Former captain Mohammad Azharuddin on Sunday said that hurling racial abuses on Indian players while playing in Australia has become "a regular affair" and urged the ICC to find a way to end the menace forever.
Indian cricketers, especially pacer Mohammed Siraj, endured racist slurs for a second successive day in the third Test against Australia in Sydney, causing a brief halt in fourth day's play, expulsion of some spectators from the ground and an all-round condemnation of the incidents.
"Every time we play with Australia, something of this thing happens. It is becoming a regular affair. Nobody should tolerate all these things,” Azharuddin told PTI on the sidelines of a local cricket tournament at Margao.
"The ICC should look into the matter and quickly resolve this problem forever,” he added.
Sunday's incident was after Siraj and his senior pace partner Jasprit Bumrah were abused by a drunk man on Saturday. The BCCI has already complained about it to ICC match referee David Boon.
The ICC condemned the incidents of Indian players being subjected to racial abuse by the spectators and sought an action taken report from the host country's cricket board. Cricket Australia offered "unreserved apology" and promised strongest possible action against those responsible.
“It is good that Cricket Australia has tendered apology and I am sure they will take action also. CA should be very strict,” Azharuddin said.
“Whoever has done it, it is very sad. Those people responsible should be ejected and not allowed to come in the grounds,” said the 57-year-old former stylish batsman.
Azharuddin said that the players are on the ground to play cricket and racial abuses on them are not acceptable.
“The players put in a lot of hardwork and sacrifice. Subjecting them to this kind of thigs is sad and not acceptable,” he said.
“It is also for the people to understand that we are in the 21st century. People may be drunk. It is no excuse that they are drunk and so will hurl abuses.”
Bio-bubble the new normal for cricket
Azharuddin felt players have shared the tough experience of staying in a bio-bubble but it won't impact their performance.
"During those days, they are doing their yoga or regular (physical exercises) sessions. But I think it is very important that they practice three or four days before the match," he said.
A few players had likened the bio-bubble to five-star prisons. The players have complained of physical and mental fatigue by staying in restricted environment.
The former Indian captain said that with the current COVID-19 condition, we can predict that bio-bubbles are going to stay here for some more time.
"Once things improve there will be no bio bubble." When asked about Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy T-20, which got underway on Sunday, Azharuddin said that these tournaments won't be "normal like in the past".
"They cannot be like a normal because it is played under bio bubble and you have to follow COVID-19 rules and regulations. So I don’t think it will be in a normal way," he said.