Two Australian fans were reportedly ousted from Old Trafford after directing “foul and abusive” language towards England paceman Jofra Archer on the first day of the fourth Ashes Test in Manchester.
According to a report in The Telegraph, the two men taunted Archer, who was fielding by the boundary during Australia’s innings, and yelled at the Barbados-born pacer to “show us your passport”, among other offensive remarks.
The two men were reported to the on-duty stewards by the spectators around them, and were subsequently handed over to the police. Archer seemed annoyed by the taunts, but did not retaliate.
"Both have nonchalantly withstood immense pressure: a star has been born, another reborn."@Rich_Wisden was at Old Trafford to witness a box-office battle that's just getting started.#Asheshttps://t.co/Cuv7mo6dpr
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 4, 2019
According to the report, a Lancashire spokesperson later confirmed that two spectators had been thrown out of the stadium, while reiterating the club’s zero tolerance policy towards racial abuse.
The ICC’s anti-racism policy allows member bodies the right to “exercise more flexibility and discretion” in applying relevant codes, and includes a clause that sanctions its members to punish errant spectators to various degrees, including their ejection from the venue, or a ban for a specific period of time.
Despite strict guidelines to curb anti-social behaviour, there have been sporadic incidents of racial taunting at the topmost level. Last year, Moeen Ali alleged in his book that an Australian player had subjected him to a racially-motivated comment during the 2015 Ashes.
During India’s tour of Australia late last year, there was a similar occurrence at the MCG, with 13 members of the crowd having to be ejected for directing racial chants at Indian players.