Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Melbourne, 4th day December 29, 2005

Fan ejected from MCG for racial taunt


Australian fans are a boisterous and supportive lot, but officials and players have been wary of racial slurs © Getty Images

A spectator was ejected for making racist taunts during the second Test match between Australia and South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), according to ground officials.

Similar incidents at last week's first Test in Perth led to Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, condemning the behaviour of some sections of the crowd towards the South African players.

"A person was evicted yesterday for using racist and offensive language," Stephen Gough, Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) chief executive, told ABC radio today. "I believe this is the first time this has happened at the MCG." A MCC spokesman said details of the latest incident had only emerged early Thursday and the organisation would be seeking further information.

The South African team complained last week about racial slurs and chants directed at Ashwell Prince, Garnett Kruger, Shaun Pollock, Justin Kemp and Makhaya Ntini during the third day's play in the Perth Test. The tourists' management sought extra security measures to help ensure no repetition of the abuse during the remaining two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney.

Cricket Australia issued a statement last week saying it had a zero tolerance approach to racist behaviour by anyone involved with cricket, including spectators. It said spectators who made racist comments would be thrown out of the ground immediately.

"There's no room in sport for racism whatsoever," Ponting said after the Perth Test. "The players are all very aware of that, the crowd needs to be aware of that and enjoy the game for what it is."