Ponting calls for action on Symonds race abuse

Published: Saturday, October 13, 2007, 19:06 [IST]
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Australia captain Ricky Ponting said the International Cricket Council (ICC) should take action over the alleged racial abuse of Andrew Symonds by Indian fans.

Cricket Australia said Friday that Symonds complained about noises made by some sections of the crowd as he fielded near the boundary during the game aginst India in Vadodara on Thursday.

However, the team refrained from lodging a formal complaint, leaving the local authorities to solve the matter.

Ponting said the game's governing body, which adopted a stringent, new anti-racism code last November, should take the lead.

"I know the match referee knows about it. If ICC gets it in his report, they will have a chance to do something about it," Ponting told reporters.

"I think for us to be saying anything about it, we need for the ICC to be doing something about it first," Ponting said.

"Racism is unacceptable anywhere in the world. You don't expect it to happen when you step out on the field. We did not deserve it and we don't expect it to happen again."

ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald said match referee Chris Broad's match report had been discussed at length and the Indian board may be asked for an explanation.

"There may be questions that we will need answered from the (Board of Control for Cricket in India)," Fitzgerald said.

"We may seek clarification on certain aspects of the anti-racism code and whether it has been implemented fully. If not, the question will be, 'Why not?'

"We're very keen to get this matter sorted to try and prevent it from recurring. Too much is left of this series."

BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah said local authorities denied any racial taunts were directed at Symonds.

"The police of Vadodara who were looking after the situation have denied this story," Shah told AFP.

"The code was implemented at the ground as per guidelines."

The abuse was widely reported in Australian newspapers, with the Sydney Morning Herald saying the monkey chants were similar to those that have plagued European football.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph said thousands of spectators were involved in the abuse, prompting ground authorities to flash the International Cricket Council's anti-racism code on the replay screen.

Symonds, the national team's only black player, has also been involved in a running feud with Indian paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth since the start of the seven-match series which Australia lead 3-1.

The Indian series has been clouded by ill temper, stemming in part from discontent within the Australian camp at the way India's players celebrated their semi-final win over Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

Pakistani spectators were also arrested for racist taunts against members of the South African team during the second Test in Lahore this week.

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