Siraj has set a good precedent in calling out racist abuse - Lyon

The Australia off-spinner says cricket has no room for racist abuse.

Mohammed Siraj, members of the Indian team and umpires gather as play was halted due to an instance of racist abuse on Day Four in Sydney. - GETTY IMAGES

Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon has said cricket has no room for racist abuse.

In a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Lyon said India’s Mohammed Siraj had a good precedent in calling out racist abuse.

“There is no room for any racial sledges or any abuse in any type. People think they are being funny, but it can affect people in different ways. For me, cricket is the sport for all and there is no room for it at all,” Lyon said.

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“If the time is right to call in match officials you do it. We have got a lot of security around the ground these days and if there is anyone doing it then they can be removed, as there is absolutely no place for it. It well may set precedence to report issues to officials.”

'Disgusting'

Lyon said he had also been at the receiving end of abuses from the crowd.

“I think it’s quite disgusting to be honest. Yes, I’ve been on the other end of it, copping abuse, whether that’s England, New Zealand, South Africa or wherever it may be. But there’s no room for it. As a player you’ve got to try your best to block it out,” Lyon said.

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Lyon said players would now have the option of stopping play and call out their abusers in the stands.

“It well may do (set a precedence to report issues to officials). It will be up to that player and how they have been affected. I just really hope in a whole world society, we can get over it and people can come to watch us play cricket, with players not going to work and not be worried about being abused or racially abused,” Lyon said.

Australian players supported their Indian counterparts during the Sydney Test after incidents of racist abuse, with skipper Tim Paine even joining the visiting team huddle after Siraj’s complaints on the fourth day of the drawn match.

The four-match series is currently tied 1-1 with the fourth Test scheduled to be held here from Friday.

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