HYDERABAD: India’s cricket player Mohammed Siraj attends a press conference at his residence in Hyderabad on January 21, 2021. – AFP

SYDNEY: A Cricket Australia probe yesterday concluded Indian players were racially abused during the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but cleared six people who were kicked out of the stadium. Cricket chiefs and New South Wales police launched investigations after fast bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah complained about being targeted while they fielded by the boundary ropes on day three of the clash this month.

The following day, play was halted for close to 10 minutes when Siraj ran from the fine leg boundary towards the umpires, pointing into the crowd. Six men were removed from their seats, but they have now been cleared.

“CA confirms that members of the Indian cricket team were subjected to racial abuse,” the governing body’s 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.”

But it added: “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 four of the Test did not engage in racist behavior.” The tense four-Test series, which India won 2-1, was marred by the allegations, with veteran India spinner Ravi Ashwin saying it was not the first time there had been issues in Sydney. “It’s definitely not acceptable in this day and age… we must make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Cricket Australia issued an apology to India at the time and said anyone found guilty of abuse would face consequences, including bans, other sanctions and referral to police. The findings have been forwarded to the International Cricket Council, while NSW Police’s investigation is continuing.

Match fixing
UAE cricket stars Mohammed Naveed and Shaiman Anwar were each found guilty of two match fixing offences following an independent anti-graft tribunal, the ICC said on Tuesday. Former UAE captain Naveed and batsman Anwar were charged with corruption by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in October 2019 for attempting to corrupt that year’s T20 World Cup qualifiers in the country.

Naveed was additionally found guilty of breaking two counts of the Emirates Cricket Board corruption code in relation to the T10 league. “United Arab Emirates (UAE) players Mohammed Naveed and Shaiman Anwar Butt have been found guilty of two offences each under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code following a hearing by an independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal,” the ICC said in a statement.

“Naveed and Shaiman, who were charged under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code for attempting to corrupt matches of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in the UAE, have been found guilty on all charges after they exercised their right to a hearing before a Tribunal. The pair remain suspended and sanctions will follow in due course.”

Naveed, a 33-year-old fast bowler who had played 39 ODIs and 31 T20s, was initially charged on four counts revolving around match-fixing at the T20 qualifiers and the T10 League which was held in Abu Dhabi in November 2019. Shaiman faced two charges connected with fixing the T20 qualifiers. A witness who reported the pair’s conduct to the ICC’s anti-corruption unit said that Naveed had boasted “I am captain of the UAE we can do anything”, according to Tuesday’s ruling.

“The matches mentioned were upcoming matches for UAE against Oman and Ireland. Mr Naveed said that he would give away runs in his bowling overs, and that Mr Anwar, if he was still in, would score a low amount of runs in his fourth and fifth overs,” the ICC decision document said. WhatsApp messages exchanged by the witness and Naveed showed the men discussing payments worth tens of thousands of dollars for fixing matches. – AFP