Symonds drew inspiration from racial slurs

Published: Monday, October 15, 2007, 10:51 [IST]
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Nagpur: Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds said the controversy over his racial abuse led him to an unbeaten century in the sixth one-dayer against India here on Sunday.

Symonds smashed 107 off just 88 balls to shape up Australia's series-clinching 18-run win and banish unpleasant memories of the previous game at Vadodara, where he is alleged to have been subjected to monkey chants.

"I drew on that for my innings today. It helped me get going," Symonds told reporters after the match.

The 32-year-old hard-hitting batsman, the national team's only black player, also said he was disappointed by the reluctance of the authorities concerned to deal with the matter.

"I didn't mind when it happened. What disappointed me was that someone and somebody denied it happened. It's not in my hands, but for the powers to be, to deal with the matter," he said.

The International Cricket Council has demanded an explanation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the incident, but a board official denied receiving any communication

"We have noted media reports of racist chanting during the India-Australia ODI in Vadodara on Thursday and also of racist abuse directed at South Africa players and team officials in Lahore," ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said in a statement Sunday.

"In the light of those reports we have written to both the BCCI and the PCB (on Saturday) asking for their comments on the incidents," he said.

However BCCI's secretary Niranjan Shah said they had not received any ICC letter and that it would be tough for anyone to prove that such an incident happened.

Symonds meanwhile also used his newspaper column to attack some members of the Indian cricket team.

Writing in the national stable of News Limited newspapers, Symonds said the Indians had become "cocky" after their win in the Twenty20 World Cup and the Australian team thought the reaction to that victory was "over the top".

"Some of the things their players have been given and the way they are treated, it's like they are rock stars and princes," he wrote.

"It's been irritating because it's been in our face. We see them on television every day."

Symonds said while he got on well with some of the Indian players, such as Sachin Tendulkar, others had needled the Australian team unnecessarily.

"There are a couple of them who seem to spark things," he said.

"(Shanthakumaran) Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh are the ones we are clashing with most.

"The thing that annoys us the most is when they are going well, they will have a shot at you. But when they aren't going well they forget to shake hands at the end of the game."

The teams now travel to Mumbai for the last game of the seven-match series which Australia have clinched 4-1.


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