Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) President Kumar Sangakkara on Monday condemned the incidents of Indian players being subjected to racial abuse by spectators during the third Test against Australia, demanding strong punishment against the offenders.
MCC is the guardian of the laws of the game.
"I did read about what happened with the crowd and the Indian team in the last couple of days," Sangakkara said during a virtual interaction facilitated by the Abu Dhabi T10.
"Racism in any country in any manner has to be condemned and those responsible should be strongly punished and stern action should be taken against them," said the former Sri Lanka captain.
Play was halted for a few minutes at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday after India pacer Mohammed Siraj complained of racial abuse from a section of the crowd, leading to the expulsion of six spectators and an unreserved apology from Cricket Australia.
On Saturday and Sunday, Siraj and senior bowler Jasprit Bumrah were allegedly subjected to multiple abuses including racist slurs like "Brown Dog" and "Big Monkey".
Sangakkara said he was fortunate enough to not face racism in his playing days.
"During my time I was fortunate that I never came across any kind of racial abuse. I can't speak on behalf of other Sri Lankan cricketers but I personally have not been victimised in terms of racial slurs and that's true for every country I have toured," he said.
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According to BCCI sources, Siraj was allegedly referred to as a "monkey" by a drunk spectator in one of stands at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
With 13 scalps, Siraj was India's highest wicket-taker in the memorable 2-1 series win on Tuesday and people in the locality where the cricketer lives erupted in joy.
It was an emotional moment for Mohammed Siraj, who braved personal loss and racist abuse to make a significant impact on a very tough away tour.