CA for zero tolerance against racism

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Sydney, Nov 8 (UNI) A dichotomy is visible, that also officially, as Cricket Australia (CA) unveils its anti-racism policy which would result in ''automatic ejection'' of trouble mongers among the crowd if they chant 'monkey taunts' but it will not take any action if anyone shouts 'no ball' when Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan bowls.

CA anti-racism officer Peter Young revealed the monkey taunts which all-rounder Andrew Symonds was allegedly subjected to last month in India during the Future Cup would be banned.

''Monkey chanting would result in automatic ejection. There is no place to hide if people misbehave,'' CA's spokesman and anti-racism officer Peter Young said.

Incidentally, one of the most famous incidents of racism in Australia involves Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, the second highest wicket-taker in the world after Aussie legend Shane Warne. But CA it seems is not too concerned about that.

The Sri Lankan spin wizard was taunted by boorish fans during his first tour Down Under in 1996. The unpleasant memories from that tour prompted the off spinner to pull out of his team's 2004 Australian tour.

''(But) We're not going to throw people out of the ground for shouting no-ball. We're expecting people to get an earful, that's what happens in Australia ... As long as people don't cross the line,'' he was quoted as saying by the 'Australian Associated Press'.

Young said CA will take a zero tolerance approach to any form of racism.

''There is absolutely no place for racism in cricket either off or on the field. Basically, Australia is a very egalitarian country and Australian people are fair-minded and we're very optimistic, we don't expect an issue (of racism).

''We don't expect a problem but if the unexpected does occur we have the processes in place to detect and eject people who have done the wrong thing,'' he added.

While Muralitharan has faced plenty of crowd sledging for his action, Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene said his team hadn't been racially abused in his 10 years of touring Australia.

''I've had a great time, they (the crowd) have been very enthusiastic,'' he said.

''It's in the Australian blood that you compete well and you challenge yourself and that's something that the crowd has as well.

I think they do support their team whole-heartedly.

''That's something the opposition team has to realise and that can actually motivate you to play better cricket.

''It can hype yourself up and can build your own mental toughness to handle these sorts of occasions,'' he said.


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