Monkey is not a racist taunt: Buchanan

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Canberra, Jan 9 (UNI) Former Australia coach John Buchanan today questioned whether the term ''monkey'' is racist, while at the same time lashed out at ICC for bowing to BCCI's demands.

It was alleged that Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh used the term ''monkey'' towards all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

''When I was growing up as a young fella, 'you little monkey' was a common colloquial reference for all children due to our ability to be a bit cheeky at times,'' Buchanan said.

Meanwhile, coming down heavily on International Cricket Council (ICC), for its inept handling of the issue, Buchanan said, ''It is my view that the ICC with their approach and decisions has failed to show the leadership that world cricket requires,'' Buchanan wrote in his column on the ABC website.

The ICC caved in to Indian demands for umpire Steve Bucknor to be replaced for the third Test between India and Australia in Perth, after the 61-year-old Jamaican made a series of umpiring blunder in the second Test in Sydney, which costed the visitors the match.

''Through their actions or inactions, they are threatening the future of the game.'' ''While I do not honestly think the game's longevity is at issue, cricket's ability to 'shoot itself in the foot' has once again been admirably displayed.

''Through the advent of the Twenty20 game format, cricket has only recently lurched from the debacle of the World Cup final, the mishandling of the Woolmer death and the inglorious debate about Murali, the world's greatest wicket-taker,'' Buchanan wrote.

India had threatened to end its tour of Australia if suspended spinner Harbhajan Singh didn't have his three-Test ban for racist comments overturned.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appealed against Harbhajan's ban, clearing the bowler to play until the outcome of that hearing.

The ICC also appointed a Code of Conduct commissioner to oversee an appeal against Harbhajan Singh's three-match ban for racial abuse of Australia's Andrew Symonds, freeing the spinner to play on pending the appeal's outcome.

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