The ongoing Boxing Day Test between India and Australia has brought the spotlight on crowd trouble at the venue. According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, on the third day of the Test match in Melbourne, several spectators were ejected from the Great Southern Stand end of the ground after they had made racist taunts at the Indian players. Apparently, fans chanted “Show us your visa” and “Virat Kohli is a w****r on a regular basis. There have also been instances of booing, with Mitchell Marsh subject to some harsh behavior from the crowd. However, what caught the attention of Cricket Australia, according to the Cricinfo report, was the visa chant and the Australian cricket board warned that if it continued, they would evict the entire stand. Some complaints from fans resulted in several spectators being ejected.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson said the Board had a zero tolerance stance against racism or vilification. “Victoria Police and MCG stadium security monitored the behaviour of the crowd in a section of the stadium today and evicted several fans for inappropriate behaviour. They will continue to monitor the area for remaining days of the Test,” the spokesperson said. When spectators are issued a ticket, it clearly prohibits any sort of racist taunting.
When Mitchell Marsh was booed by the MCG crowd, Travis Head said no Australian should ever be booed. “I understand the Victorian crowd, Petey (Handscomb) obviously missing out, but I think it's pretty poor for Mitchy to cop that. I don't think it is great," Head had said at that time. In the past, the likes of Kohli and England pacer Stuart Broad have been subject to intense booing. Broad was booed for the entire duration of the 2013/14 tour while Kohli was also subject to intense public booing in the 2014/15 series which India lost 0-2.
In the previous series between South Africa and Australia in 2018, several fans in Port Elizabeth were evicted when fans targeted David Warner’s wife Candice while in Newlands, the scenario was so hostile following the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal that several fans had to be kicked out of the stadium due to the intense booing and taunting.
Cricket Australia will monitor the behavior of the fans but this incident has highlighted the problem of crowd trouble in many of these countries, most notably in Australia.