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India-born Australian businessman recalls ‘blatantly racist’ crowds at Sydney Test

India-born Australian businessman, Darshak Mehta, is a well-connected figure in Australian cricket.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: January 17, 2021 11:13:46 pm
Spectators watch play on the first day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

An India-born Australian businessman, Darshak Mehta, who is a well-connected figure in Australian cricket has spoken out about the racism prevailing in stadiums down under. Mehta is someone, who also hosts fundraiser at the Sydney Cricket Ground for youth homelessness, as chairman of the Chappell Foundation.

He is close to former Test captains and federal government ministers as well.

But when he visits a game to the Sydney cricket ground, the experience is one full of horror, especially while walking from the concourses to the car park.

“Going back from the ground to our cars is the most horrific experience,” said Mehta to the Sydney Morning Herald.

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“People firstly think you’re a wanker because you drive a good car; secondly if you’re of a different colour they call you a drug dealer.

“There is a deeply ingrained sense of superiority or envy or dislike or whatever words you want to use,” added Mehta, who moved from Mumbai to Sydney 33 years ago and has been an SCG member for three decades.

“This is a box so you’d think either he was successful or well educated or holds down a good job,” Mr Mehta said. “He was shouting loudly: ‘I’d take 100 Pakis rather than a billion Indians’ and stuff like that.”

The fact is it does happen here, and more than that what bothers people is it’s not believed and there is a sense of sanctimony about it,” Mr Mehta said.

“The only place I haven’t seen it is during T20 games. It is the form of the game I hate most but that I love best as a spectator – not to watch the game but at least I can go home without harassment. [Spectators are] not drunk and they’re there with families and children.

“It is a deadly combination: the sun, a group of people and the safety in numbers aspect. People think you support a team by denigrating others.

“It is ugly and it is blatantly racist.”

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