Cricket – Racist Comments To South African Players Condemned

Hardbeatnews, LONDON, England, Weds. Dec. 21, 2005: Saying there is no place for racism in cricket, Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council, Malcolm Speed, yesterday denounced racist comments made by a small number of Australian spectators towards several of the visiting South African players.

The racial slurs and chants were reportedly directed at South Africa’s Ashwell Prince, Garnett Kruger, Shaun Pollock, Justin Kemp and Makhaya Ntini during the third day of the match against the Aussies on Sunday. The match ended in a draw on Tuesday. Pollock and Kemp are White but the three other players are not.

“Cricket is an international game which is played by a diverse range of cultures and communities,” Speed reiterated yesterday. “Respect for each other is a key component of the game and racist comments have no place in cricket.”

And he insisted that while “this is an isolated incident by a small number of people in one country,” the ICC has in place an international anti-racism policy, which members have signed up to.

“I would hope that all cricket fans in Australia will support Cricket Australia’s efforts to avoid a repeat of this behavior,” Speed added.

The Australia cricket side reaffirmed its commitment to the ICC’s Anti-Racism policy and has emphasized that it is taking the matter very seriously. They include throwing spectators who make racist comments to other patrons or players out of the ground immediately.

“There is no place in Australian cricket for racism, whether it be on or off the field,” Cricket Australia public affairs manager Peter Young said.

The South Africans had complained formally to the ICC about the abuse. The second test starts in Melbourne on Boxing Day. –