously really affected him and cut him really deep. This is a kid, who has just gone through the death of his father. And then to have that I just thought was uncalled for”. It is pertinent to note that the third Test of the series in Sydney was the second Test match of Siraj’s career.

Recalling how disappointed the incident had left him, Paine asserted that Australia was known to be good towards visiting teams. “Traditionally in Australia, we have been pretty good at how we treat our visiting cricketing teams. So to see it happen again was disappointing,” Paine added. Meanwhile, Siraj has also spoken about the incident previously, stating that he and his senior teammate Jasprit Bumrah faced racial abuse from the Australian spectators for two days during the Sydney Test.

The pacer added that the Indian team management went on to lodge an official complaint regarding the incident with match referee David Boon. The Sydney Test concluded in a draw as India managed to level the series at 1-1, heading into the decider at Gabba. Ajinkya Rahane led India to a historic 2-1 win after the hosts were trounced by three wickets. It should be noted that Siraj finished the series as India’s highest wicket-taker with 13 wickets to his name. 

The four-match Test series started for India with a humiliating eight wickets defeat at Adelaide Oval in the 1st game, where India was all out for 36 runs. Skipper Virat Kohli returned back to India ahead of the 2nd Test due to personal reasons, leaving the team at the hands of Ajinkya Rahane. India made a thumping comeback in the 2nd Test and won it by eight wickets after Rahane posted a century.

After earning a draw in the third Test, India was reduced almost to an India-C side as it featured only a handful of experienced players. However, Rahane’s team outperformed the home squad which had one of the best attacks in the world at that time. 

The sports documentary, ‘Bandon mein tha dum,’ is based on India’s historic Test series win at Australia in 2020/21, and has been directed by Neeraj Pandey.

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