CA favours Oz football league racial vilification laws for cricket

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Melbourne, July 10 : Cricket Australia is lobbying to the International Cricket Council for an Australian Football League-style mediation phase in cases of racial vilification in international cricket.

The move is seen as an attempt to avoid a repeat of the political crisis that erupted when Harbhajan Singh was accused of racially taunting Andrew Symonds during India's tour to Australia early this year.

The Age reported that the proposal was debated at the ICC's annual meeting in Dubai last week, where Australia argued that the existing process failed all parties.

Cricket Australia is advocating a system in which mediation would ideally be confidential, and prosecution as a last resort, the newspaper said.

The ICC is understood to have been unconvinced, but CA is determined to keep pushing for a less combative process that, in the first instance, aims for the offender to understand why a particular remark is unacceptable.

However, Cricket Australia is determined to keep pushing for a less combative process that, in the first instance, aims for the offender to understand why a particular remark is unacceptable.

"We think this is important, and we're continuing to argue the case," said Cricket Australia's anti-racism officer and public affairs manager Peter Young.

Michael Brown, the former Hawthorn Football Club chief executive and now the cricket board's operations manager, revisited the AFL's groundbreaking racial and religious vilification code, a landmark document in Australian sport, to draw up the proposal.

The AFL is considered a world leader in confronting racial vilification, and won a United Nations award for the code established after Essendon champion Michael Long reacted to Collingwood's Damien Monkhorst calling him a "Black Bastard" in 1995.

Since then, the first step in resolving incidents of racial abuse has been for the two players to attend a mediation session. If that fails, the matter proceeds to the AFL Tribunal.

Cricket Australia is advocating a similar system, in which mediation would ideally be confidential, and prosecution seen as a last resort.

ANI

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