Sydney: When play was stalled for a while on the fourth day of the third Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground after Mohammed Siraj complained of racial abuse, Paine walked to the Indian team huddle and offered support.
Later at tea, the Aussie team sat in their dressing room and condemned the incident.
“We talked a bit at tea about what was going on. As hosts, we don’t want to see our visitors get treated poorly. There are different levels of that. We went to England last year and some of our guys felt it before (referring to Steve Smith and David Warner being called cheats). There’s nothing pleasant about it. I guess it (Paine walking to them) was show of support that we don’t condone really, really bad behaviour,” said Langer after the end of the fourth day’s play.
“It was great to watch, nice to have Tim out there when that incident happened. He is a class act as you know,” he added.
The Aussie team, which was notorious for sledging, has been trying an image makeover after the ball-tampering scandal that rocked them in South Africa in 2018. Also, with the issue of racism gaining ground this year following the Black Lives Matter movement, the cricket field has also witnessed many steps.
West Indies and England ‘took a knee’ while the Australians themselves made a barefoot circle ahead of the first Test to recognise the atrocities done to aborigines by the white settlers in the country.