CA boss supports tough cricket by Oz

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Melbourne, Jan 7 (UNI) After a controversial second Test against Australia which India lost by 132 runs at SCG, Cricket Australia (CA) extended its full support to its team here today after Indian skipper Anil Kumble talked about the ''unsporting behaviour'' of the host.

CA said that the game was played within the laws and spirit of the sport.

CA chief executive James Sutherland while talking to newspersons said ''It has always been the Australian way to play the game hard but fair,'' After losing the SCG Test, Kumble said that ''only one side was playing with the spirit of the game''. The match was marred by dubious umpiring decisions which the visitors eventually lost.

On top of it off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was banned for three Test matches after allegedly making racial slur against Andrew Symonds.

Indian team was also reportedly annoyed at Clarke and Symonds standing their ground when they had clearly edged deliveries.

Australia have a well-publicised history of ''sledging'' or verbally abusing their opponents to put them off their game, ''Tough and uncompromising is certainly the way all Australian teams have played. It does not matter who is the captain,'' James Sutherland said adding ''This team under Ricky Ponting is no exception ... (and) Cricket Australia supports the Australian team in its endeavours to play the game as best as they possibly can.'' Australia also have a well-publicised history of ''sledging'' or verbally abusing their opponents to put them off their game.

UNI XC RKM TB BST1352

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