With mounting allegations of players suffering racist abuse, South Africa’s cricket authorities might not send the team back to Australia if incidents continue. From the Independent’s Colin Crompton.
The Cricket South Africa chief executive, Gerald Majola, said: “It is very serious and if it continues, yes, we would look very seriously about whether we return.”
Makhaya Ntini, Garnett Kruger, Herschelle Gibbs and Ashwell Prince, who are black, were targets of racial abuse during the first Test in Perth last month.
“It is not right when a country has a history like ours,” Majola said. “The sad thing is, it has continued around Australia. It hasn’t just been limited to one state or one city.”
Cricket Australia’s chief executive, James Sutherland, said a crackdown on racist fans was planned. “These types of people are not wanted at cricket. If there is a cost-effective method of keeping them out, we will certainly look into it.”
ricket Australia is considering following the example of European football and devising a register of “undesirable” fans that would be distributed to gate attendants in a bid to stop boorish, racist spectators from entering international venues.
“Though violent behaviour hasn’t been prevalent at international cricket matches this summer, CA chief executive James Sutherland believes the same method could be applied to curb the racist taunting of players by fans, such as that which distressed the South African team,” Fairfax reported on Tuesday.
Sutherland told the newspapers: “Look at the way they address the issue of hooliganism in England.
“We hope we don’t need to get to that stage, but they have been successful in keeping undesirable people out of grounds,” he said.
Unless Sutherland is refering to the Premiership clubs’ practice of pricing tickets beyond the means of many of their fans, it is hard to fathom what he’s talking about.