Pontings asks supporters to behave themselves at MCG

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Melbourne, Feb 1 (UNI) Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has requested Aussie supporters to show respect to Team India during the one-off Twenty20 encounter at the MCG today.

''Fans should treat them the same way Australian players would like to be received in other countries,'' Ponting was quoted as saying by 'The Age'.

''I think it is just really important for the game's sake that the crowds right around Australia, (and) here in Melbourne today, really do turn up and just enjoy the contest for what it is,'' he added.

Cricket Australia and the Victoria Police have backed Ponting, saying strong action will be taken against spectators making racist comments at MCG.

''We warn people that if they are going to come along and ruin other people's fun and they think that that is good fun themselves, they may well have a short night,'' Cricket Australia's chief executive, James Sutherland said.

Police officials said anybody arriving at the ground drunk will not be allowed to enter, and inflammatory or racist signs and banners will be confiscated.

Police have boosted their numbers in expectation of a impetuous crowd.

UNI XC CS AB AS1306

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