Australia v South Africa, 2nd Twenty20, Brisbane January 14, 2009

Cricket Australia acts after laser claims

Cricinfo staff

Wayne Parnell: "There was a green flash and it was pretty bright and the light seemed to be pointing towards me" © Getty Images

Cricket Australia has apologised to the South Africans for members of the crowd who used a green laser to put off Wayne Parnell in the closing stages of Australia's six-wicket win in Brisbane on Tuesday night. In the 18th over of Australia's pursuit of 5 for 157 Michael Hussey hit a catch to Parnell at long-off, which he dropped, but television replays showed lights flashing from the stands that might have distracted him.

"There was a green flash and it was pretty bright and the light seemed to be pointing towards me," Parnell told the Herald Sun. "It was all a bit strange. I only saw it then, but maybe it was flashed around at other times, I am not sure."

"I am not making any excuses, I think it was a pretty valiant effort to take the catch. I wouldn't have caught it anyway. You have to be professional and I guess sometimes you have to deal with these things."

Peter Young, a Cricket Australia spokesman, told the ABC it was "just not cricket to do this sort of thing … it's stupid". "The South African team has advised that it didn't affect them and they're not proposing to make a complaint. CA has apologised to them that this has happened while they are guests in this country and they have accepted that apology."

He said steps would be taken to stop it from happening again. "We're seeking police advice about what the maximum penalty might be," he said. "Our manager of crowd security is talking to police today just to understand that. If we detect people doing this sort of thing, we will react to the maximum possible extent that we can. We're just taking advice on whether or not we can have charges laid."

The South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said the team was not bothered by the incident. "It didn't make any difference in terms of the catch," he said. "It didn't make any difference in terms of the result.

"We are confident CA will be sorting that type of stuff out. It's a small issue and we're not going to make a huge song and dance about it. We're just here to play cricket. We don't want to get involved in too many off-field side-shows."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Upul on January 19, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    I'm sure there are a few hooligans among sports fans no matter which country or game. Having said that, in my humble opinion, hooliganism seems to be more prominent among Australian crowds. Consider the abuse dished out to players like Murali by crowds. So much so that Murali (usually the complete and true gent was seen giving the idiot Aussie fans the finger)! And please refer to an interview by Mark Boucher in which he speaks to cricinfo about the CB series between Aus, SL and SA - Aussie crowd abusing both SA and SL racially and otherwise (I think and official complaint was made). My point is that Aus authorities need to tighten it up.

  • Alan on January 17, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    What a disgracefully low act, I hope the muppet with the laser is caught and banned for life. I also hope any spectators around him who saw what he did are helping to identify him. This sort of thing ruins sport and is particularly disappointing after such a great test series. Have the media over reacted - short of hanging the culprit, I don't think over reaction is possible!

  • chris on January 16, 2009, 2:08 GMT

    I will not go to live cricket anymore, I stopped about 4 years ago. The need to ban alcohol and be tougher on these idiots, I have even seen people do so many things fights, piss in cups and through it in the air on mexican waves, is this the type of place to take your kids. Its filth and i am sic of it. I was so happy when they started to put the match on local TV......

  • Jackie on January 15, 2009, 6:54 GMT

    the bottom line is, there are idiots at every cricket game around the world, not just in Australia.I have been to domestic games here in SA and it gets rough sometimes.Some people just dont know when to stop,and then they have a few cold ones to its inevitable that some stupid things are going to happen..its still not right.Whilst we all know that Parnell's catch would probably have had no effect on the result,I can tell you he completely misjudged it because of the laser.The ball almost knocked him in the face.....few cricketers misjudges a catch that badly,unless there were other factors - ie the sun in Hussey's drop in the tests.Well done to CA for acting speedily,and well done to the Proteas and in particular Parnell for handling the matter professionally...he didnt have much of a choice anyway cos his last 2 overs cost us the game (along with the missed stumping).The ODIs will be 1-sided, unless Gibbs,Kallis,vJaarsveld & de villiers starts performing.Duminy remains our key

  • Chris on January 15, 2009, 5:54 GMT

    I bet there are a S..t load of SA fans heading down to the local novelty store right this second to buy their own lasers. Pity....but it's gonna happen. Lets prey we behave ourselves, but I can't see it happening. After a couple of pints....

  • chris on January 15, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    i live in queensland and this incident almost made me ashamed to be a queenslander! this whole series has been played with the best interests of cricket in mind, including some of the finest displays of sportsmanship that i have seen anywhere, and yet all it takes is some fool to but a big dirty black mark on the spirit of the game. that being said, i thought it was handled pretty well by both cricket aus and the south african's and not least of which wayne parnell himself! he seemed loath to blame the dropped catch on the laser, saying instead "i wouldn't have caught it anyway". many lesser sportsmen would have definitely taken the easy way out, so props to you wayne!

  • Shane on January 15, 2009, 3:29 GMT

    A huge pat on the back for Huntz01. Well said. Unfortunately, idiots are not confined to one particular country, they are everywhere. Samdiatmh stop being a clown. The Australian public in general would be happy to see these idiots thrown out of the ground, heavily fined and/or banned from further matches. Another point Huntz01 made was the way Mickey Arthur has handled the issue. Not only this issue but the entire tour. The cricket was fantastic from both sides. The winners were gracious in victory and the losers gracious in defeat. It's just a pity that we have complete retards like this idiot with the laser to throw a spanner in the works.

  • Liam on January 15, 2009, 2:22 GMT

    A stupid act by a stupid person. There always seem to some fool in the crowd (regardless of what nation you are in!) who needs to draw attention to themselves but this guy could of caused some physical damage to Parnell and if they ever find him he should be charged with assault and never allowed into a sporting arena again. Although the South African team was not too concerned about it, I was pleased to see that CA quickly apologised to them and it was gracefully accecpted. As for comments about Australian crowds, especially samdiatmh and is0587, I would just like to remind you of the 1996 World Cup semi final when India played Sri Lanka. It is an example of how an unsporting, ungentlemanly crowd reacts when their team is losing and thankfully we have not seen such a reaction since anywhere in the world.

  • Denzil on January 15, 2009, 1:56 GMT

    To madmike360 - I completely agree with you on how the game should proceed, i.e. the Australian team and its fans can and should behave in an unsporting, uncivilised, and petty fashion at every possible opportunity, while every visiting team should behave in a gentlemanly fashion and get on with the game rather than stand up to the stupid and petty behaviour of the Australian team and the crowds.When the opposing team dish it out to Aussies then is simply not cricket and bad behaviour needs to be stamped out.

  • Julie on January 15, 2009, 1:25 GMT

    Shame it was in QLD and not NSW as the government recently introduced laws about the use of lasr pointers. I hope they find whoever it was and charge them and ban them from entering ANY sporting venue in the country!!!! KA-USA - since you have to bring Inida into it - The Aus team didn't make any issue of what happened in India ODI series, it was the media. Get ir right.

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