ICL: Indian Cricket League


Racial Australia faces ban threat from South Africa

Written by Kashif Aziz on January 30th, 2006   (2,351 views)

Austrlians are unable to keep their tongues inside their mouths while playing. Abuses, racial or otherwise are part of their playing tactics and goes down the history. Recent examples are Shane Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist who were warned and fined for dissent. Not only the players are involved but spectators also take part in racist activities by abusing and sometimes assaulting the opposition.

Racist crowd taunts at Australian grounds this summer have increased to include Sri Lanka, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. A report on CricInfo quoting the paper said that John Rhodes, the ICC’s regional security chief, was punched by a spectator at Melbourne’s Telstra Dome.

Rhodes, the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit boss in Australia and New Zealand, was punched after an inebriated spectator reportedly accused him of being South African. The man was later ejected from the ground.

The report said up to five spectators were ejected from the Adelaide Oval on Australia Day for calling the Sri Lankans “black c****”. The same description was yelled by Darren Lehmann, the South Australia captain, in a Brisbane dressing room after he was dismissed in a 2002-03 VB Series match against Sri Lanka, and he received a five-match suspension that ruled him out of the early stages of the World Cup. Indian supporters were also targeted at the Adelaide Oval during the 2003-04 tour.

Gerald Majola, the CEO of the South African board, has threatened to boycott future tours of Australia if the racial abuse towards his players continues.

Majola, who is in Perth to watch South Africa play Sri Lanka in the VB Series, was quoted in the Cape Times as saying: “It is very serious and if it continues, yes, we would look very seriously about whether we return here for another series.”

South Africa have been targeted by a tiny minority of racists during their tour. The worst incidents occurred during the Test at Perth in December when several players were called “kaffirs” and “kaffir boetties” - they also complained about similar incidents at Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

“It is not right when a country has a history like ours. It is something that we never thought we would hear about,” Majola explained. “The sad thing is, it has continued around Australia. It hasn’t just been limited to one state or one city.”

South Africa’s management were advised against making the original incidents at Perth public for fear of triggering copycat abuse on other grounds. But after consulting the players, the decision was reached that such matters needed to be flagged.

While there is no mistaking Majola’s anger at the incidents, it is unlikely that South Africa would shun future tours, not least because it would leave them facing a hefty fine by the ICC for failing to honour their commitments under the Future Tours Programme.

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