India's South African Safari - Cricket: Referee's action gives rise to speculations of racism

Published: Thursday, November 8, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Port Elizabeth (South Africa): Is there a hint of racial bias against cricket teams from the Indian sub-continent when it comes to administering the laws of the game?Many experts believe so citing several cases, the latest being the unprecedented action by England's Mike Denness, the ICC match-referee, against six Indian Test players.Most people in the sub-continent believe that there is "sheer discrimination" against India and Pakistan, said former India Test cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, now a commentator on a sports channel.What Denness was saying is that Indians were cheats, he said, adding that the referee's decision had caused chaos and turmoil in the world of cricket. Sidhu said ICC had put a ban on honesty and "a premium on idiocy".Experts pointed out that the South African captain Shaun Pollock had done a war-dance while appealing against V V S Laxman, the top-scorer in India's first innings in the current second Test match in Port Elizabeth.Pollock made a loud and prolonged appeal for leg before while the umpire took his own time to take a decision. The appeal went in Pollock's favour, perhaps rightly. Earlier in the One-day series, fast bowler Andre Nel had been clearly seen abusing the Indian batsmen but his action was not even taken note of. PTI

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