Shane Warne has sparked outrage by referring to an Indian star with a nickname that’s been labelled as “disrespectful” and “racist” during day one of the first Test.
While commentating the Adelaide Test between Australia and India for Fox Sports, the cricket great referred to Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara as ‘Steve’.
He explained that Pujara’s country cricket teammates in England referred to him by the nickname as they had difficulty pronouncing his real name.
The 51-year-old perhaps wasn’t aware that the name has in fact been at the centre of an investigation into institutional racism at the Yorkshire cricket club.
Former Yorkshire employee Taj Butt recently provided evidence to the investigation and revealed players at the county club every person of colour ‘Steve’.
“They called every person of colour ‘Steve’. Even (India batsman) Cheteshwar Pujara, who joined as an overseas professional, was called Steve because they could not pronounce his name,” Butt said.
“(There were) continuous references to taxi drivers and restaurant workers when referring to (the) Asian community.”
Pujara also commented on the disrespectful nickname in 2018, telling ESPN that he would prefer teammates to use his real name instead.
“Well I would prefer Cheteshwar, but it’s difficult to pronounce so the guys have come up with Steve,” Pujara said at the time.
“But personally, I would prefer Cheteshwar. (Teammate) Jack Brooks started off with this. He couldn’t pronounce my first name so he was asking me what nickname do I have. I said I don’t have any.
“So they said, ‘we will start calling you Steve’. Initially, they started calling me ‘Puj’, but they have started calling me Steve again. It’s a good nickname, but I prefer Cheteshwar.”
Cricket fans were quick to let Warne know of their opposition to his use of the nickname, with one sharing a pointed message: “learn to say his name”.
Warne took 708 Test wickets for Australia before retiring in 2007.
He is yet to to respond to the controversy, however 7NEWS.com.au has contacted Fox Sports for comment.