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Tahir alleges racial abuse

Imran Tahir

Calcutta/Port Elizabeth: Imran Tahir has alleged that he was racially abused by an Indian fan during the fourth ODI against Virat Kohli & Co., prompting Cricket South Africa (CSA) to launch an investigation.

Tahir did not feature in the rain-curtailed match that India lost by five wickets in Johannesburg on Saturday. But according to South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee, the leg-spinner was abused while he was carrying out his duties as 12th man during Saturday's ODI.

"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," Moosajee was quoted as saying by a cricket-specific website. "According to what Imran said, it was an Indian fan," Moosajee added.

The CSA, in a release, said: "Cricket South Africa has noted and is aware of the circulation of video footage featuring Imran Tahir on social media and Whatsapp groups.

"He was verbally and racially abused by an unknown man during the fourth 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."

For his part, Tahir said: "I thank everyone for your support and love and I am really humbled. I am a very simple person who believes in showing love to everyone regardless of country, colour or religion. I have played cricket all over the world and have only made friends. Much love to each and everyone of you."

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