Interesting article on racism in Cricket. The much maligned Australian cricket team and fans are often accused of racism now it appears that the Indian cricket fans have also stopped to that level.
Indian crowd racially taunts Aussie Symonds
October 11, 2007 - 10:26PM
Australia's Andrew Symonds has been racially abused by Indian fans while fielding during the home side's innings in their one-day match at Vadodara today.
The only black member of the national side was taunted with monkey noises from the crowd during the latter stages of India's innings at the Reliance Ground.
A Cricket Australia official confirmed the racist taunts were directed at the allrounder who was heavily booed on the occasions that he fielded near the boundary line today.
"The matter will be left in the hands of the local authorities," a CA official confirmed.
The Australian cricket team was trying to respect Symonds' wish not to make a big deal out of the incident.
However the Indian camp had condemned the behaviour of their fans.
"This should not happen but the problem is trying to control the crowds and in some areas there can be some trouble," said team manager Lalchand Rajput.
"People come to watch the game and this sort of behaviour spoils the game."
He said the Indian team would be very upset that a player had been racially abused.
"Yes, definitely these things are not good for the morale of the team, it is upsetting for them," he said.
"They (the fans) should watch and not get into these sorts of trouble and behave in the right way."
Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Paul Marsh expressed similar sentiments.
"If this incident has occurred I would be disappointed for Andrew," he said.
The International Cricket Council has made cracking down on racial abuse from crowds a top priority with Australian, English, West Indie and South African fans having come in for criticism for racial abuse towards.
An ICC spokesman said the body treated racial abuse very seriously.
"We have not received any complaints about this but in general terms we have a no tolerance policy to racism and a very strict anti-racism code," a spokesman said from Dubai.
"Our anti-racism policy was approved and strengthened in November 2006 with all members having signed up to this, that racism will not be tolerated at any ground."
The matter left a sour note on Australia's comprehensive nine-wicket win over India that handed the side an unbeatable 3-1 series lead with two matches to play.
It is understood the matter was not a major talking point in the Australian dressing room following the change of innings.
The next contest will be in Nagpur on Sunday.