PORT ELIZABETH: South African spinner Imran Tahir has alleged that he was racially abused by an Indian fan during the fourth ODI against Virat Kohli’s men, prompting the country’s board to launch an investigation.
Tahir did not feature in the rain-curtailed match that India lost by five wickets in Johannesburg on Saturday. South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee said the tweaker was abused while he was carrying out his duties as 12th man.
“My understanding from Imran’s perspective is that he was racially and verbally abused by a certain gentleman throughout the match. He reported to stadium security stationed in front of the dressing room and two of the security personnel accompanied him to identify the perpetrator,” said Moosajee.
“According to what Imran said, it was an Indian fan,” Moosajee added.
The verbal jousting allegedly took place when he was traversing up and down the passageway connecting the field and the players’ dressing rooms at the Wanderers. Tahir has told the CSA that the fan kept at it whenever he was on the field during breaks.
Tahir reported the incident to the stadium security and was subsequently accompanied by two security personnel to identify and to have the fan ejected from the stadium, the media release said. Tahir made no physical contact with the offender or any of the children in the vicinity.
The incident is under investigation with the CSA and stadium security teams, Moosajee confirmed.
“…when he (Tahir) got up there, there was some hostile verbal exchanges. And to neutralise the situation, they removed him from the scene and brought him back to the changing room,” he narrated.
“So that’s what we’ve been told. There were definitely no (physical) exchanges and no children involved in the incident as has been reported on social media.”
Moosajee also stated that Tahir is in no danger of being sanctioned by Cricket South Africa as the board has accepted his version of the incident.
From his side, he hasn’t done anything untoward. He had reported it to the stadium security and he was up there just to identify the suspect,” he added.
The video has been put on Facebook and it shows Tahir in a heated argument with a group of fans, one of them donning an Indian jersey. The video, shot by another fan, doesn’t show any physical altercation between the two sides.