Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Sydney, 3rd day January 4, 2006

South Africa complain of more racial abuse


Andre Nel complained to Graeme Smith after he was subjected to racial taunts at Sydney © Getty Images

South Africa have complained of another incident of racial abuse by a spectator against Andre Nel during the third day of the final Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Nel was fielding close to the boundary and reported the taunts to Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, who informed the match umpires. They in turn reported it to Chris Broad, the match referee. All three Tests in the current series have been marred by racist incidents.

"None of the team minds any form of abuse because it happens in any country, the home side really gets behind it," said Mickey Arthur, South Africa's coach. "But we feel once it becomes a racist taunt then the boundaries are being overstepped and the South African team categorically deplores that type of behaviour."

Peter Young, the Cricket Australia (CA) spokesman, said that CA had a zero tolerance view to racism and had sent extra security staff to the section of the crowd but were unable to identify the culprit. Ground authorities reminded the crowd with a public announcement and a notice on the electronic scoreboard that such behaviour was unacceptable.

"We made our point again and it has been reported and I'm sure it'll be dealt with through the right channels," added Arthur. "I don't think we can do too much more other than just make our point that we categorically deplore it and we do feel that boundaries are being crossed when that sort of thing transpires out there. A lot of it's been light-hearted and a lot of it's been really good and that type of barracking is acceptable and beefed him [Nel] up. Everyone boos when he (Nel) comes on but I think he's going to leave Australia as one of the more popular guys. It's a bit of a love-hate relationship."

In the first Test at Perth, Makhaya Ntini, Ashwell Prince, Garnett Kruger and Shaun Pollock were taunted in Afrikaans as "kaffirs" or "kaffir brothers". This prompted Ali Bacher, former South African captain and chief executive, to call for life bans for offenders. In the second Test in Melbourne a man was ejected from the ground for making racist and offensive comments towards Nel.