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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 08:06 GMT
World body to investigate racism
Cricket's world governing body the ICC has appointed India's Solicitor General Goolam Vahanvati to investigate alleged racist abuse by fans in Australia.

Players from South Africa and Sri Lanka have both been subject to abuse during their current tours.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed expressed his organisation's determination to stamp out the problem.

"Everyone in cricket is unhappy with the way in which players have been subjected to racist abuse," he said.

"The actions of what would seem to be a small number of people are reflecting poorly on Australia and on cricket. It is essential that this issue is addressed."

The weak-minded minority might think again if they realised they faced bans or huge fines
Cricket Australia's
James Sutherland

South Africa made an official complaint about their treatment during the recent Test series and Sri Lanka's players were targeted in a triangular VB Series match in Adelaide last week

South African players were reportedly taunted with the terms 'kaffirs' and 'kaffir boeties', derogatory terms for black people and those sympathetic to them..

Vahanvati, who looked into alleged racism in Zimbabwe in 2004, will travel to Australia to speak to Cricket Australia and ICC officials, as well as staff at grounds where incidents were reported - Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

He will then move on to South Africa and Sri Lanka to talk to players.

Spectators were thrown out after the recent incidents but Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland wants authorities to have the power to ban perpetrators for life or impose heavy fines.

"The weak-minded minority might think again if they realised they faced bans or huge fines of the type that now apply to spectators who trespass on Australian cricket arenas," he explained.

"We intend to talk to Australian federal and state governments to see if a similar approach might be possible for racist spectators."

Sri Lankan Cricket secretary Adil Hashim welcomed the move, telling the BBC: "We do not condone these kind of incidents.

"Sport bridges barriers and the last thing that should happen in it is racial divisions."

However Sri Lanka's Australian coach Tom Moody denied his players had any problems with crowds, saying: "Our guys haven't had any experience whatsoever in regards to that."

South Africa cricket board chief Gerald Majola warned on Monday that his country could boycott Australia in future if the abuse were to continue.

Captain Graeme Smith called on the ICC to follow football's lead in taking a firm line on racism.

"I think it's something that they need to - just like Fifa - be very strong on it and keep the game clean," he said.

"It's up to them to take responsibility for it. If it's happening constantly in one place then they do need to take some action."




SEE ALSO
Racist taunts upset South Africa
04 Jan 06 |  Cricket
ICC chiefs condemn racist abuse
20 Dec 05 |  Cricket
VB Series
29 Jan 06 |  Future tour dates


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