Imran Tahir prepares to bowl for South Africa. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Cricket South Africa say that spinner Imran Tahir was “verbally and racially abused by an unknown man” during the Pink ODI against India at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The Proteas won the match in dramatic fashion by five wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method to reduce the series deficit to 3-1, with two more ODIs to play – at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday and on Friday at SuperSport Park in Centurion, with South Africa needing to win both to square the series 3-3.

But with regards to Saturday at the Wanderers, a video has been circulating on social media, which shows Tahir in an argument with a group of people in the stands.

Tahir is visibly angry, and shouts that “I didn’t say anything about the children” after a woman is heard saying to him “It’s wrong what you are doing”, and that there are children in the vicinity.

“That’s why I came, because he was abusing me. Does he have any manners?” Tahir said on the video. “I have a family as well.”

Tahir then seemingly tries to stop a person from filming the video by pushing the device away, with the man screaming: “You can’t do me nothing.”

Tahir walks away, with a security guard in tow, where after the man filming the video swears at the Proteas leg-spinner, who turns around and walks back towards the man before leaving the scene.

The group were addressed by a security official, and another man clad in an India cricket jersey shouted: “Can you see what he did to my son?”

Cricket SA said in a statement on Monday: “Cricket South Africa has noted and is aware of the circulation of video footage featuring Imran Tahir on social media and Whatsapp groups.

“Imran Tahir was verbally and racially abused by an unknown man during the fourth One-Day International (ODI) against India at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Saturday.

“Tahir reported the incident to the stadium security, and was subsequently accompanied by two security personnel to identify and to have the man ejected from the stadium. 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. 

“In accordance with the ICC Anti-racism code, spectators who engage in racist conduct are to be ejected from the stadium and can face further sanctions and criminal prosecution.”

IOL Sport

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