Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford are among those to have spoken out about being subjected to online racist abuse
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is “extremely disturbed” by allegations of racist chanting as well as sexist and homophobic abuse by spectators during the fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Old Trafford.
British media reported that a supporter had left the ground on the second day of the Test last Thursday after hearing a section of fans singing a racist song about England’s Barbados-born fast bowler Jofra Archer. The spectator, in a letter of complaint to the ECB, also said women were subjected to sexist chants while homophobic abuse was directed at some players by the same group of people.
“The ECB is extremely disturbed to hear that a report was made regarding anti-social behaviour from a group of spectators during the fourth Ashes Test match at Emirates Old Trafford,” the ECB said in a statement.
“While this is a relatively isolated incident there is absolutely no place for anti-social behaviour within the game and it is vitally important that all spectators feel able to report anti-social behaviour and feel safe in doing so.”
The incident comes on the heels of an annual report from British anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out that showed a 43 percent rise in reports of racist abuse in English football last season.
Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford are among those to have spoken out about being subjected to online racist abuse.
Meanwhile, Australia coach Justin Langer has urged the struggling batsmen in his team to step up and deliver when the final Ashes Test against England starts at The Oval tomorrow.
Australia took an unassailable 2-1 lead in the five-Test series following their 185-run win in the fourth Test and now have the chance to wrap up their first series win in England since 2001, when Steve Waugh’s men won 4-1.
The performances of Steve Smith, with an astronomical average of 134.2, and Marnus Labuschagne, combined with a strong showing from the bowlers, have minimised the impact of failures from the other specialist batsmen during the series.
Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Usman Khawaja, Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner have all been posted missing, with experienced opening batsman Warner the worst of the lot with an average of 9.87. While safe in the knowledge that England cannot win the Ashes, Langer said Australia would not be easing off in the fifth Test.
“You’ve still got to perform Whether or not winning the Ashes will make a difference, time will tell, but you’ve still got to perform whether you are young or a veteran,” he told reporters.