Symonds mistook antics for racism: Pawar

BCCI President Sharad Pawar believes Andrew Symonds mistook hostile crowd antics for racism.

updated: October 22, 2007 18:14 IST
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BCCI President Sharad Pawar believes Andrew Symonds mistook hostile crowd antics for racism and insisted that the episode would not sour Indian Cricket Board's relation with its Australian counterpart.

Reacting to reports that Symonds had been subjected to monkey chants in Vadodara, Nagpur and in Mumbai too on Wednesday night, Pawar assured that International Cricket Council's Anti-Racism Code would be strictly adhered to but he also felt that it was not a case of racism.

"We respect that we have to protect the individual player. There is a complaint and we will take the appropriate action," Pawar was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

"I believe this is a misunderstanding; a language issue. There are many languages spoken in India, and I don't understand many of them myself.

"Still, it is the responsibility of the Indian board to execute that (the ICC's anti-racism code). There have already been steps taken," he added.

He also dismissed the idea that the incident would have any adverse effect on the relationship between the cricket boards of both the countries.

"This will not at all affect our relationship with Cricket Australia. We have a very strong relationship and we are hoping that will continue," he asserted.

After Pawar announced that BCCI would look into the complaint, the local media in Melbourne dubbed his comments as "backdown by the BCCI", pointing out that the Board had initially refused to acknowledged the incident in Vadodara.

According to media reports in Melbourne, Match Referee Chris Broad has written to the ICC confirming racial comments were indeed hurled by the crowd during the fifth match at Vadodara.

Symonds and the entire Australian team are miffed with the Indian crowd and skipper Ricky Ponting too lashed out at yesterday's hostile spectators at the Wankhede Stadium after the match which the visitors lost by two wickets.

"Some of the other stuff that went on was totally unnecessary. I just hope that it does not happen again at another cricket venue that I play in because it leaves a bad taste in everybody's mouth," Ponting said.

The daily also admitted that reports of an Australian cameraman capturing racial crowd behaviour during the Nagpur one-dayer was actually a rumour.