South Africa January 15, 2007

Gibbs is part of wider problem

The behaviour of South Africa's players created a vile atmosphere in this first Test match, and whether or not it was for ears or eyes only it was evident for the world to see
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International cricket is not for those of a weak constitution, nor should it be a forum for racism. Herschelle Gibbs may have uttered his words for "ears only" but such an excuse is not acceptable in a public arena. Chris Broad's decision to ban Gibbs is correct, whether or not the ban is sufficient is another matter. South Africa, too, can have no complaints, particularly since Graeme Smith managed to have Shoaib Akhtar banned for swearing during his team's last tour of Pakistan.

The fans who abused Paul Harris and struck Makhaya Ntini are a disgrace to Pakistani supporters everywhere. This sorry incident has no winners.

But it does expose a deeper problem with South African cricket. Smith's team fully deserved their victory, Pakistan were outplayed, but the manner of the victory left something to be desired. The snarling--and persistent--abuse that South Africa's players hurled at Pakistan's players went some way beyond sledging. It is amazing that the umpires tolerated it.

The behaviour of South Africa's players created a vile atmosphere in this first Test match, and whether or not it was for ears or eyes only it was evident for the world to see. These antics do not excuse the behaviour of Pakistan's fans but it surely contributed to their agitation.

All credit to Cricket South Africa for further investigating Herschelle Gibbs but what they really should be doing is considering the public conduct of their team. It is conduct that does little for the image of the Rainbow Nation.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Embolilal on February 20, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    Hello. And Bye. Thank you very much.

  • herniated on February 13, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    superb post! I hate commenting and i dont usually do it but since i enjoyed this, what the heck! Thanks alot!:)

  • jonn2 on June 2, 2011, 7:20 GMT

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  • SlulksakFuh on December 7, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    Thanks, nice post. Keep up the good work

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  • Chance on August 23, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    it is all about keeping it real =]

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  • Wesley on July 5, 2007, 19:24 GMT

    I can't believe people are accusing Gibbs of being a racist.

    He was refering to the behaviour of those fans who were taunting Ntini and Harris.

    People need to take their blinkers off.

  • shoaib on February 14, 2007, 13:54 GMT

    I am extremely sorry if my comments hurt anyone on the blog but it was how I felt after some of the incidents took place and watching the press confrences of m.speed at bbc after the ovalfiasco where d.hair wanted $500,000 to retire ...and then the doping issues and then reading the articles.... so if I hurted anyone I am extremely sorry please please please forgive me if possible.

    D.hair recent statements shows he is lost in his own mama-world .....he was the one who called muralitharan no-ball first time and also called inzy runout in faislabad when inzy was taking evasive action as I said he is lost in his own mama-world and he needs to come out of that and let everyone enjoy the game....

    I am sorry once again if my comments hurted anyone please forgive me.

  • pierre on February 12, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    I think it very sad that peaople can make statements on racism in South Africa based on the past especially when you consider the countries they come from are reknowned for being the worst racist countries in the world. Not allowed to marry between casts and every cast is better than the next so they are discriminated against. Children are forced into marriage and so on.

    Needless to say how conveniently the PCB brought in their go to man to chair the drugs ban appeal on a couple of pakistani players which got overturned because they pleaded ignorance. Which as far as I am concerned is not an excuse.

  • Embolilal on February 20, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    Hello. And Bye. Thank you very much.

  • herniated on February 13, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    superb post! I hate commenting and i dont usually do it but since i enjoyed this, what the heck! Thanks alot!:)

  • jonn2 on June 2, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    comment4,

  • SlulksakFuh on December 7, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    Thanks, nice post. Keep up the good work

  • insutsroowisp on September 12, 2010, 14:45 GMT

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  • Chance on August 23, 2010, 13:51 GMT

    it is all about keeping it real =]

  • Pharmd931 on May 8, 2010, 10:26 GMT

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  • Wesley on July 5, 2007, 19:24 GMT

    I can't believe people are accusing Gibbs of being a racist.

    He was refering to the behaviour of those fans who were taunting Ntini and Harris.

    People need to take their blinkers off.

  • shoaib on February 14, 2007, 13:54 GMT

    I am extremely sorry if my comments hurt anyone on the blog but it was how I felt after some of the incidents took place and watching the press confrences of m.speed at bbc after the ovalfiasco where d.hair wanted $500,000 to retire ...and then the doping issues and then reading the articles.... so if I hurted anyone I am extremely sorry please please please forgive me if possible.

    D.hair recent statements shows he is lost in his own mama-world .....he was the one who called muralitharan no-ball first time and also called inzy runout in faislabad when inzy was taking evasive action as I said he is lost in his own mama-world and he needs to come out of that and let everyone enjoy the game....

    I am sorry once again if my comments hurted anyone please forgive me.

  • pierre on February 12, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    I think it very sad that peaople can make statements on racism in South Africa based on the past especially when you consider the countries they come from are reknowned for being the worst racist countries in the world. Not allowed to marry between casts and every cast is better than the next so they are discriminated against. Children are forced into marriage and so on.

    Needless to say how conveniently the PCB brought in their go to man to chair the drugs ban appeal on a couple of pakistani players which got overturned because they pleaded ignorance. Which as far as I am concerned is not an excuse.

  • Alisha on January 29, 2007, 9:01 GMT

    i think this punishment was hard and cold however i do not agree with the statement that herschell made but i do believe that words were flying from both sides, i think cricket fans should respect the teams that play even if you don't support them. my uncle are a england fan but he never say words or gets anger if S.A win a game. I call it good sportsmanship, if you can compliment another team if they play good then,SHUT-UP!!! and keep your comments for yourself. I think Herschell Gibbs is a great cricket player, i'm not suprise with the comments that was made by him because a lot of cricket players make comments like that on the field the only difference, he was heard internationally

    S.A Cricket Fan South Africa

  • Saqib on January 21, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    I think us pakistanis should look at our own fans before we look at gibb's comment. These fans that cannot behave like decent human beings should be banned from cricket matches and i feel ashamed to be associated with such people. We always hear about the minority but they always seem to be louder than the majority which makes them stand out more. News is only news when it is bad news in this day n age. The majority of pakistani fans are nice cricket loving people and make me proud but this minority of idiots bring shame upon us.

  • Dawar on January 21, 2007, 15:54 GMT

    Dear Pakistani Fans,

    We should not make big issue of Gibbs incident. It has nothing to do with racism.

    In past some players did worst behavior than Gibbs but no one consider them racial behavior? Or even player was not punished by their own board.

    Inzamam beat one Indian fan with cricket bat.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVEYrdfdbVw&mode=related&search=

    Izamam beat Younis Khan in his practice session.

    Inzamam disputed with Shahid Afridi.

    Pakistani legend Imran Khan kicked his own country fan in Karachi. Views by many users in TV and in ground.

    Javed Miandad lift cricket bat on Denise Lillie after verbal argument.

    Are any pakistani fans consider Imran, Javed or Inzamam behavior racist?

    If not, why we are blaming Gibbs? It has nothing to do with racism.

    Some times this is a normal behavior by any player.

    Pakistani Fan Dawar CA, USA

  • brendan on January 21, 2007, 13:36 GMT

    Another fantastic article Kamran. Since South Africa have been re-instated to world cricket they always seem to take the easy way out and blame everybody else for their problems. First it was the Aussie crowds, now it is the Paki crowds and who will it be next. South African cricketers and board make these outlandish remarks to cover up the atrocious on field behaviour of all their underachieving players. Australia play cricket hard but fair, and are always the first to congratulate players from any country on their achievements. But the South Africans are very different they still tend to look down the nose at other countries. I believe since G.Smith took over as captain this team has worsened in behaviour and became very arrogant.

  • Aussie guy on January 21, 2007, 0:34 GMT

    This matter has been blown out of proportion. 1. People need to get over that he wasn't racist and was provoked. He probably shouldn't have said that though. 2. Gibbs isn't white 3. Pakistanis are making a lot of fuss out of this. 4. People need to get over it.

    Also when Australia played England you could easily tell what the players were saying to each other. Some of them looked a bit rude, but did the players go and have a big cry about it? No they got on with the game and were motivated

    Also people stop saying Australia aren't playing in the spirit of the game. You obviously don't know what you're talking about

  • the solution! on January 20, 2007, 13:52 GMT

    Some excellent comments here guys!!! But you're all working around the point here!

    We should all be shouting to ban the whole SA team for life - why stop at Gibbs, lets put pressure on all of them : then at least we have a chance to win the series, and maybe if we can swing a few more bannings - have a better chance at the WC too!!! After all, look what our racist comments and this pressure has done to Gibbs - he can't hold a bat straight !!! :)

    We saw it when he travelled to India and faced the inquiry there - ruined his batting, and we've applied it very well here!!!

    Excellent work ... and the best use of the cry racist work in years!!! Congratulations all !!!

  • Laine on January 20, 2007, 9:08 GMT

    Calling someone animals that belong in a zoo because of the colour of their skin is racist. Saying it because they are abusive and feral is NOT! People should grow up.

  • Raja Kamran Zia on January 20, 2007, 8:55 GMT

    Its really sad to say anything upon the behaviour of Gibs.It was really shamefull."ITS JUST NOT CRICKET" But after that incident wut we c in the first day of second test. How does jacques Kallis behave with Decent MUHAMMAD YOUSUF. And if u guys have seen the match, U can judge the reaction of Shaun Pollock when he took the wicket of YOUSUF. I ll say it again "ITS JUST NOT CRICKET" No doubt there are double standards of ICC and White skin. Wut we c in everywhere, Even In BIG BROTHERS REALITY SHOW UK. Wut Has happened with Shilpa Shetty?

  • Dan on January 20, 2007, 2:34 GMT

    Gibbs got what he deserved. Nel should be banned for life. He is an embarrassment to his country and, I strongly suspect, not mentally stable. Comparing his antics with Shne Warne is laughable. Warne sledges, as is part of the game, whereas Nel takes it to a nasty, personal level; perhaps trying to make up for his obvious shortcomings as a player. Understand Richie Benaud will handle Gibbs' appeal, which is great. A fairer man you could not ask for. And he has the interests of cricket at heart.

  • asif on January 19, 2007, 20:57 GMT

    Gary Goddard, You are moaning about people sweeping all SA with teh same brush, yet that is eaxctly you yourself have deon to the Pak fans, so that makes your argument completely redundant. So please go and get over your prejudices.

  • Talal Javed- Mississauga on January 19, 2007, 19:37 GMT

    What has happened to Gibbs is not enough. He did make comments that can be interpreted as racist n especially when there are million pf ppl watching the game. These are the facts.

    1- even if the supporters were abusing some of the playes, this is not a correct professional way to react.

    2) Gibbs described the spectators as being "bloody animals" which shows his thoughts for ppl from the different backgrounds.

    ICC should take serious action against him and ICC should stop showing double standards.

  • London Mitch on January 19, 2007, 14:17 GMT

    It's not difficult to perceive a certain amount of bias (if not out-and-out racism) in many of the comments made by people on this topic. The majority seem to feel that whomever they support was 'done wrong' by x or y player/umpire/referee at some given time and we are better than you and you are wrong. Generally that's because it's a game - we support our teams, generally dislike the opposition no matter who they are, begrudingly admire their star player but still have a bit of banter with him if he's stood at 3rd man to try and look clever, and occasionally go slightly too far because sport sometimes addles the brain into turning rational people into some kind of Xenophobic monsters. But please try and listen to yourselves!!! To even suggest that Gibbs be banned simply because of South Africa's Apartheid past is ludicrous. I'm sure blaming him for the wrongs of millions against millions will make the world (& cricket) a far better place. Set a 'good' example, ruin someone's career, character assassinate them whilst you're there and not give a damn because you don't know them, will never meet them, and he's the opposition anyway. Stuff him - he looks white enough so let's give him a whipping whilst we're at it... Why not get the KKK hats on and string him up at the same time eh??

    If I see men urinating or spitting in the street (or frankly anywhere besides toilet facilities), I think 'You are such an animal'. I don't say anything because I might get attacked by the animal, but I think it, make eye contact and I glare. Scum of the earth I think. Colour is not the issue. Behaving in a disgusting, derogatory or insulting manner is to me behaving like an animal. Gibbs to my mind felt exactly the same about these so-called 'fans'. I seek a level playing field. So that all players are brought fairly before the powers that be for whatever the crime may be. If one can't say animal, then why can one professional call another pro f-wit or d-head?? We either allow all swearing and general bad behaviour or we stop it now. We either broadcast the stump mic louder so we can all hear it and draw our own conclusions or we turn it off and leave it to the umpires. We don't turn our cheek to some behaviour and then cast someone out for similar behaviour.

    Anyway, it's been a quiet few months all round - Gibbs is a racist, Asif & Shoaib are drug cheats, Hussey (today) is a plain old-fashioned cheat, Inzy goes on strike if things don't go his way, Warne is an (un)appealing cheat, Hair is racist, England cheat their fans but unfortunately that's not against the rules. Sounds like cricket is going down the tubes, but let's face it, cricket is no longer played or watched by ladies or gents. The grounds are either full of A) Beer swilling mouthy racist/ignorant idiots or B) Sober mouthy racist/ignorant idiots. It could well be played by similar souls at the professional level.

    I shall not be going to an international cricket game in 2007 as I refuse to listen to the racist witterings of the MAJORITY (not the minority as the authorities would have us believe). I have voted with my feet but it will make no difference to the ICC and their money grabbing ways. They sure as hell won't miss me, and shortly I don't think I'll miss cricket.

  • John on January 19, 2007, 14:07 GMT

    I am absoloutely astonished at the comments made by anonymous south african and for that matter all the comments that label Gibbs comments as racist . It amazes me that people who are insecure and negative and not white feel a need to turn any comment that they disagree with into a racist comment. As for S.A and umpires , what a sickening comment , it is people like you who ruin a sportsmans reputation ...you creep , poor decisions are unfortunately part of the game that all sides get from time to time . perhaps the umpires are racist ? or is it only white south africans that are afforded that label . Tempers flare from time to time and yes andre nel did go overboard but come on guys be realistic , what would your reaction be after constant lousy comments from a crowd .as for anonymous south african ...please stop calling your self a SOUTH AFRICAN you piece of trash !!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • boom boom on January 19, 2007, 12:50 GMT

    Gibbs, Nel and Smith shall be banned for life, period. Racism is deeply rooted in South Africa - definitely. I have been there couple of times. Pakistani team needs more players like Miandad!! I must say that PCB is a bunch of pussies... Cheers and let the cricket take its course.

  • Robbo on January 19, 2007, 12:33 GMT

    Sledging seems to be completely out of control. If the stump microphones were on all the time we would Know what was going on and the players would Know that what they said was being heard. Sledging can be an entertaining part of the game when carried on in the right spirit but outright abuse whether racist or otherwise should definately be outlawed with proper and consistent penalties.(I dont see F-----g animals as racist on its own and when not directed at another player or a spectator but a comment between players is not directly abusive unless said in a voice designed to carry)

  • Andrew on January 19, 2007, 11:48 GMT

    Javed Khan, thanks for your hilarious comments. Firstly, about Darrell Hair's appointments to Associate matches representing the "full support" of the ICC - really enjoyed that one. And then that umpires fear for their jobs if they annoy Australia - more hilarious satire. The ONLY people with the power to veto umpires (not to mention match referees - remember the ball tampering incident?) are the Asian Cricket Council.

    Meanwhile, the "worst Test umpire" voted by the AUS team (Billy Bowden), has been sent straight back across the Tasman for the Ashes. No veto power there. As you say yourself, Dar sawed off Martyn more than once in the last Ashes. And as you point out, he was another appointee to this series.

  • Aisha on January 19, 2007, 11:17 GMT

    Deon, calling a bunch of unruly crowd isnt defending a teammate. doesnt work that way. the crowd was out of place, rowdy and if posssible should also be apprehended,..but thats just it. they arent. they are there to watch the teams play the 'gentleman's game'. its the responsibility of the gentleman to stay that way. sounds rough, and it did when Inzi got banned for 'defending' his team and integrity. would u have said something there? ive backed the bans against shoaib and asif as well, anyone disrupting the peace on the picth is liable for punishment. the crowd isnt on the picth. tough luck.

    thats not the end of it. if the statement/slur wasnt all that bad, why the need to sue the company that put the stump microphones up to start with? there is obviously underlying acceptance of the fact that the words werent worthy of being heard! if they souldnt be heard, they shouldnt be said, or felt. thats that.

    when amla was called a terrorist, it may have been someone's distorted sense of humor, but its hurts millions. its a damned sport, not a place to voice your intuitive hatred, or the pre-conceived notions that people have allowed media to inscribe in them. amla isnt pakistani, so its not like im standing behind the ban decision because i am pakistani,...its just common sense. in a world full of hatred and war,...at least a sport should continue to be a painless forum for people of the world to enjoy, together!

    yes, the use of the phrase 'bloody animals' is not racism, but the tone, the expression and the situtation does, in fact, scream "racism". context.

    common sense, people.

  • SG on January 19, 2007, 10:55 GMT

    easy umair, dont let your emotions tempt you to take the route of racism,not all white people are racist, you know that, the general trend is good, ignorance is decreasing with every passing generation, infact the majority are normal people who consider all humans equal, just a handful of people who should be shot.maybe 30%. but at the same time, let us make sure that we coloured folk dont fall for the "2 wrongs make a right" thing. it never does. and really, lets end this gibbs debate thing, whether he gets his ban lifted or not, it doesnt matter, everyone knows what he said and those who (rightly) take offense to what he said will let him know, and he will (should) lose friends, unless he can convince people that he isnt a racist (if he wants to), all it takes is one word, SORRY

  • Duncan Lees on January 19, 2007, 10:44 GMT

    If only i knew who anonamous was!!! haha man you are a laughing stock!! I was there to and i am white as they come and i was searched all over! I think you guys are all looking at this from a very narrow perpective and making some huge generalisations and you should consider the whole truth before you believe simply yours. I find it interesting and enlightening to read the perspectives of everyone on this site and to accknowledge the truth in most of them but when guys dont seem to be able to open there minds to a different perspective this gets to me. Another thing is the fact that M.Umair Suri has a point and that the white people as he so put it are all grouped in certain areas which are often the better areas but this wasn't because they were white that they were granted the land. In the begining the land was open to all who could take it I think it is a bit harsh to look back and attack the people who were coincedently often white who capatalised on these opportunities. It appears to me that there is a chip on many a peoples shoulders these days and so one actually has to be rasist against a white person or deal with him more strictly to make it fair. Almost as if it was a punishment for being white. I would also like to remind you that Gibbs is not white and that there are more differences in race than simply white and the rest. Just a thought..

  • Duncan Lees on January 19, 2007, 10:33 GMT

    Come guys lets think about this whole situation from a more objective perspective and not so much a subjective one as i see most of you are. Gibbs said that the supporters were animals not based on their race, culture or any other inherant trait but based on the way they were conducting themselves as spectators and towards the South African cricket team, and so in no way does this constitute punishment and a verdict as he has been given for the incident. It is a shame that all incidents which occur these days are immediately attributed to a persons race or religion when the majority of them have little or nothing to do with these things. This type of feeling is what drives our differences inbetween us like a spear, it is important that we realise that this wasn't at all to do with prejudism in any way and learn to all stand up and take if we are willing to give.

    Hope that throws another perspective on the subject that you all seem to be so fixiated on.

    Cheers

  • Deon on January 19, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    Listen, all you South Africa bashing commentators out there! If you were the one being subjected to constant abuse from the oppositions fans, and not just verbal abuse, even being physically hit on the head, what would you have done? Players may be role models but they are still human beings and when they lose their tempers they act just like all the rest of us.

    Nobody says racism should be tolerated, but for goodness sakes get off your high horses and stop acting like a bunch of virgin liberals.

    The man made a comment defending his teammate, he will stand at a disciplinary hearing, let it be.

  • M.Umair Suri on January 19, 2007, 8:15 GMT

    Mr. NAth what ever has been spoken about aussies, SA,Eng are on the basis of true evidence and world have seen it through out , so dont get pissed being a australian and try to admit the hppocratic nature of whites not only the game but even in the international ;politics why whites didnt stay in Somaiya why they have settled and prefer to stay in South Africa becuase of the diamonds this small part of world have .Ponting, Smith, Gibbs, Nel , HAll, Lehman, they are just the true representator of the syche the white people still have in the depth of their minds and hearts for the Asians or Blacks which come out every now and then showing their true intentions wide open. So conclusion is quite simple that it is not enough to just say that w are not racist and we our quite educated to deal with different cultures as you poeple use to say quite often but their must be such actions which ultimately prove that how sincere and educated you peolpe(WHITES)are

    Regards Umair Suri.

  • Anonymous on January 19, 2007, 7:42 GMT

    Its simple, I was at the ground, and i must tell you that the behaviour of the staff of centurion cricket grounds were totally racist, they only searched the indian and pakistani supporters, they wanted to evict a number of indian and pakistani supporters from their seats so that white families could sit in the shade. Racism is well and alive in South African cricket. The Star newspaper gave a clearer indication as to what really happened, the three pakistani supporters mentioned to Harris that Paul Adams should be playing instead of Harris, Harris told the supporters that they were traitors and should f*** of to Pakistan. Harris returned to the boundry after claiming Faisal Iqbal, and Harris made rude jestures to the three supporters, this is what provoked them to be vulgure. One of the supporters even showed his cap with Harris's autograph, so tell me who is racist. Ive lived in South Africa all my life, proudly South African, but i dont support South Africa because they ARE a racist group. The white supporters sitting behind me had a whole lot of crude remarks to make about Hashim Amla. There isnt more that need be said, South African white cricketers with its white supporters are a racist bunch, you only know that if you live in South Africa. White supporters in favour of Gibbs can write their hearts out, but hte truth will live on. One more thing what does it take for South Africa to win a test match, ELEVEN PLAYERS WITH THREE UMPIRES and that is a FACT. South Africa will never win without the help of the umpires, sometimes you wonder if umpires are bought of.

  • Anjum Amin Siddiqui on January 19, 2007, 7:21 GMT

    South Africans thinks that they are World Champions in the waiting. They try to show this in every aspect of the game so they go over the top while sledging. I m sure if any Pakistani or Indian player did what Nel was doing he would have been banned without recourse to appeal. And for Pakistan team please be brave just remember they can not eat you. Take some lead from how Javed Maindad used to counter all these super races in the field. For Pakistani supporters you are there to encourage team not to disgrace the nation.

  • rext on January 19, 2007, 7:16 GMT

    Well said Nath, I couldn't agree more!! As an example of how racist Australians are I would remind readers that after the Tsunami 20 million Australians gave more than ONE BILLION dollars from their own pockets, quite apart from our Government's donations. We also organized mixed race International One Day matches here and in Sri Lanka to provide further aid and support to affected ASIAN Countries. We also gave hundreds of MILLIONS to Pakistan after your disastrous earthquake!! Steve Waugh is heavily involved in aid projects in India and so it goes on!!

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on January 19, 2007, 7:07 GMT

    I would just like to say that what Gibbs said was wrong. I agree with "Michael in Aus". You should not include race, colour etc in your remarks.

    For some reason, we are seeing more and more of such racist slurs.

    However, I would like my Pakistani brethren to realize that only Gibbs actions are inadequate. Labelling the whole South African team as racists is basically a racist slur itself.

    Similarly, the whole of Pakistan should not be blamed for the actions of those idiots in the stand who provoked the slur.

  • Dave on January 19, 2007, 6:03 GMT

    Nath, IAm an aboriginal australian and i have first hand experience of how tolerant and fair austrlians like to think and tell others they can be. They are so fair that after 200 years they still can't say "SORRY" one word for all the fairness and tolerance the "white" australians dished out to us true Aussies who have lived here for over 50,000 some say 100.000 years. I like to remind nath nad his just aussie mates that "White Austrlia" policy in the land of tolernat folks ended only just over 30 years ago and it may have never ende had the austrlian people had a say "vote". It is widely believed that had the people of austrlia given the right to vote on the abolition of the WHITE AUSTRALIA policy, it would have never ended. So before you tell the rest of the world how tolerant you aussies are tell them who and what you are.

  • dave on January 19, 2007, 5:49 GMT

    Well, it seems to me that this issue has has been divisive once again on racial grounds. Most whites think Gibbs was hard done by and is not a racist and most (non-whites) pakistanis think otherwise. It happens all the time when something like this happens we all form groups(based on our own racial backgroung)and the facts or real issues get lost alomg the way. Gibbs supporters sayonce again, political correctness has gone too far and the victims of racial abuse are using the race card to have their way with the poor little whit fella. Well iam an aboriginal austrlian and if you evicted spectators in australian grounds because of their bad behaviour, because they were abusing, swearing, insulting racially or otherwise players, umpires on the ground, then there would be no people left to watch the games, sporting venues will be empty. So justifying what Gibbs said by saying the crowd provoked him and were abusive! well if we all react the way gibbs did and evict fans who are abuse, will there be anyone left watching our gamees. I am talkimg not just about cricket but English soccer or the spanish, italian soccer etc.

    So, forget your own skin color and racial backgroung and just look at what gibbs did was wrong or not.

  • Confused on January 19, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    Ash Zad says quote "I just came to know Richie Benaud of Australia will hear the appel made by Gibbs. No matter how

    great is Benaud, he is after all an australian....... so dont expect a fair hearing.

    Do you know the man, do you know others that have reason for you to make this statement? Your reaction to his ethnicity shows you to be a hypocrite & a racist, so pull your head in. I feel that the administrators, teams & supporters from the Sub Cont need to get thicker skin, even better break away from the ICC & start your own little league. At least then we would have to listen to your dribble. As for the fair minded among you please feel free to immigrate to England as they are sorely in need of some half decent players. We are called convict scum, untrustworthy, our ability to adjudicate in an appeals process is questioned because of being Australian.

  • Imran on January 19, 2007, 5:20 GMT

    To Mr. Dust,

    I may be naive but you are clearly ignorant. I dont think anyone on this forum (Pakistani, SA or otherwise) has condoned the behavior of the handful of Pakistan supporters. Yet, in your biased mind your suggestion is to ban all Pakistani's from the next match. Isn't that what used to happen in the days of the apartheid where Bantu's and colored folks where banned from certain public places because of their race? Perhaps the execuse was that those folks couldnt 'behave' to the standards of the whites. I never implied that everyone in South Africa is racist. I am personally friends with both whites and Asians from South Africa and they are some of the nicest folks I know. I am calling out some of the idiots in your cricket team as racist based of their comments and associating it with the past historical facts of your country. Additionally, its true that South African's will be judged differetly because of this dodgy past. Its a fact, live with it.

    As for Pakistan as a country, please feel free to comment as you wish. In a free society comments are welcome and lively debate is acceptable as long as it is not racist.

    By the way is your last name Bin by any chance, if so, you are definitely living up to your name!

  • Paul on January 19, 2007, 4:56 GMT

    Harshit, I'm particularly interested by your "considering Gibbs is of mixed origin, I doubt that he was being a racist" comment.

    How so?

    Or are you from that 'enlightened' school that believes only white people can be racist? Yeah, right, and Father Christmas lives at the North Pole.

    Don't be so naive.

  • Sammy Kumaresh on January 19, 2007, 4:48 GMT

    Javed from Montreal.Take it easy you sound like one of the spectators at the unfortunate game. You seem to preaching something and doing exactly the opposite. I really do not think what Gibbs was racist it was ignorant but not racist. I am from Toronto I hate to see you in action at a Cricket game

  • Hillary Fernando on January 19, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    Thanks Javed Khan from Montreal, Canada, for highlighting the real truth, "that the ICC has dual standards and it is confirmed now. Also, Hair has been reinstated and allowed to stand in as an umpire for International matches being played in Kenya! There you go, this man is not going to retire, because he has full support from the ICC". It will be common knowledge soon, that these characters are reinstated to bring more and more disgrace & discredit onto this lovely game. Would the same standards apply to any other umpire or cricketer from other parts of the world. And mind you, the biggest joke is that these racism events are investigated by former cricketers & captains who hail from countries where racial slur is quite common in Cricket. These investigations must only be caried out by highly respected, impartial, international personalities of high integrity. Today one does not find many fromer cricketers & capatins who fill that slot.It is high time that ICC decides to be above board and be transparent in leadership & management of investigations of these crucial events & issues disgracing this gentlemens' game.

  • L Cerejo on January 19, 2007, 3:38 GMT

    I just wish to clarify a few points here, firstly to Mani: I think the episode with Sreesanth was funny, and I do not think he got into trouble for what he did but because he was swinging his bat in a circular motion that can be quite dangerous. Ashan - tell me you don't think that by calling the SA team "White Trash" is not racism. Tic - you really do not have the right to say any one must not throw stones from a glass house, because I was at Brisbane and I was watching a game against West Indies and if any stones were thrown at your glass house it would have been completly shattered, and the SA can not be blamed for that because I doubt that they are that interested in watching a game against Aus and West Indies. Last but not least to Face Reality all I have to say is "Ditto" as the Aussies shall no doubt do to your team.

  • Unknown nationality on January 19, 2007, 3:33 GMT

    Ok i think all cricket nations r somewhat racist and ethnocentric. In Asia its a lot hardert o pick up since they don't speak english on the field. However what Gibbs did was unacceptable. F*****G BS. He needs to chill out. I think there should a been a bigger ban on him. Now lets not leave out the issue of the crowds. Pak/Indo crowds r very abusive and at times they do behave like "bloody animals". Others r too but they're a lot worse. By the way I am infact Pakistani.

  • Harshit Patel - Los Angeles on January 19, 2007, 3:20 GMT

    oh, and I forgot: Graeme Smith managed to have Shoaib Akhtar banned for swearing during his team's last tour of Pakistan.

  • amir, USA on January 19, 2007, 2:54 GMT

    Riaan from SA, I still dont see how you can be so naive or just thickheaded not to understand how what Gibbs said is not derogatory and ethnocentric. It behoves me that people would equate those remarks with justification of his context. First of all we, and i speak for "south Asians" enjoy cricket and are passionate about it, we get loud and dance and have a ball watching our favorite sport. We see no sense in sitting and watching the game with your shirts off and having a few beers and basically laying there and getting a tan. Theres no point in that, but thats how you chose to watch the sport and thats your lifestyle so please dont label Asian fans as uncivilised just becuase their having a grand ol time. Lets look at a sport that westerners i.e Australians, English and people of European descent in general are passionate about. FOOTBALL hmmm the word holagan, out of control, bloody noses, racism and hateful vigor is just a few words to describe not just countries playing each but even a united manchester vs arsenal game. So for you pundits to sit here and criticise asian fans and Pakistanis and justifying what Gibbs said is deplorable and shows double standards and racism and ethnocentrism are alive and kicking in your societies!

  • Usman on January 19, 2007, 1:49 GMT

    First of all i would say that Gibbs deserve the ban now i will give the reasons why i am thinking in this way. When a player comes into playground, the spectators (especially of the opponents side) are always ready to tuant them. Thats what we call crowd pressure. So if a player cannot bear that pressure then he must be given enough punishment that he can realize what is difference between a local club match and an international match . Some one was pointing out that Inzi went into the stadium. Excuse me! then he did suffer the ban and afterwards he always know what will he have to face of doing so. On the other side , for the crowd part, I am not saying they were doing right but again , if you look at the crowd over the world , the same things happen. And THIS IS SEPECIALLY FOR MY CIVILIZED BROTHERS. I AM LIVING IN UK AND I HAVE SEEN THE CULTURE YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT IS DIFFERENT. PLZ DONT TRY TO HIDE BY SAYING THIS "OUR CULTURE IS DIFFERENT" , A WRONG THING IS ALWAYS CONSIDERED WRONG. FOR EXAMPLE F*** IS BEEN USED IN EVERY SENTENCE OF A COMMON SCOTTISH OR BRITISH BUT WHEN IT COMES TO MORAL AND CIVILIZED TALKING THEN THIS WORD IS CONSIDERED OUT OF THE BOUNDARY. [IF NOT ACCEPTING PLEASE LOOK AT YOUR TV RULES AND CONDUCT OR CURRENT BIG BRO ISSUE] THEREFORE, PLEASE COME OUT OF THIS HELL THAT YOU PEOPLE HAVE A CULUTRE THAT COMES OUT OF HEAVEN.

    at the end i will just say , if you want to play fair then go on otherwise one day you will be playing in UK,AUS and SA or might be UK is also withdrawn .....

  • Mark Ranasinghe - Perth Australia on January 19, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    I think that racial abuse is grossly unacceptable in this day and age. The ICC has done a good job in this instance of brining into line and educating Mr Gibbs on the ramifications of his racist comments.

  • Ozkaapie on January 19, 2007, 0:42 GMT

    Harry Petersen , if you are going to quote from a post of mine then don't leave out anything for the sake of making your point: "Lets be sensible and think about what is this all about:

    (My post quote)Channel 10 played the audio with subtitles in their report. It is: "****bunch of animals" "**** hyenas, go back to the zoo". Then a slight gap then "F****ing Pakistanis".(end my post quote)

    The evidence is right there in front of all of us, and now the point is what he uttered is racism or not." I said that the "F***n Pakistanis" part was in second voice. There has also been posted here a link to a youtube video which says that Boucher is the second voice.

    The ommission of these facts change things a bit.

    BTW, For what its worth, Gibbs did not attend a non-racial school, but a WHITE private school (Bishops)in the Apartheid era, which was allowed to admit non whites who could afford the high fees or have a sporting scholarship UNDER GOVT PERMIT, whilst other non whites attended an inferior school system. One could argue that Gibbs was exposed to more racist peers at school than other non whites. However , he may have said crude things to his team mates, but he didn't say "F***n Pakistanis"

    Herschelle is not much different to Gibbs snr, who at school (which I attended) as a top athlete always thought he was 'Gods gift to everyone'.

    A chip off the old block who talks before thinking.

    cheers

  • Harshit Patel - Los Angeles on January 19, 2007, 0:07 GMT

    I don't see anything wrong with the ban. Whether it is racist or not is I suppose depends on your perspective. But, it is offensive for sure. If the spectators are kicked out for being offensive why not players? I see players playing for the spectators, not the other way around (YES- I am a bloody capitalist).

    At a minimum he should be banned for his shear stupidity – The spectators Gibbs was talking crap to are South Africans of Pakistani origin. Must point out, they are South Africans!!!!first and then Pakistanis, well, may be Gibbs doesn’t see it that way.

    Question – If he was talking to a person of mixed origin what would he say? Oh, Can’t wait!!!!

    I would actually like to understand the general South African perspective on this, I know in the pre apartheid era people were judged based on their skin color and these guys would have been considered Pakistanis (eventhough born and raised in South Africa and never visited Pakistan). How about the post apartheid era? I am sure it takes time to change the mind set but it would be interesting to know how much it has changed. Well, wrong forum for that I suppose, moving on.

    I think both sides are being a little harsh. Gibbs deserves the ban because he was down right offensive to spectators. He admitted the guilt by saying “oh, that was just for my teammates”, doesn’t matter, rightful ban.

    On the other side, the comments can be interpreted as racist. However, considering Gibbs is of mixed origin, I doubt that he was being a racist. But, for all those sensitive souls I can see it.

    Whatever – I think it is great as adult entertainment. For kids who want to be cricketers – I don’t know.

    I think they should open up the game and allow everyone to say whatever they want to (just like many pro leagues around the world), history says it will eventually be balanced out and players will start acting on self imposed, unspoken rules, good for everybody. Unless, of course, you still think that cricket is a gentleman’s game.

  • Nath on January 18, 2007, 23:46 GMT

    Look at the post by Ash Zad :

    'he (Benaud) is after all an australian....... so dont expect a fair hearing.'

    What the hell is that about? How dare he state that all Australians are unfair, or even corrupt. How dare so many of the posters take the high moral ground about abuse from 'whities', when they themselves think it is OK if the same abuse is directed the other way. Hypocrites!!!!

    If I were to make the same statement about Pakistanis I would instantly be labelled a racist. Why should Australians continually have to put up with this rubbish from people who have never been to Australia and whose comments have no basis in fact or logic, they are only based on a rabid dislike of anything Australian? Our culture is different to yours, Australians are continually educated on the need to be tolerant of other cultures, yet many people from the sub continent show absolutely no tolerance or understanding of our way of life. It's a two way street.

  • SalmanShakeel on January 18, 2007, 23:45 GMT

    SA Cricketers' behaviour is absolutely pathetic...It was same when they played against INDIA....Andre Nell has surely some serious "mental" problem and was perfectly replied by Srisanth juz giving andre nell the same taste which he uses to give other teams...

    Hats off to pakistan team,all credits to SA team becaz they outplayed pakistan in every department of Game but on moral Grounds,Pakistan stayed the winners!Proud of Pakistan Cricket team attitude in that match!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 18, 2007, 23:30 GMT

    This one is for RAVI Posted on January 17, 2007 5:13 PM

    I think Mr Abbasi is losing it in his old age.

    RAVI ARE YOU GAINING YOURS? DID YOU FIND ANY FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH? PLS. DON'T TELL US ITS THE HOLY WATER OF GANGES RIVER.

    First, there was a blog saying Abdul Qadir was a better bowler than Warne (yep, thats what he says.. :-)), and now he's acting like such a whiny baby.

    IS IT BOTHERING YOU THAT HE DID NOT COMPARE WARNE WITH KUMBLE? SEE WHO IS CRYING ?

    SAF created a "vile atmosphere" for the test? What about Pak players like Afridi, Akmal et al, who constantly barrage the opposition batsmen with disgusting comments about the anatomies of the batsmen's mothers and sisters?

    SO YOU HAVE AFRIDI AND AKMAL'S COMMENTS ON RECORD? GOOD FOR YOU SAVE THEM AND LISTEN TO THEM EVERYDAY. :-)

    The only reason your Pak players couldnt respond back to SA verbal abuse is probably because Pak players cant speak English.

    RAVI THIS IS A BIG JOKE. THEIR ENGLISH MAY NOT BE PERFECT BUT, I CAN ASSURE YOU THEY CAN BE VERY CREATIVE IN SWEARING IN ENGLISH. LISTEN TO YOUR AFRIDI AND AKMAL COLLECTION.

  • Michael in Aus on January 18, 2007, 22:56 GMT

    A good sledge Warne to Collingwood while Warne was batting at the MCG "You got an MBE for scoring 7 right? Thats a disgrace" That is cutting, and somewhat funny (and seemed to put Collingwood off his game). It is not racist. What Gibbs said was plainly offensive to anyone from Pakistan. The rule is that you cannot talk about someones race colour or creed, and this is clearly what happened. Uphold the ban - there is no excuse. There is plenty of room for hard test cricket, but no room for racism. (Darren Lehmann take note).

  • Paul on January 18, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    Having read Kamran Abbasi’s piece and reviewed much of the comment that has followed, it saddens me to see so many ill-informed, stereotypical and vitriolic comments from average Pakistanis towards South Africa in general and the Gibbs issue in particular.

    I know it’s dangerous to make assumptions but I would assume most of those who have commented in this light have little real, first-hand knowledge of South Africa and its many idiosyncrasies.

    That, of course, doesn’t disqualify them from commenting, but it does beg the question: if they base their views on South Africa in 2007 on the writings of people like Kamran Abbasi, the blame for this venomous – verging on racist – outburst from many of the bloggers should rest not with them but with Mr Abbasi and his ilk.

    I don’t know Mr Abbasi nor am I familiar with his journalistic endeavours. But I’d venture to predict that, if this latest offering entitled ‘Part of the Wider Issue’ is a fair reflection of the work he produces, it’s little wonder the average Pakistani is filled with rage.

    Guys, there is good and bad in all of us and the reality is that your average South African, regardless of his or her colour, mother tongue or creed, is as good or bad (or racist) as your average citizen of other nations. That may not sit comfortably with the like of Mr Abbasi who seeks to trot out the old stereotypes, but it’s the truth.

    Chill out, relax, make the world a better place.

    For the record, I believe Herschelle Gibbs’ comments were in very poor taste and were undoubtedly offensive. But racist? No.

    And yes, he deserves a two-match ban. But then Asif and Akhtar deserved a lot more for a drug offence your board conveniently overruled. So, you see, none of us hold the mortgage on the moral high ground.

  • Malik on January 18, 2007, 22:14 GMT

    Just a couple of questions: 1) Since when verbal provocation has justified criminal response? In civilized world, racism is a crime. 2) How does blaming presence of microphones exonerate the crime itself? It's like saying, don't have public cameras, it might catch me red handed engaged in criminal activity!

    Think with your head, not with your heard...call a spade, a spade.

  • greg on January 18, 2007, 21:49 GMT

    i dont understand what the difference is racist comments coming from the crowd or from the player both are human are they not? I think these things are not actually racially driven, they happen because of a lack of culture he was given a ban and thats that. At the end of the day the pakis sledge so do indians and the aussies and the poms as even the kenya, argentina and canada throw in their 2 bob its part of the game and its part of life since the dark ages on both sides of the coin, so stop whinging and get on with life!

  • Amit, India on January 18, 2007, 21:09 GMT

    Mr. Herman Gibbs said "To describe Herschelle as a racist is laughable; it makes me angry. My children attended non-racial schools when most of their contemporaries were still in one-race schools. If there's one thing Herschelle is not, it's a racist." Mr Gibbs, attending non-racial schools does not indicate you are a non-racist. Imagine 2011 World Cup, Semi Finals - Pak Vs SAF, in Lahore. You have come to see your son play. Shoaib Akhtar yells in the stump microphone "Go Away you b*****, f****** SAF animals" How would you feel? What is offending is the word f*******. Somebody quoted in the earlier blog that it is very South African to use f*** words, but remember when you are at an international level, you have to cope up with International Language Standards. You can vomit unacceptable things.........

  • Rob on January 18, 2007, 21:04 GMT

    ok...some people arent quite getting this crucial point thru they're heads... Gibbs isn't white so dont associate him with South Africa's apartheid past... and lastly his comments WHERE NOT RACIST, he was angressive towards they're behaviour not there ethnic origin. and they were being a bunch of animals as my teacher would call us if we were being unruly. let this sink in... sure Gibbs lost his cool but he's human, dont be so ignorant to now label him a racist!

  • Naveed on January 18, 2007, 20:48 GMT

    racism is digraceful chuck it out of cricket

  • CBC on January 18, 2007, 20:29 GMT

    To me, there are three separate issues involved.

    The first one is racism. I am brown-skinned but I don't think that either the brown, black, green or white skinned can be typically described as animals in a racist sense. To me, it was an unprofessional outburst by Gibbs and, if not for the outburst, he must be punished for the lamest explanation he offered, saying it was for his team-mates only.

    The second issue is sledging. Someone mentioned earlier that mental disintegration is part of the game played hard. I agree with that. Wasn't it Steve Waugh who professed mental disintegration and then disintegrated when Ganguly abused him worse than street-dwellers? Didn't Andre Nel shut up when Sreesanth smacked him for a six and then gyrated like a cheap bar dancer? I think there's a section of people interested in claiming the "racial victimization" advantage. Pakistan should have the guts and fire off verbally and with their game in retaliation. It'll be at most a couple of matches that the captain or player might be banned right? It's this attitude that endeared Ganguly to the non-whites (yes, now this is racist!!). Look at how McGrath fumed when Sarwan gave him the answer he deserved. These SAfrican and Aussie players are wimps when taking their own medicine.

    The third and final issue is crowd behavior and I think the behavior of the crowd speaks a lot about the outlook of their society. A few incidents are fine but when it becomes incessant and almost predictable, it's a deeper malaise. The best way to silent the crowd is to beat their team into submission.

    I am an Indian, but well, for the sake of our brown skin, Go Pakistan!!!

  • Fyd on January 18, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    We must understand the standpoint of ICC They have laws and positions to up hold that’s just the way it is

    We complain about this when Shane Watson and others are abusive to cleanest umpire to me Aleem Dar who is an outstanding official of the game

    A man of mixed race and growing up in South Africa, should have used better judgment and composure

    A player as experienced as Gibbs should know that if you don’t play by the rules you will get burnt. This is where your professionalism comes in to play

    I think the line used was more degrading than a racist line. End of the day Mr. Gibbs spectators are the ones who indirectly pay your salary.

  • Rahul on January 18, 2007, 17:10 GMT

    Now that I've been able to read past the Smith_getting_Sboaib_banned part, I must admit it's petty and childing the way the ICC is handling the entire issue. The stupid fans were causing problems - get the police to kick them out of the ground (and possibly the country), and then caution Gibbs about thoughtlessly making comments that would ire over-sensitive blobs waiting for a storm to brew, because that would give them something to do and justify their fat salaries. But an appeal and a hearing with a distinctly headmaster-like Benaud is really out of control.

    After all, what was said is also a matter of interpretation. Now I could put a different twist on the matter. Consider this: Why does Nel get away with murder every single time while Gibbs is in hot water over a minor picadillo? Just because Nel is white? :) C'mon, any word or action can be interpreted any way you want to see it. Lets get on with the game, shall we?

  • Harry Peterson on January 18, 2007, 17:07 GMT

    I dont know what Zhivan is saying, his comments dont make any sense.

    I am a SA and I heard WHat Gibbs had uttered and it was listened on the TV all around the world and it is something to be ashamed of.

    Lets be sensible and think about what is this all about:

    Channel 10 played the audio with subtitles in their report. It is: "****bunch of animals" "**** hyenas, go back to the zoo". Then a slight gap then "F****ing Pakistanis".

    The evidence is right there in front of all of us, and now the point is what he uttered is racism or not.

    As per definition from ICC: ""...any language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethic origin."

    It is very clear that his remarks are regarding "Ethnicity and National Origin" - That clearly falls under the definition and unfortunately he should be punished, because what he said is absolutely not acceptable.

    Thats all and rest is all mumbo jumbo.

  • Aftab Qureshi on January 18, 2007, 16:54 GMT

    I thank Mr. Abbasi to start discussion of this important topic. I wnat to make just one point, namely that player behavior during a match and crowd behavior are two different things, and are dealt with in different ways under different laws/rules by different authorities. Bad or illegal behavior by spectators is not a justification for offensive, abusive or racial slurs by players on the field. What the spectatotrs do should be taken care of by the ground officials and law enforcement agencies. The ICC, the two cricket Boards concerned and the teams involved have nothing to do with either a foul spectator act or the needed remedial, punitive or preventive action. What Mr. Gibbs said, no matter for whose ears, must be seen under the applicable ICC (and domestic cricket) regulations. And this exactly how things are proceeding, and I have no qualms with them.

  • Ash Zad on January 18, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    I just came to know Richie Benaud of Australia will hear the appel made by Gibbs. No matter how great is Benaud, he is after all an australian....... so dont expect a fair hearing.

  • Raj Rampersad on January 18, 2007, 16:13 GMT

    Another example of your biased views - Pakistan and its supporters can never do any wrong as far as you are concerned. Maybe, someone should consider banning you from reporting on anything to do with Pakistan and the outer world. Or better yet, you should be put in a place where you have to face some unruly fan hurling insults to you and your family, and then we will see how you react. I guess I already know the answer - you will claim it is because you are Pakistani.

  • Moe on January 18, 2007, 15:51 GMT

    I think there is a misundertanding here, In Africa being called an animal (heartless) is not as serious as being called an animal (uncivilized) in Pakistan or India. Gibbs is not at fault just a cultural misunderstanding, ICC should know that cricket is now a multicultural game.

  • Thomas Lawlor on January 18, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    In reply to this post

    For anyone defending Gibbs' appalling behaviour, try this exercise out: Imagine a Pakistani player shouting the following at a South African spectator: "F***ing bunch of f***ing animals. F***ing go back to the zoo. F***ing South Africans." Now, how many bans is that?

    If a Pakistan player had said this, he would have been found gulity, an appeal would find the player was ignorant of the rules and decide that he was not guilty.

  • Omer Admani on January 18, 2007, 14:38 GMT

    Firstly, the idea of racism includes countries, not just color-- just to correct someone. A definition of racism includes country. Gibb's comment was clearly racist since he demeaned people from a country by taunting them to be in zoos (see both "race" and a "deragetory comment" are attached together). Indeed there was provocation, and that should be considered in handing out the ban, but to get matters clear it was a racist comment (Whether out of fury or madness is not the question, as intention isn't important to establish whether the comment was intrinsically racist). The other thing that concerns me is the repeated usage of the word "Pakistani supporters", which in itself is troubling. Ultimately those people were watching a cricket match in a South African stadium, thus the word "unruly spectators" fits better. For instance, someone said that the racist comments passed in Australia were largely directed by the South African expatriat. Should we start calling them "South African" spectators now? They were just that: Unruly spectators. Moreover, to say that a South African passed racist comments is not to imply that South Africans are racists. Likewise, to say that some spectators of "Pakistani origin"-- though ultimately South African-- is not to say "Pakistani supporters" were unruly. See, what I am trying to establish is that to attach the notion of "Pakistani supporters" to people who were even possibly born in South Africa gives the impression of segregation in South Africa itself. Such repeated attachments should thus be avoided, as it tells me the mainstream are isolating them or somehow letting others know that they are "different". Calling them unruly spectators is probably the best way to go about it. I think the ban is totally justified because regardless of Gibb's intentions, the ramifications of not punishing him would mean that any cricketer could pass racist comments if provoked. Racism is a big issue, especially with so much history behind it. Needless to say that the ICC should be consistent in dealing with the matter.

  • Sammy Kumaresh on January 18, 2007, 14:32 GMT

    Come on! as an Sri Lankan I have seen racial abuse in our native country(ask Murali how long it took him come to the test scene) if SA or Australia is sledging the Asian teams, we should give it back. I wonder why SA & Australia do not try this with the West Indies. If ICC is not being fair in their rulings we should learn to boycott events and show some pride. Whinging about "racisim"is not the answer.

  • RD on January 18, 2007, 14:31 GMT

    I think the problem here is a clash of cultures. According to me, the general sequence of events would be:- Andre Nel and company "play hard" (read swear / intimidate) Asian teams are not used to that culture. This kind of behaviour is insulting if not downright rude in the Asian culture. The Asian teams either overdo the aggression (like Sreesanth waving Hashim Amla goodbye) and in turn get fined, or don't react. Even if they don't react, it does not mean the passionate Asian supporters are going to let anyone get away with insulting their heroes. They take on the battle on behalf of their heroes; and anyone at the boundary line better get earplugs. Now Mr Gibbs may not have meant anything racist; but that's exactly how it will get percieved. This time, and every time.

    The simple solution - "play the game hard" with your skill and not with your mouth. Dont think you'll have to worry about any noisy Asian fans

  • Ziyaad on January 18, 2007, 14:21 GMT

    To add on to what I posted earlier - cricket has become a professional sport and sledging (regrettably) is part of the professional sports world today. Australia are renowned for their antics - but it has made them the best team in the world, and no one can argue with that. They are the best because they play the hardest - South Africa are starting to do the same, although they are nowhere near Aus' level yet. The more professional a sport becomes, the less gentlemenly it becomes too - all part and parcel.

  • riaan, South Africa on January 18, 2007, 14:12 GMT

    Hi to all. 1) - my opinion is that this article is biased, non-sensical and bordering on absurd. 2) - I've been following all comments quite closely and I must say the one thing that I am completely in the dark about is why uttering the words "F***ing Pakistanis" can possibly be perceived as rasist. I think the animals comment is now pretty much explained as non racist. But please, pretty please, if only for Saffas who wouldn't take it as racist if an Asian person refered to us as "F***king South Africans", explain this. Come on Jawad, Livvid, Wasiq, Waqqas, Christian, Gautam, Turab, DR Hai, imran Baig, Zahid Mahmood, amir and horse's mouth etc. PLEASE explain this to me. My current understanding is that the word "F***king" is probably abusive / insulting and Gibbs could maybe be find for that rather. So, that word's fine. But "Pakistani"?? I'm lost. Even taken into context... I'm still lost. People behaving like animals should go back to the zoo - fine, logical statement. Referring to this, and then immediately referring to Pakistan does not necessarily imply the whole of Pakistan is a zoo!! Explain to me how it does? 3) - I applaud Jahmad's common sense. 4) - To the poster Indian and the rest of the posters with chips on their shoulders who only see what they want to see - there are loads of posters in Gibbs' favour seeing this issue as absurd who, by their names alone doesn't sound Western or non-Asian. I cannot say where they are really from, obviously. Fair play to them. 5) I also cannot understand the whole issue around Andre Nel. He's a bit of a character, yes and some of his actions are frankly embarrassing, but he plays hard, gives all for his country and plays within the laws of the game. He's received cautions from umpires of any race or country and surely if he's overstepping the mark the umps on the field will step in. He's not even so good against Pakistan so far so what are the complaints about? I would also point out how he and Sreesanth shook hands and hugged at the end of the test where he got his own medicine back. A sign of respect and good spirit. These actions are missed by guys who see only what they want to see.

  • rajesh on January 18, 2007, 14:05 GMT

    dear kamran. as your rightly indicated this incident goes beyond what really happened at the ground.the whole controvery reg gibbs has erupted simply becoz the ICC AND ITS ELITE PANEL OF UMPIRES have not been consistent in dealing with players from various countries. it is high time the ICC decides to put in play a set or more stringent rules and restrictions that would prevent this kind of unwanted incident from happening. the asian cricket council also needs to make it clear to their counterparts in the ICC that all players must be treated equally and umpires must not act purely on racial bias or fear of dealing with a popular cricketeers. for any avid fan of cricket it is easy to handpick those players who are constantly using unparliamentary language against their opponents. it would not be difficult for ICC to prepare a list and take up the issue with the respecitve cricket boards and tell them to talk to those players. things do happen in the heat of things but some players tend to use them very casually. i think the line must be drawn between what is casual and what is acceptable. we can continue to discuss on this issue but at the end of the day the players on the field must develop their resolve and behave decently whatever is the provocation from the crowd or media. it is duty of every cricketeer to find the srength with himself or herself and avoid outbursts or insults that border on racism. i think this training should start at the school levels so that players carry this attitude at the back of their mind.

  • Scott, London on January 18, 2007, 13:59 GMT

    This is to MAC. What a silly comment to make. It goes as follows: "It will take a few generations to get the racisms out the South Africans blood". Silly, because here you show your own form of prejudice by blanketing all South Africans and in so doing reveal yourself as a hypocrite. Suddenly the rest of your comments you made have lost their credibility

  • Pieter Boersma on January 18, 2007, 13:48 GMT

    I could not believe that you called SA a basically racist team. As a journalist you should know better. The remarks Gibbs made are wrong, calling the whole team racist are also wrong. You owe the SA team apology. Soon you will play with two players who used drugs. Please sort out your own back yard.

  • Paul on January 18, 2007, 13:29 GMT

    You're right but also wrong Amer, as is Telford Vice. The reality is he's right to say what was said by Gibbs was disgraceful, particularly from the point of any youngsters who would have been watching. But that doesn't make it racist. Telford infers 'hatred' and other emotions which no one other than Herschelle can ever correctly confer, as only he knows what emotion his comments were made with, and why. We ban people for what they say, not what exists inside their head. Herschelle may well be racist in his views, but that's irrelevant. The only issue is whether his comments were racist-and they weren't-period. You don't have to be defending Herschelle to make a simple STATEMENT OF FACT like that, and I certainly won't be defending him. So you can't ban Gibbs for making racist comments if he didn't. I'm happy for him to be banned, but it would have to be for bringing the sport into disrepute, not racism, and of course if that were so, you'd need to be consistent and ban the tens of other cricketers each year who use equally digraceful and disreputory language on the field-but lo and behold it doesn't happen. Yet another example of the game's so called administrators taking the cheap option and cheapening their already cheap credibility in the process.

  • Abi on January 18, 2007, 13:25 GMT

    Gibbs perhaps lacked self-control but I doubt he was being racist. His penalty seems harsh.

    As for Nel, he does sound boorish but the major problem with him is that he's an ordinary bowler and a bit of a windbag. People shouldn't take him so seriously.

    Some have questioned Smith's leadership but I think for a young guy leading a 'diverse' bunch of blokes he does a pretty fair job, especially compared with some of the leaders of other countries who don't impose their wills enough on the game of their team.

  • Jarred on January 18, 2007, 13:18 GMT

    Your heading "Gibbs is part of wider problem" is spot on. But in truth it should read "We" instead of just "Gibbs" The wider problem is we give more attention to sport than we do our own family. We build up sportsmen like they are some sort of god. We have no tolerance for another culture or another belief, and we are so quick to condemn and pass judgement on some-one else. We are more concerned with winning than how we played the game. Our priorities are all messed up and we are prepared to kill some-one over a stupid cricket game. And the biggest culprits? The journalists and media who incite this and fuel these arguments.

  • Clint on January 18, 2007, 13:08 GMT

    OK, the first person who is blameless here throw the first stone... International sport is tough. I agree there is no room for racist comments but lets be real here, everyone posting comments has their views and our sports persons are also entitled to their own views!

  • Tank on January 18, 2007, 13:05 GMT

    It seems that the fans, coaches, officials are more upset about everything than what the players are. For the record, SA players have only started sledging this badly after Australia were allowed to get away with it. It is now considered part of the game and it is up to the team to adapt or die. If players like Sreenath (remember he was not punished for his dance) and Nel are allowed to get away with it, a new standard will be set. If the ICC does not punish them then it means they are condoning this sort of action. So surely it is the ICC that is at fault and not the players?

    If the ICC had nipped this in the butt when it all started we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today. Maybe they should stop being so vague and set new rules that stipulate EXACTLY what can and can't be said on the field. Eg, NO SWEARING IN ANY LANGUAGE! Etc.

    It looks like racial tension is at an all time high. Remember it is only a game. If you get that upset over it then maybe you should take a long hard look at yourself. Aren't there more important things to worry about than a stupid comment made by a 30 odd year old? Some people are calling for him to be physically hurt? What sort of nonsense is this? I think it is time for it to be put into perspective. He said something wrong. HE APOLOGISED!! Now it is up to every-one to forgive him, or are you all a bunch of demi-gods that have never made a mistake?

  • cb fry on January 18, 2007, 13:01 GMT

    Listen to it for yourself (this captures some of the abuse): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM9zZc583C4 "f-ing bunch of f-ing animals. f-ing go back to the zoo. f-ing pakistanis". Gibbs is shouting these comments at the top of his voice stood near the middle of the pitch. This is clearly not a private comment to a team-mate - that is clearly a blatant lie by Gibbs! Listen to it for yourself, all reasonable people will surely agree that he is shouting these comments so all around him can hear. "Private comment", pull the other one, please.

    And are you people not missing the irony here? Forget racism for a minute. His explosive, expletive-ridden bile is not exactly "civilised" behaviour. A bit like George Orwell's (F-ing?) Animal Farm, it's not immediately clear who the pigs are and who the humans are.

    Take your punishment like a man, Gibbs, stop acting like the perpetual victim. The animals in the crowd were evicted, the animal on the pitch should be punished too.

  • Richard on January 18, 2007, 12:53 GMT

    Jacques Kallis is not Afrikaans. Gibbs is not a racist, this is once again a case of certain individuals feeling victimised and using the race card, to me it is quite pathetic, get a life man and get some balls and stop whinging

  • FARAZ on January 18, 2007, 12:48 GMT

    JAMMY WROTE This whole issue is a joke. If the people in the stands were Australian or English and Gibbs referred to them as "bloody Aussie animals", does anyone think for one instant that it would have been considered racist? Wake up, grow up and get out from under the convenient racism hideout.

  • sami on January 18, 2007, 12:37 GMT

    i cannot believe herschelle is now appealing against the ban, and has the cheek to argue that he made no racist remarks. For this in itself, his ban should not only be upheld but maybe further increased since he has clearly not lernt from his pathetic behaviour.

  • Rauf on January 18, 2007, 12:36 GMT

    Remember the players have weapons (may be not be of mass destruction). Someday a serious incident is just waiting to happen. Now, the cricket should never be called a gentlemen's game. Why the SA are complaining about, when Captain Smith in the past had Shoaib Akhter banned for similar offense. Hypocrisy!

  • Ziyaad on January 18, 2007, 11:51 GMT

    This is crazy - as a South African, it's a shame to see players making silly remarks that make our team look like bad sportsmen, but I have to admit this tatcical "oh my word he's a racist" attitude is a little tiring. THERE WERE NO RACIST REMARKS. Calling someone an animal doesn't imply anything about their race, so for pete's sake stop crying wolf! I admit i thought Pakistan were hard done by with the ball-tampering incident, but they aren't doing themselves any justice by crying over every little mishap - thats why some people took Hair's side because Pakistan are a seemingly whiny bunch. Whine less, play more and stop taking everything so freaking personally! Pakistan certainly are no angels themselves.

  • Max on January 18, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    Agree to what Gibbs said was out of anger, could have meant to be racist too for they emerged from a turmoil of racism. But it's not only him. Andre nel's the biggest example of sledgers, he's abusing and making sledges on every player regardles of the consequences. He doesn't have respect for anyone and I really think that the Aussie's treat them the right way. I wonder what kinda show they're putting up there? And it's amazing how those bloody umpires never take notice of Andre Nel. Lets hope the next match starts with the past forgotten and SA cricket team start behaving better like gentlemen rather than just South Africans.

  • Salman Butt on January 18, 2007, 11:37 GMT

    The media has not entirely reported on what Gibbs said exactly. For those who want to hear what was said can go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM9zZc583C4 and make up their own minds about whether this was racist and whether an international cricket should be shouting these expletives on the cricket pitch.

    For the record his exact phrases were - "f***ing bunch of f***ing animals... bunch of hyenas.. f***ing go back to the zoo... from f***ing Pakistan this"

    Make up your own mind.

  • Percy on January 18, 2007, 11:26 GMT

    What a yawn. Why must the race card always be used? The fact that those spectators were out of order and carrying on the way they did, would raise the ire of most. The fact that Gibbs refered to them as animals was wrong. Animals don't behave in the way that they were. They were carrying on like a bunch of loud mouthed louts, and were lucky to get away with only been removed from the stadium. They were lucky not to get good smack from those that had gone along to watch a decent game of cricket, in a great environment that was condusive to providing an atmosphere in which one would expect to receive. These hooligans tarnished the day for many with their bad behaviour. If thats their reason for wanting to attend matches, they should rather stay at home. To all of you wingers (referring to this whole matter as racist), wake up. There is a huge difference between being racist, and insulting. And in this case the insults were justified. Herschelle, get out there tomorrow and show them a thing or two (with bat and ball).

  • Robert on January 18, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    One thing that catches my attention, time and time again here is that so many people have refered to all South African's, Australians... etc of being racists. That is as insulting to all as Gibb's comments. But we just shrug it off... amazing how so many people use the term... "I'm not racist... i'm (insert asian nation here), so can't be!" Amazing, only white people and seems one coloured man (Gibbs) can be racist.

    Just a thought!

  • Matt on January 18, 2007, 11:18 GMT

    Why is it the Pakistanis play the race card at every opportunity?

    any other team refusing to play because a decision went against them would be heavily punished - rather than the umpire being hounded out of his post as a "racist".

    Gibbs comments - yes, the crowd were behaving like animals, as many small pockets of fans nomatter what nationality do. if he use the word "pakistanis" in there, it's because they are pakistanis - he probably say "f**king aussie animals" if it were australian fans.

    Each set of supporters have reputations, and there's no smoke without fire - pakistani supporters have a reputation of being overzealous and reactionary, English, south african and aussie fans have a reputation for being drunken and boorish, NZ fans have a reputation that they're just idly passing time til the next rugby match. why can't people accept that although not all fans are like their reputation, it's these occasions that are the reason for these kind of opinions, and not just reel out an "it's your bigoted fault, not ours" type of excuse.

    and as for Nel being racist, as so many posts here mention? well i don't know if he is or not, but the fact he gets in batsmens faces, is aggressive and verbal to them doesn't mean racism - he behaves like this nomatter who he's bowling to. He feels it gives him an advantage, whereas many feel it's overstepping the mark (myself included), but it DOESN'T mean he's racist just from that.

  • ASIM on January 18, 2007, 11:09 GMT

    Wait until Shoaib Akhtar comes back , we`ll see how the south africans react to his comments or actions, because he for sure will stirr things up on the field.

  • Khair ul Alam on January 18, 2007, 11:05 GMT

    I believe Gibbs has apologised so there should be some mitigation for that. I don't condone this act and I do think Gibbs should get some punishment but not one as harsh as this one, maybe the same punishment that Shoaib Akhter got earlier should be sufficient. But I do think that the captain Graeme Smith and their coach should get harsh punishment for trying to justify this racial act. It seems they take racial slurs very lightly. A ban for the rest of the series would be a well-deserved punishment for them.

  • Dan on January 18, 2007, 11:05 GMT

    Where is our sense of proportion - Gibbs's comments can be interpreted as xenophobic at worst, but hardly racist. Understand the distinction before using the R word because it's an important one. Let's say I come across a racist West Indian - that's potentially my problem. Let's say I'm a xenophobe and a Pakistani comes across me - well, that's my problem not hers. At worst Gibbs is a xenophobe - let him deal with his own demons.

  • Farrukh Nadeem on January 18, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    I feel Herschelle Gibbs has not learnt anything from the Apartheid problem that prevailed in South Africa several years back. Most surprising thing is that Gibbs himself is of half black origin yet he has kept such hatred for Pakistanis. The actual problem is that the world is now divided in two parts - Islamic and Non-Islamic. Which is why such comments appear here and then against the Muslims. If I am not wrong South Africa's Hashim Amla faced such situation when Dean Jones passed similar kind of comment on former. Being a sports lover I should say that to punish Gibbs, the perfect answer is a 2-1 result in favour of Pakistan.

    After 1996, I have never seen Pakistan winning matches on the basis of their bowling that frequently which they used to do. I always gets surprised when I hear from people that plus point of Pakistan cricket is their bowling. True, it was very good till 1996 CUB series in Australia but sorry I cannot buy the statement that they are still a force to reckon in terms of bowling. Post Imran Khan era 50% matches were won Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Aquib Javed, 30% matches by Inzamam and rest 20% by the likes of Moin Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mohammed Yusuf etc...Mohammad Asif shows glimpses of Imran Khan school now. But what can he do alone.

    Pakistan has lot of reasons to get motivated - Oval drama, Mohammad Yusuf's record, doping tests and now Gibbs episode.

    Lets see whether Pakistan cricket team will ever show never say die spirit which Imran Khan led team had.

  • Kris on January 18, 2007, 11:01 GMT

    Geez, some people on this blog have serious issues.

    Gibbs verbals were picked up on the mic and due to all the kids and fans watching, he should receive a level 1 offence. But that's it! end of story! People who say the comments were racist, get a life. You obviously have some warped idea on what racism is.

    With regards to sledging: How boring would this great game be without sledging and intimidating the opposition. While I agree that Nel does go overboard, in SA (and probably half the test playing nations) we are brought up on the analogy that it's half the battle. On the recent India tour, Sreesanth became a SA favorite due to the fact that he had a fair bit of fire in him and he got results. Maybe the Pakistanis (opps, didn't mean to be racist there) could take a leaf out of his book.

  • JUN8 on January 18, 2007, 10:58 GMT

    Why do some people in this forum think by being black or of mixed race you are not able to be a racist? Gibbs has just as much potential than any man, if not more, to be a racist. He interacts with a team who are bad mouthed, aggressive and no doubt deep down racists. Lets just look at Gibb's father's related comments where he expresses his desire for NO Pakistanis to be present in the next match. He's stupidly tainted all Pakistanis as being trouble makers. With a father like that no wonder Gibbs said what he did.

    Bottom line, South Africa enjoy dishing verbal abuse but are the first to complain when any remarks are thrust in their direction; complaining and banning Shoaib Akhtar, moaning about their own expat supporters in Australia.

    And to top it off they have the audacity to talk about Pakistani players being cheats with the recent drug scandal. Need I mention the involvement of Gibbs and Cronje and the betting scandals?

  • Tony on January 18, 2007, 10:56 GMT

    Steve Waugh and his "mental disintegration" was aimed at never giving teams a chance to get back into a match ie. playing with full intensity for every session". Most Australians will tell you it went way too far, it was a much publicised debate at the time. It was never a racist ploy.

    As for double standards, every Australian player punished by the ICC has taken the punishment on the chin, instead of appealing to get off the charge. The Aussies give it, and when they go too far, they cop it sweet and get back to playing Cricket.

    The West Indies team of the 80's, I saw a batsman cop a short ball in the head, while he lay on the pitch bleeding, they ran him out. Not in the spirit of the gentleman's game, but a very successful and honest team all the same. This is professional sport, not tiddly winks.

    As for Pakistan and India, the teams are hardly full of polite angels that give opponents flowers and chocolates. They never belittle opponents and they help little old ladies across the street in their spare time. Apparently not racist or anything bad, I wonder if Sri Lanka and Bangladesh agree?

    Gibbs, you were stupid, you got nailed, do your punishment.

    Everyone else, the World Cup is nearly here and its a Cricket contest, not a gentlemans getaway. Expect a bit of passion, and the best cricket team to win.

    These guys are professional sportsman, there careers ride on success only. We critise them for being racist if they dislike the opposition, yet growl at them for being too friendly with a team they have to beat. We end their careers if they show no passion or commitment, yet criticise them for showing too much passion and making mistakes.

    Let the officials at the ICC and the SA Cricket deal with it (what else do they do?), the rest of us should just enjoy Cricket and the teams and individuals that play it, not the incidents that surround it.

  • Ahmad Nasir on January 18, 2007, 10:36 GMT

    We have discussed a lot on Gib's racial attitude, but we have to understand this attitude is inbuilt to the protease. They are the victims of apartheid. Empires should also watch the amazing/teasing behavior of Andre Nel as well. Cricket is every body’s game, isn’t it………………..

    Cheers!!! Ahmad Nasir

  • marco on January 18, 2007, 10:25 GMT

    For the record .Mr Gibbs is coloured. He is not white. The South African Coloured population is descended from the Malaysian workers who were imported as slave labour hundreds of years ago. Herschelle grew up in a society where he was also marginalised. Nothing about what he said was racist. The South African team is made up of 4 different races. How can there be racism in the team if they celebrate and hug each other after each victory? Unless they are very convincing closet racists. If you can't handle the sledging at international cricket level, then go and play against primary schools. Next time teams come to South Africa we will have therapists next to the field to give them a shoulder to cry on and some Kleenex to help dry the tears because it seems like most interantional players and theyre supporters have become softies. Boo hoo, Sniff Sniff...

  • Danny on January 18, 2007, 10:23 GMT

    Strangley enough, Gibbs is regarded as a non-white player in the team. He could have been refering to some folks in the crowd who peeved him a bit. He could also have copped some abuse back in Pakistan. Who is to say what he meant? His mouth tend to drive off befire his brain is in gear. If he chose his words more wiser, this blog might never have happened. As a South-African supporter I fear his words could serve as a motivation for Inzi and the boys. What does a Ku Klux Clans man with a bat call the Rawapindi Express with a cricket ball? "Sir"

  • Pushkar on January 18, 2007, 10:05 GMT

    Hi, I really think that the problem of racism is more of an individual issue. Just because Gibbs said something does not make the SA team/people racist.

    And in fact what he said was quite mild compared to what Kallis said to Dhoni when the latter hit him for a six in ODIs. Wonder why ICC has not done anything abt that...

  • Faheem on January 18, 2007, 9:48 GMT

    What a way to play cricket. Andre Nel is a disgrace to the Cricket the way he conducts hismself. Look at the face expressions, unstoppable bullying and total disregard to basic manners. looks like a offspring of a beast rather than a human being. I really fail to understand the tactics applied by umpires and the ICC while dealing with a such a pathetic sight the Andre Nel is.

  • John on January 18, 2007, 9:36 GMT

    Kamran, I looked through your previous articles on this blog site. In the light of your tirade in this article I was surprised to find (or perhaps I wasn't) that you always seem to champion the rights of the players..... especially if they play for Pakistan!! About Asif and Akhtar, and their doping case, you had this to say. "Any legal case - and that's what this is - requires a due process; that includes the opportunity for defendants to test the evidence and present their defence in a proper manner" You seem to want to deny Gibbs the right to such a hearing. Indeed, you have found him guilty before the process has even begun. Amazingly, in the case of Shoaib and Asif it's "the doctors, advisors and the cricket board" that you blame for the players failing a drug test. So if you are so hell-bent on the rights of the player to get a fair hearing why don't you stop stirring the racial pot and let the powers that be make the decision? You never know what the outcome might be. Look what happened to Asif and Akhtar - precisely nothing!!

  • Ahmed on January 18, 2007, 9:35 GMT

    A sportsman should behaive like a sportsman. Only those players are ALIVED in history who have great sportsman sprit.

  • Zhivan on January 18, 2007, 9:16 GMT

    Nobody has yet defined why it's OK to insult someone's parentage, question their sexual preference, insult their weight etc - but mention race, and it's suddenly wrong?

    I agree we need to eliminate abuse, but abuse of any kind is still abuse. What differentiates racial abuse? The beginning of most bills of rights mentions racial, sexual, religious and other rights, not merely racial.

    I also think people should understand what racism is. "Go back to Pakistan" isn't racist. Neither would "go back to New Zealand be".

    Culture, country, language - those aren't race.

    E.g. when teams get pissed off at Australia's excessive appealing we condemn their CULTURE but not their RACE. Understand the difference?

  • Lasse on January 18, 2007, 9:07 GMT

    Ok Im really dissapointed in this blog. All the replies seem to do is flame South Africans. We play our cricket hard, get used to it or lose. Second, you do not live in south africa. By assuming that you have an indepth knowledge of south african culture you are, in fact, being a racist. Third the crowd have no right to sledge opposition teams, sledging is an on-field acctivity. Fourth, the crowd abused Harris who is a youngster, gibbs was doing the noble thing and defending him. If it was the pakistani players who abused harris then gibbs would deserve the punishment he got. I ask Kamran Abasi to be more selective in the articles he chooses to publish. Many are themselves racist and based on a stereotype the writers' small minds have fabricated. I am not enjoying this blog, not because it is not an insightfull article but because of the comments people make without having a semblance of diplomacy. It makes it an offensive blog Mr Abasi. Im going to leave you with a quote as an example "I think South Africa is basically a racist team." maybe they are tough and rude, but you do not know them on a personal level and you have no right to call them racist. Its poor journalism to alow this filth to be read, worse, I cannot believe the rubbish people believe.

  • Anna on January 18, 2007, 9:06 GMT

    I personally don't see it as racist but can understand why the ICC had to act.

    BTW as an Aussie I am amazed at how many people are sensitive to the sledging issue. I'm not a fan of our 'mental disintergration' but think the SA sledging is nothing compared to ours and I saw the whole game on cable so was privy to what came through the stump mics.

    And I don't necessarily see that Graeme Smith supported Gibbs. I think that was more Arthur's territory. Smith said he couldn't condone Gibb's action but went some way to explaining why it might have occurred.

    Also people got on his back about 'whingeing' about racist remarks from our crowds. But surely had he remained passive he would have been condemned bearing in mind South Africa's complex relationship with race. I think Warne got off lightly too for what many of us construed as racist remarks towards Ntini in Melbourne.

  • Nipoon Vasavada on January 18, 2007, 8:43 GMT

    Hi I come from India and want to share my opinion on overall sledging in cricket.I personally feel that Sledging brings the much nedded masculinity to the game.However Under no conditions can racial remarks be tolerated.Considering this I guess the Ban is justified and Gibbs is rightly punished. ka beta ?? I would urge Inzamam to make a big issue of this matter.

  • bottle on January 18, 2007, 8:09 GMT

    I think both sides are being quite unfair to each other...

    So some people found Gibbs' comments to be racist and some didn't...apparently Chris Broad found them to have racist undertones and he acted accordingly... Some people are calling the Pakistan team 'whiners' and 'bad losers' in this incident which is quite unfair, as all that the Pakistan team did was lodge a complaint about his comments (which were quite profane)...whether or not they were racist and merited action was decided by the match referee...one should give Broad the benefit of the doubt that he delivered the fairest verdict that he could...

    I think Gibbs did say stuff that can be considered as being racist ,and thats what Chris Broad based his decision on...whether or not Gibbs meant it to be racist or whether he is racist is really not the issue and in that respect i think the punishment was quite reasonable...

    but thats just my opinion...

  • Harry on January 18, 2007, 7:59 GMT

    This has been taken way too far. Abbasi is losing his mind! There was no racial comments. If you think that was racism you really have no idea what real racism is!! I call friends and family 'f@#king animals' when they behave in the same manner those Pakistani supporters behaved and it is in no way meant in a racist manner. Kamran is a fool who is too quick to pull the racism card! Kamran, you have no idea what real racism is!

  • faraz on January 18, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    Mr. Sam , I reply to your query regarding why Westindies havent been out played by the racial card is largely due to the kind of cricket they played when they toured England and Australia, the time this issue was raised Westindies were world beaters with clive ,richards, marshal u name it, so crowds thought sledging them wont be appropriate, since coloured issues were already raised in southafrica and america and even uk to that extent, so they havent been picked on because they hardly had a language barrier, i beleive even though indian teams end up on the losing side in southafrica,australia but they are better equipped and obviously they are more learned than the pakistani lot ,the players,the crowd, no doubt, but its the pakistani talent which to me upsets teams like southafrica,australia, this issue is not only because of race my friends, its also because of our ethnicity, our origin, that has been abused, i know ntini was hit by a pakistani flag, but i say thats an individual, i abhor what the individual did, but at the end of the day southafricans are professionals and ICC laws clearly say Do not hit someone's ethnicity, i think Gibbs got carried away largely due to his personal issues with bookies in india, the police investigation and bookies in sharjah. But its about time we as pakistanis should start playing better cricket, since everyone knows Pakistan is a better team, stop comparing southafrica with australia, Australia is no 1, but Pakistan has a better test ranking everyone knows and if we even draw the series we would be second best!

  • Raheel Hashmi, Riyadh on January 18, 2007, 7:43 GMT

    The language used by Gibbs is not acceptable at all. If for arguments sake these remarks are not considered as racist, it may never be justified. And the people who are defending these remarks are doing the same ridiculous thing.

    Here I am surprised to see the comments of many of the Indian people who always cry of small things if it hurts them. Had these remarks been given against Indian fans, their media would have been making huge noises. The Indians forgot the positive attitude and exemplary behavior of Pakistani Crowd during 2006 tour. It is very much unlike Indian crowd who never appreciate good performance by the other teams.

  • Jammy on January 18, 2007, 7:40 GMT

    This whole issue is a joke. If the people in the stands were Australian or English and Gibbs referred to them as "bloody Aussie animals", does anyone think for one instant that it would have been considered racist? Wake up, grow up and get out from under the convenient racism hideout.

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on January 18, 2007, 7:03 GMT

    Sean .. I guess you didn't watch or hear the whole scenario. He used offensive language including the "F" word. I think Gibbs needs to be in a zoo instead of the cricket field! He sounds so ignorant, and now I'm sure that he must have been directly involved in that match fixing racket! He has certainly showed the character and education he possess!

  • Dr Jagadish Prasad on January 18, 2007, 5:48 GMT

    I think we should remove the tag of Gentleman's game from cricket. I don't see anything Gentle out there on the field. It is really pathetic that we have left with no option but to find out who is an lesser evil. It has been accentuated by media (television Cameras zooming, stump mikes picking conversation). Let me tell you this things were happening earlier only thing is now the people are becoming aware of it thanks to the advancement of technology. We are starting to see the voyeuristic world of "Bigg Brother" on the cricket field. And for Heaven's sake I pray to ICC to stop the on field antics of the likes of Andre Nel. I am not sure whether he is getting under the skin of batsmen but he sure does irritate the viewing public at large. Remember this activities will provoke the public into doing something stupid and irrational. Less said about Kaneria it is better. Let us not live in the dream world of the bowler is trying to take out the frustration, if that is the case one fine day the batsmen may be forced to take their frustration out with the bat I suppose (When Kaneria can throw the ball at the batsmen, i think there is nothing wrong in batsman using his bat I suppose). what is unpardonable is the impact this over rich spoilt cricketers will have on the next generation. Fasten your seat belts when the next breed of cricketers come out who are repeatedly fed on this antics. I think they will be more sly and may be not get caught on Camera or the mike. I for one feel this things are also hyped to some extent by the commentators. It is like a war zone out there in the commentary box. Ask Dean Jones. He will vouch for it.

  • khurram Shehzad on January 18, 2007, 5:38 GMT

    its really a bad taste in the mouth the way i see and observed all the proceeding of the match ball to ball. Pakistan team is really a sorry state of mind people who after winning the match squezing themselves from making runs or they went in the middle to just make outing. it is phenomanol that SA is good fielding side but the bowlers they possess are all net bowler they have extraordinary instinct in them. this was evident when in second innings our tails played them all. inzamam is just retired in every aspect of the cricketing sense, very indesicive and very flat thinker during the course of the match, also he made web around him which displayed his flat and absured approach to the game. last but not the least the absurdity Gibbs added in our wounds.

  • Bilal Ansari on January 18, 2007, 5:19 GMT

    Whatever the crowd behavior the players should act as a sober lot.They are paid (and watched) for their game and not for their vocal abilities. The punishment types are debatable and an improvement can be made.

  • thirdman on January 18, 2007, 4:49 GMT

    International players in any sport will be taunted by some fans who having paid to get in feel it is their right. It is part of life in modern sports whether we like it or not. As long as Gibbs said what he said in private, which just happened to be picked up by the stump mics, I don't have a problem. He shouldnt have been punished as long as he apologized for what he said being made inadvertently public. He seems to have done so. As for South African cricketers sledging opposing players, I think they have crossed a line of fair play. But the umpires and ICC apparently dont see it that way which I think just makes the game somewhat more crude. Let the ball and bat do the talking which is why the game is played in the first place.

  • Jason on January 18, 2007, 4:24 GMT

    will everyone just stop being so precious.

    This whole thing is pathetic. if you look hard enough you can find offense in everything anyone says. That is what our society has come too these days in all parts of the world.

    Just get over it and get on with your life. it isnt a big deal. its a piddling nothing that happened. If anyone should be offended it is the hyenas being associated with the idiots fans. I for one have never heard a hyena swear, burn efegies, blow people up, kill them for their race/religion blah blah blah.

    it is just convenient for some members of society to play on it becasue they have NOTHING else.

    get over it.

  • Faisal Jafri on January 18, 2007, 4:17 GMT

    I may not even have spent time commenting on this incident beacause I feel that justice is taking its route. Gibbs was found guilty of an offence, a verdict was sounded, he has used his right to appeal and till the hearing remains in the frame of action. In the end I hope the right thing will be done. However while going through some of the comments i was 'incensed'enough to want to reply. Mr. Sol Goode with all due respect you probably need to look at yourself in the mirror and find out what or who you really are. In fact the comments you have chosen to make about Pakistani's should earn you a ban from contributing to such forums. Who gave you the right to call Pakistani's uncivilised. Maybe if you believe in that you should go back to the zoo. It is unfortunately people like Mr. Goode who add to bad publicity that Asian countries and people get.

    To get back to the core issue my opinion is that when you become a public fugure your responsibility increases. Especially as a sports person you are watched, read, idiolised and imitated. Nobody would like to watch the game of cricket played by sissies. We do play the game hard Mr. Jag but like sportsmen not gladiators. May be we need to revisit the desired conduct of players on the field lest it becomes detrimental for children to watch the game or families to visit stadiums. In the future we may need PG rating for games that matches that children can watch and others which are for adults only. The game needs to be protected not the palyers.

    cheers!

  • Bandhunath on January 18, 2007, 4:07 GMT

    Cricket used to be a gentlemen's game, and we were bought up to consider umpire's word as law. There was good camaraderie both on and off the field. Cricket was a game to be played, watched and enjoyed. It was the practice to applaud friend and foe. There was no technology, no 3rd umpires, no mic stumps, no sledging and hardly any controversy. What ails cricket today is not being aggressive or competitive, nor nationalistic feelings or racism, but pure greed bought in by professionalism (in which way?) and commercialism. The musicians came together some years back to make the world a better place. However, world will never be a better place ever again. So, is it a surprise that the law of the jungle is now spilling onto the cricket grounds? My final conclusion is an animal can be identified by its' behaviour, and the same process applies for the human being!

  • Yohan on January 18, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    Hey Guys Cool it! There are bigger issues to worry about. Each of us have our own prejudices/impressions primarily based on what media reports or what other people say. Where is the one to one interaction to build relationships among people from different cultures and background ? Sometime we say things negative at the heat of moment but later regret. (Me first to admit) Lets not close the door.. Sorry to feel philosophical about it :) The World needs plenty of love!

  • Mani on January 18, 2007, 4:03 GMT

    I have nothing against Nel. Infact people...without characters like these cricket is even more boring than it actually seems to many. You see Nel runs in..snorts and vents his anger out verbally at the batsmen,..but then this same guy often smiles and passes some funny comment..so in the end its not all "I'll KILL YOU" stuf..its a nice attitude. But what really pisses me off totally is the way these umpires dish out their advices. When Sreesanth does the same..umpires realise that its injurious to the game and immediately address him and Dravid..now here again dont get me wrong..nothing against Nel..but i pray..tell me..do these buttheads sleep off when Nel is reciting a poem to the batsmen?

    I am completely ok with what Nel does..no need for the umpires to stop him...but Mr. Umpire..step back and stay there when others are doing the same. You dont have to be the noble umpire and give sermon to someone else if you dont do it to Nel. I dont care if you like all races or not..but dont display your likes/dislikes...and try to be consistent. Its difficult for every one to be tolerant about everything and many a times things do happen in the heat of things..which is why to me player vs player should be better left for them to sort out..unless its something totally unacceptable..like fist-fighting etc.

  • expat on January 18, 2007, 3:49 GMT

    Further to some comments made by 'khansahab' above...I agree that some things/words/feelings are negatively misinterpreted. One must ask if it was a bunch of white, say English spectators, behaving like animals, would Gibbs have made the same comment after they abused a fielder? - methinks deservedly YES. So the racist slur accorded to all this is rather stupid and reeks of ethnic insecurity (bear in mind I am of ethnic origin recently relocated overseas). I think Pakistani's or any person choosing to live abroad, in the westernised world should learn to adapt and become more international minded which will change attitutes (right or wrong) of the locals, including any rednecks if any. This relates to modern civilisational elements that are necessary even if not immediately agreeable. Mostly all Pakistani's, Indians, Chinese, Bangladeshi's, etc....who go and live overseas in 1st world countries typically do not have friends or acquaintances from other than their own respective countries thus give no reason to be easily accepted in a broader world. So, basically one goes overseas only for a better standard of living but wants to live exactly like back home given a chance. I for have more local/international friends by choice, who I share my day-to-day life + times in the country I now live in - because of that I am understood, accepted and even loved here. It would take millions of other expats to stop looking only for ethnic familiarity and expand horizons a bit (this also applies to some of my own family members settled overseas so I am indeed being neutral!!). If that happens, hopefully by 2025 we won't come across media driven cases like that of Gibb's because the dicriminatory gap would gradually have been bridged globally. Alas! I am only one person to make any difference...

  • bob on January 18, 2007, 3:37 GMT

    LOL this cracks me up... lets refresh back 2 when 'inzamam actually hit one of the guys from the crowd' when some one was abusing him.... and compare it 2 gibbs all he did was swear and is criticised that much by the pakistani blokes.... gets me wondering why theyr so quite when thie rown player got out of hands bak then... and now when they taste thier own medicine they cant cope with it :S

  • John Beamish on January 18, 2007, 2:21 GMT

    I am not sure who said what. It was all very unpleasant and "not cricket". If I were Gibbs I'd be careful when either Sami or Ahktar bowl to me. I can see a few short ones followed by a head high beamer.

  • Gary Goddard on January 18, 2007, 2:13 GMT

    I dont condone Gibb's actions but fully understand them - verbal abuse, not racism is what happened. Pakistan supporters are atrocious - I have witnessed there digusting behaviour first hand in 3 different countries!! As for racism, any of the respondents to the column actually know that Herschelle Gibbs is not white/Europen...? Further more, the rest of the world still stereotype all South African's as racist...how naive! And I support his fatehrs comments about the ICC to the hilt. Warne gets a one year ban for "substance abuse" yet two Pakistani players are cleared after taking know performance enhancers...not surprised really that they have been cleared...look who runs ICC!

  • Amyn Habib on January 18, 2007, 1:44 GMT

    The juxtaposition of the sentences “f****** animals” with “this is not f****** Pakistan” does imply something, doesn’t it. It implies that it is okay for you to behave like this in Pakistan, where people behave like animals, but not here (in SA).

    Although this in no way condones the behavior of Pakistani fans, some of whom can be really obnoxious, a professional sportsman should exercise restraint.

  • matt on January 18, 2007, 1:12 GMT

    I am hearing a lot of complaining on here about sledging and swearing and intimidating. There is no rule in the book against being and idiot, Nel is an idiot, deal with it. Sledging is part of the game, I agree that there should be no racial slurs but sledging and mental toughness is a part of cricket and it should be. You don't like it take up knitting.

  • Matt on January 18, 2007, 1:03 GMT

    I would like to know exactly what Gibbs said, because the only thing that I have heard personally was that he called some spectators animals. This is not a racist comment and two matches for that statement is ridiculous. The behaviour of spectators everywhere could warrant that comment for example the Hill in Sydney, Bay 13 in Melbourne and many other places where the supporters are behaving badly.

  • Cricketer on January 18, 2007, 0:52 GMT

    There has been many points raised in this blog and I am yet to understand that why the sledging, taunting and swearing has any place in the game of cricket. I have seen the last test match and I was surprized to see Andre Neal's attitude during the game. This srtupid and dioit guy wansts to take wicket on every ball and then start swearing on the players. I think these type of players should not even allowed to enter the stadium let alone playing. I think whoever banned South Africa nation from cricket was just this retarted and racist nations should be banned from Cricket again. We do not need more racist cricketing nations we already have Australians who are from same pedigree.

  • qandeel on January 18, 2007, 0:31 GMT

    in my opinion gibbs should be banned for more than 2 test those who supportin gibbs i think have not seen the video first watch the video than cum 2 supports he has not only called them animal but very bad words which i dont want 2 write go and hear what he has said 2 pakistanis.we r proud nation and no 1 has any right 2 say anything against our country.its really bad to see that some of the pakistanis r supportin gibbs i request the people who have not seen the video plz go and watch.http://www.criki.com/videos/show/364

  • Marty on January 18, 2007, 0:28 GMT

    Once again the comments here are hilarious in the extreme. How can South Africa be branded a racist team when they are a mixture of white/black/and in between!??? Do the players all racially abuse each other in the dressing roooms? I think not.

    If these comments are standing then I don't see why I can't call the entire Pakistan side a bunch of drug cheats because of the actions of a few.

    Of course racism has no place in sport and needs to be stamped out. That said, don't pretend that this sort of thing doesn't happen in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka - but goes unreported due to the fact that the touring players cannot understand it. It is still racist.

    When are Pakistan touring Australia next? I've already got my (non-racist) drug cheat jibes for your fast bowlers, unless the WADA gets in the way first!

  • jay amrith on January 18, 2007, 0:07 GMT

    I don't think Gibbs's comments were racist per se but just downright disgusting, and obviously the comments made by the members of the crowd must also have been execrable. One wonders,however,if Pakistani and Indian players make similar remarks and get away with it because they speak in Hindi or Urdu ?

    But the nub of the matter is the complete indifference of the on-field umpires to all the vicious sledging that is directed by South African and Australian cricketers at sub-continental and Caribbean opponents. This " boys will be boys" indulgent attitude encourages the likes of Andre Nel to get away scot-free with all manner of abuse and demeaning remarks, and who would be the wiser if he also threw in a racist remark or two in Afrikaans or Zulu or Xhosa? Are the umpires dummies ? If so, do away with them and rely completely on technology. As it is, so many errors are made by them including allowing 7-ball overs--- why on earth can't the third ump assisted by official scorers alert the on-field umps when they don't call "over' after 6 balls.

  • Ren Ault on January 17, 2007, 23:32 GMT

    Re. Posted by: Ed Smythe at January 16, 2007 7:45 PM

    "I think a lot of this is the settler colonies coming to grips that brown-skinned people can compete, and often win, when given the opportunity. Oz and SA have had a rather unique history, unlike the UK, NZ, USA, Canada, etc., in dealing with racial differences. While SA is now run by the majority, and Oz does not officially discriminate, the legacy of being 'for whites only' takes a long time to get over."

    Gee, in relation to racial policies and treatment in the UK, NZ, USA and Canada which part of the history lesson did you miss Ed?

  • Chris Ferguson, Christchurch New Zealand on January 17, 2007, 23:31 GMT

    Thank you Kamran for bringing this issue to our attention. The continuous abuse that the South African team gives their opponents game after game is a disgrace and the ICC need to take action.

  • MAC on January 17, 2007, 23:27 GMT

    Greg What match were you watching, I wrote to the President of SA Cricket after Nel, No body and I mean No body escapes the most vile verbal abuse of the SA bowler, especially when he is dispatched to the boundary, be they Pakistanis or Aussies, surely the Umpres or the Match Referee should do something about this bloke. Gibbs punishment is justified, and to appeal after having admitted the guilt, what a joke. It will take a few generations to get the racisms out the South Africans blood. Sorry to say so, but I think it is a fact of life. MAC

  • sean on January 17, 2007, 21:46 GMT

    Why is calling someone an animal racist? I call my youngers brothers animals when they make too much of a racket!!! Is the Geico add where they make fun of Cavemen racist??

  • khansahab on January 17, 2007, 21:25 GMT

    I am amazed to see the extreme comments expressed by some people on this blog. I don't know how they pass through the "verification" stage.

    I think rather than accusing anyone directly, what needs to be analysed is what Gibbs actually said. Of course, that is part of the dispute. Some sources claim that he only said "Behaving like animals" whereas other claim to go as far as "This isn't ****ing Pakistan....go home......" (or something to that effect).

    If he indeed said the latter, that is racism to me, clearly. Associating an entire country with such delporable acts (i.e. what the crowd did) is an act of racism- it is a preconceived notion, an unreasonable comment, which does not take into account of the law abiding and decent people of that country.

    In such issues (and all of the issues around the world, largely to do with Muslims or Pakistanis) it is always the fault of both sides. The common man of Pakistan does not project a favourable image to people from outside Pakistan. That is true. But non Pakistanis should refrain from such extreme language, curb their anger and not make unreasonable comments such as blaming an entire country or an entire community- that is wrong.

    It's like saying, " All Muslims are terrorists". Many non Muslims around the world make this comment, but it is untrue. Racism/Xenophobia and even Islamophobia, to a certain extent, is part and parcel of most of us. When we feel so angry at someome of another race/religion, and we think that they have "crossed the line", we let out racist abuse. I think that is in the nature of all of us.

    Anyway, what has happened has one positive outcome for Pakistani supporters- the series will now be played with more zeal by the Pakistanis who aren't too happy with the insulting/derogatory remarks. What a pity they are still more likely to lose than win, owing to their inept openers and indisciplined bowlers!!!!

  • lou virani on January 17, 2007, 20:37 GMT

    i think umpires are losing the control of the game.the moment a bowler abuses a batsman he should be given one warning after that he should be made to go & sit down for 10 overs to cool off.if he persists on his antics then only he should be fined & punished.in other wards Uupires should take charge-period.

  • Danish on January 17, 2007, 20:37 GMT

    If Gibbs had any problem with the crowd he should have told the umpire. As we all know one or a bunch of people do not represent an entire nations. I think what gibb did was cruel. As for those who say Pakistan are bad loser, well yes Pakistan lost the match because SA played better and this issue is not about losing the game. You will see a great performance in the 2nd test as the unavailable Pakistani players are likly to take part.

  • Ash Zad on January 17, 2007, 20:32 GMT

    I fully agree with all of you that racism has no place in sports. In order to eliminate racism from cricket, we need to get rid of Malcolm Speed who is certainly a racist and biased individual of the highest order.

    Darrel Hair inclusion for ODI in Kenya is yet another proof of his biased and racist nature.

  • Ali Mumtaz on January 17, 2007, 20:23 GMT

    For anyone defending Gibbs' appalling behaviour, try this exercise out: Imagine a Pakistani player shouting the following at a South African spectator: "F***ing bunch of f***ing animals. F***ing go back to the zoo. F***ing South Africans." Now, how many bans is that?

  • Humza Mian on January 17, 2007, 20:11 GMT

    I agree with you totally Kamran, the behaviour of the South African players was extremely unacceptable, and I am sure that if it was the Pakistan players who behaved in such a manner, there bans would have been much greater. Test playing nations such as Australia, South Africa and England would get away with murder on the pitch, and the Asian playing countries get treated much more harshly. It seems to be one rule for Australia, South Africa and England and another rule for the rest. The ICC need to have a good look at themselves.

  • kumar on January 17, 2007, 20:03 GMT

    I think punishment was harsh. One also need to look at the circumstances. I don't condone any racial remarks/behavior etc. Pakistani fans are becoming nusiance world-wide. Their behavior in England has been pathetic and now they are repeating it in SA. Why can't we have similar standards for players, fans and everyone involved in the game. You can let these bunch of thugs get away with swearing, bottle throwing etc.

  • haroon on January 17, 2007, 19:56 GMT

    Ive been following Kamrans articles,and it seems to me that he gets carried away by his patriotism.Pakistani media was more than vocal in its condemnation of the Austrailian fans.Lets not forget who started it,those fans should have been fined,and prevented from getting visa for any game.Spectators should be penalized heavily for starting these kinds of incidences.Both teams and players are friendly,and things on the field should stay there.I think the punishment was too harsh,what about paul harris?isn't he hurt?Is anyone apologizing on the fans behalf?

  • John Bishop (Bahamas) on January 17, 2007, 19:53 GMT

    Talk about a storm in a teacup. If people act like idiots, perhaps they deserve to spoken to like idiots. Reference to animals and babboons is hardly a racist remark anyway. The more offensive aspect of what was said was the "f***ing" and that just seems to have been ignored. Next game.

  • Willi Kruger, California USA on January 17, 2007, 19:45 GMT

    There is an obvious misunderstanding. The South Africans who uses the F*&^ word in every sentence thinks the words zoo and animal offends the Pakistani supporters. But in reality the Pakistanis are offended by the F word.

    It is a culture difference. In Dutch the word Fok does not have the same use as the English F word. So in South Africa the F word are used to describe everything. It is not seen as swearing only rude and not cultured if used in the wrong company.

    What is seen as a racist attack by the Pakistanis was merely talking the way most South Africans do. The only exception comes from the white English speaking South Africans who considers it a swear word.

    So, if I say to someone: F*&^ you I am not swearing at him but I am telling him I do not agree.

  • farrukh on January 17, 2007, 19:42 GMT

    Why Harris did not use filthy language,if he was provoked by the crowd?Why Gibbs needed to respond?Is Gibbs the official filthy spokeperson of SA team?How come Pakistani team has anything to do with the controversy?Why blame Pkaistan team for the mistakes of the spectators?

  • faizal, TX, USA on January 17, 2007, 19:36 GMT

    It is a pity to see cricket is getting worse than politics. Mud throwing, scams, greed, ego, powerplays, lies, overpowering, acqusitions, drugs etc... This was my favourite game when we call it as a gentleman's game, but now, my god, what should we call this game now... Players playing for money, not for their countries pride. Administrators always thinking of how he make more money. Pathetic really pathetic. I am still watching the game because still some players like Lara, Sachin, etc.. exists. After them who will watch cricket????? Think about that guys....

  • Alexis, England on January 17, 2007, 18:58 GMT

    I cannot understand why any ban should be imposed on Gibbs. How is calling a group of people 'a bunch of animals', racist. It may be animalist! - but how can it be racist? By telling them to go home, since they were by definition not at home due to being in a cricket ground, he was simply saying go away, stop abusing me. I hope the ridiculous 2 game ban is thrown out of the window and common sense prevails

  • Kamran Saaed,Lahore on January 17, 2007, 18:40 GMT

    Thank You very much for writing this article.You really are the voice of Pakistan Cricket.I think South Africa is basically a racist team.The whole team is very ill mannered esp the players like Andre Nel and Smith.They just dont know how to respect a touring team.Andre Nel and Smith should also be banned for a couple of matches. i will also like to take this opportunity to point out the baised commentry of Robin Jackman and Barry Richards.In the whole match, they keep on appreciating south african team and defending them without even giving reference to other team.Even in his interview to ESPN star sports,Barry Richards was not even criticizing Gibbs a bit. Lastly i feel grieved at the fact that Pakistan Team is led by a slow person like inzamam who dsnt have the capability to respond to the comments of south african team.Past captains like wasim akram and imran khan would have handled the situation in a much more aggressive way.

  • WM on January 17, 2007, 18:34 GMT

    A little story.

    I play premier league cricket in England. A couple of years ago, in a derby game against traditional local rivals - in which verbals usually fly - one of our white players remarked that an opposition batsman of Pakistani origin "batted like a monkey". The standing umpire immediately took action calling me - the captain - and my offending player over, and advising us that he would be reported to the league for a racial offence. My player defended himself by saying that the comment had nothing to do with race, but that the batsman looked very uncomfortable and out of place. The umpire said that this was not the case, and that the comment was racially motivated.

    Fortunately common sense prevailed when both, the batsman and his captain (also Pakistani - the whole team is of Pakistani origin), came to my player's defence, and agreed that his comments had nothing to do with race. They also defended my player before the league, and he was spared punishment, although he was given a telling off.

    It seems to me that Gibbs'comments were very similar. As my players comments referred to the batsman's abilities, Gibbs' comments referred to the behaviour of the fans - race seems to have been of no significance. I reckon our local opposition would agree.

  • andy on January 17, 2007, 18:23 GMT

    Kamran says it is a wider problem, and then confines it to South African players! issues of sledging, over appealing, aggressive/intimidating posturing by players...this applies not just to S. Africa (all to easy to scapegoat S.A) but Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, India. in fact the current England team is the least likely. I think when ever they try to sledge someone, that person scores a hundred so they don't do it much. rascism overt or covert is often present regardless of ethnicity, hard though that is to accept.

  • Sam on January 17, 2007, 18:22 GMT

    Michael, well said. I totally agree banning Umpair Hair from ALL ICC full member matches is a disgrace. He should have been reprimanded for his high-handed attitude but certainly did not deserve to be banned. He handled some incidents poorly but once pointed out he was man enough to accept the ICC verdict. Murali episode is a case in point.

    Oh, before anyone claims me to be a racist, I am a Sri Lankan living in North America!

  • Antonio on January 17, 2007, 18:21 GMT

    There is a new layer of spin coming out of all this. Phrases abound about how Australia and SA play their cricket "hard" and "some amount of sledging is good for the game" or "mature players give as good as they get", "play hard in the field, sledge a lot, but then go for a beer in the pub like adults". Junk like this is bandied about because no one really wants to face up to what has become reality in modern cricket. People watch this game on clearly defined, intensily national lines today. This might have been so in past too, but I remember a lot of crowds going to see the cricket being played not just their teams. As and Indian, I pay tribute to West Indian spectators of the 80s, who because they knew they had the most devastating fast bowling attack on the planet, came to watch Sunny Gavaskar because he could play them. In the view of many West Indians of that time, Sunny was probably the best batsman around at the time, because of his ability to handle the worlds most fearsome bowling attack, ever. I cannot see that happening today. Maybe people the world over may go just to see Brian Lara or Shane Warne, but I doubt it. And incidentally, it makes for a better business case. If you take out the sledging, the accusations of racism, the Australian style of intense nationalism the game becomes a non-event. Specatators may switch to watching football, for heavens sake.

  • Sam on January 17, 2007, 18:18 GMT

    I think the racial card is used too liberally here. Have you noticed it is almost always Asian teams that complain about racism? How come the West Indies team does not complain as much?

  • ACY on January 17, 2007, 17:58 GMT

    Sledging has no place in cricket. I am sure this kind of nonsense happened in cricket's history, but it was the 'Will do anything to win' Australian team that developed this vile practice into a fine art. Let's get back to basics. Why not rely on your natural physical skills to win? Why do you need to do underhand things to come out as winners? One post mentioned that sledging increases the mental pressure on players. Sure, but they are under severe pressure as it is! A player facing the likes of Warne or McGrath is hardly relaxing. To me, frankly, sledging is equivalent to taking a drug to boost performance. Both use means other than natural physical skills to achieve success and both should be unequivocally condemned. It's not cricket.

  • faraz on January 17, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    Mr. Buzz Trevor i think u havent seen the program Inside Egde on Super Sports, it clearly showed that Gibbs not only said Bloddy Animals , But he also said F))))ing Pakistanis, He meant clearly what he meant, secondly i think Pakistan is a better team than Southafrica, there has been a mental block ,even though sometimes Pakistan beats Australia, SouthAfrica cannot do that consistently lastly the more Pakistan stays in South Africa they would try to bring the Pakistanis down through Media or Press Conferences where Grame Smith the Captain with the little mind would continue to babble, My Choice Jacque Kallis should be the captain if South Africa wants to win the World Cup )Polly is my choice too, Coming back to the blog, Pakistan should slege not only sledge start playing fire with fire, should pick Gul and Akhter and open with Hameed or Farhat or Hafeez or Farhat and play rana naved as well.

  • Garvit on January 17, 2007, 17:31 GMT

    I really wonder what peeves everyone so much about RACIAL ABUSE. Why is racial abuse different from normal abuse. I am an Indian in Dubai, and never for one moment of my life have seen the difference. Just because someone tries to intimidate you on basis of his race being superior to yours, it becomes more than just normal abuse. I mean if you really believe so then your race is inferior. It's actually disgusting not to the perpetrator but for the receiver if one comes to think of it. By Pakistan complaining that this be considered racial abuse just comes to show what they think of themselves...There was so much sledging in the last ashes (2005). There is always a world full of sledging in IndoPak matches. Nobody calls it racial. Frankly adding racial to abuse is a non-criteria in my case. Let people abuse racially as much as they want to. Just punish them for normal abuse. Consider everyone the same colour and make the punishment. And in this regard for Gibbs to be saying something about a section of the audience does not deserve any punishment. All the ruckus is just an indication of the inferiority complex some miserable people have in my opinion. If somebody 'racially' abused me I'd find it laughable, railings of a madman...

  • Ghalib Taimur on January 17, 2007, 17:19 GMT

    Personally i don't think SA is a racist nation but they do have a history of being biased.I mean look at Kevin Pietersen isn't it odd why he doesn't like his real home country.On SA they are an aggressive team and aggressive sledgers so these type of things are bound to get out of hand once in a while.

  • Ravi on January 17, 2007, 17:13 GMT

    I think Mr Abbasi is losing it in his old age.

    First, there was a blog saying Abdul Qadir was a better bowler than Warne (yep, thats what he says.. :-)), and now he's acting like such a whiny baby. SAF created a "vile atmosphere" for the test? What about Pak players like Afridi, Akmal et al, who constantly barrage the opposition batsmen with disgusting comments about the anatomies of the batsmen's mothers and sisters? That creates a very good atmosphere, I suppose? The only reason your Pak players couldnt respond back to SA verbal abuse is probably because Pak players cant speak English. So Mr Abbasi, if your players use foul words, its "all in a game"... but if opposition uses foul words, they're "creating a vile atmosphere"... hmm.. do you know how to spell "hypocrisy"...? .. :-)

    Also, Gibbs called the spectators a "bunch of bloody animals"... whats so racist about that? Its racist because it was directed at YOUR countrymen? It seems you are incapable of viewing things objectively. Apparently, if its Pakistani, it must be good, if its foriegn it must be bad. Period. Isnt that how your mind works?

    I have to give you full points for patriotism though... :-), blind patriotism, but patriotism it is.. :-)

    And

  • Shiraz from Gunchester on January 17, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    Way too many comments to read through above, but I just saw a recording (with audio) of what went on.

    - Someone (presumably Gibbs) calls them (presumably the crowd)a "bunch of f***ing animals" - The same person refers to them as hyaenas - Someone (another player) tells them to go back to the zoo (as animals) - Someone (Gibbs again?) says "this isn't Pakistan this"

    At least that what it sounded like to me...

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't really see the racist side to any of those comments when made in reference to a rowdy and abusive crowd, much as they might to any such crowd in any country and of any race.

    It certainly makes little sense given that Gibbs himself is of Cape Coloured (I do hope that is not deemed an offensive term - if so, my apoogies) descent and with Hashim Amla on the pitch.

    Oh, and I am a die hard Pakistan fan...

  • anser azim on January 17, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    Let me congratulate the SA team for their continued success on the field and they won the test deservingly. However, racism is an issue and is often displayed on the field by the players and now very often by the spectators. This is a common all over the world. Its in soccer,Tennis,cricket,basketball, ice hockey and also in other sports. If we look into the history of most of the sports that are now followed in the world, they were invented and played first by the Eupropeans and their decendents all around the globe. People of color have started playing very recently with their limited resources and have done quite well. Sooner or later their presence is going to be felt in Winter Olympics too!! It will be fun to know how their success will be acknowleged. Racism is sometheing that lies within and it has to be overcome by means like education, religion and sometimes medicine. But in my opinion its total eradication is impossible as its related to satan that drives that superior-inferior feeling.

    anser

  • azaro on January 17, 2007, 16:58 GMT

    Racism has many different definitions. Historically, it has been defined as the belief that race is the primary determinant of human capacities, that a certain race is inherently superior or inferior to others, and/or that individuals should be treated differently according to their racial designation. Sometimes racism means beliefs, practices, and institutions that discriminate against people based on their perceived or ascribed race. ...however I should add that as I am told constantly by my wife (she is black btw) that only white people are racist,people of colour are merely bigoted...!

  • Harsit on January 17, 2007, 16:56 GMT

    I love how the underlying issues are not even being addressed by the South African Cricket. The coach says - "oh, the stump microphones are intrusive”, shouldn’t he be talking to Gibbs and letting him know that one more strike and he is out? Shouldn’t the carrier of the torch and OH I was abused by my fellow countrymen in Australia, Mr. Graeme Smith be doing the same. It is a game watched by millions of people, how can you expect it to be private? There are thousands of kids with aspirations to be cricketers, watching the game, absorbing like a sponge from their idol’s behaviors. Mr. Arthur - I think players behaviors need to be adjusted not the microphones. I actually think that the microphones bring us closer to the game and make it more exciting for the TV audience. AND you better talk to Nel as well; I can see him heading straight for a steel (not even brick wall) wall at 160 KMPH.

    "oh, the comments are not even racist". As far as the comments go, I think they ARE racist, at least 90% of the population on the planet would agree. I can still see why some people in South Africa think that they are not racist, I think South African cricket, and for that matter everyone else in the world need to realize, that south African psyche is bound to be fundamentally racist for at least a couple of generations. It might not be racist from their perspective, but for everyone else it is. Just getting rid of apartheid from the books doesn’t mean that it is going to change how people fundamentally think; it takes a lot of time. AND for that school of thought this might not be racist. Is South Africa still not a highly segregated society? Don’t a lot of white South Africans leave their homeland for England or Australia thinking post apartheid era is not fair to them?

    I think we need to stop putting cricket in the ivory tower by calling it a “gentlemen’s game”, especially if ICC is looking at the long term commercial future of the game. Look at the most popular sports franchises, NFL or NBA or MLB or Football leagues all across Europe, accept the facts first and then work from there. I think cricket, in general, needs a big readjustment in terms of how it is viewed and positioned and of course its Victorian rules for players’ behavior.

  • Feedup on January 17, 2007, 16:37 GMT

    To Some Posters

    Can you please please, leave Australia out of this incident, just once. Is it just me or do SA intentionally leave stump mikes on to create contraversies? Also, if anybody thinks their cricket team or fans are perfect, they are deluding themselves. PS Gibbs and his team constantly complain about everyone else, so get over it. Hypocrites!

  • Cyril on January 17, 2007, 16:20 GMT

    Many of you people point fingers at the behaviour of the South African side, and label them as aggressive etc. I don't deny that the South Africans play hard and swear and snarl at the opposition. All teams do it!

    What about Kaneria? In the few overs I saw him bowling at Centurion, I can recall two separate incidents where he hurled the ball back at the batman's head after having the ball played directly back to him. The first incident saw him throw the ball very quickly at Amla. Amla calmly swayed out of the way and got on with the game.

    In the second incident, Kaneria once again tried to perform a clinical decapitation of Ashwell Prince, only to be intercepted by Prince's quick reflexes and his bat. Yes, his bat! The only way that Prince could defend himself was by holding his bat up in front of his face.

    Both Amla and Prince handled each situation very calmly, and I commend them for that. Kaneria's behavior on the other hand, bordered on viscious.

    I am not trying to point fingers here. I am simply trying to make the point that these things will happen in the game of cricket, and the culprits are scattered throughout all test playing nations. Maybe the log in your eye is clouding your vision...

  • cb fry on January 17, 2007, 15:51 GMT

    Telford Vice has written an excellent piece on cricinfo, i encourage you all to read it.

    I do find it strange that there are some folks out there who feel so strongly that describing dark skinned people from a third world country as "a bunch of bloody animals", "baboons", "f-ing Pakistanis", "go home", and "go to the zoo", could not be construed as racist. Clearly it could, and it has. Taken in their entirety, the comments do not make pleasant reading. This is not to say that Gibbs is racist, but he's certainly an idiot. His father has robustly defended him, and has stated that he doesn't want to see any Pakistan fans at the next game. He's tainted all Pakistanis with the same brush, not confined it to the handful of prats you get of all races who give abuse at cricket grounds. I find this rather odd.

    The South African coach and captain have complained about stump microphones - is that meant to be a defence? And is this not the same captain that got Shoaib Akhtar banned from the deciding test match of their last series for swearing at Paul Adams? The South Africans are amongst the most potty-mouthed of all cricketers. Other than Amla, Prince and Ntini, most of the rest have a swagger and an arrogance that could at best be termed cocky. Gibbs with his loud protestations was also getting into the ears of the Pakistani batsmen.

    Using the phrases that he did in a society that has in its recent history seen major racism, also leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    I don't think Gibbs is racist. Neither do I think that Dean Jones is racist, after the remark he made (he's in fact one of the few western cricketers who has an affinity with the subcontinent and its people). But Jones had the honesty and decency to admit that he'd made a mistake and apologised for his ill-advised and unprofessional comment. Why can't Gibbs be man enough to do the same? Why is he always the victim, whether it be match-fixing or this?

  • syed Ali on January 17, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    I was just reading Telford Vice column "the truth is out there" and i really like this part in it "It makes me wonder why, after admitting your guilt, you're now pursuing an appeal. It looks like you think you needn't have to face the consequences of your actions". Seams like Gibbs thinks that what ever the said was okay. he alresdy appologise but seams like it was just a formality or a fashion statement "okay i am sorry leave me alone".

  • Anjum on January 17, 2007, 15:41 GMT

    Let's have the truth.Race and colour are very,very much a part of the present South Africa.The fact is that the "white"attitude towards "Pakis" and suchlike has been adopted by Blacks,Cape Coloureds et al!!The Paki supporters were probably as much animals as Nel,Smith etc,no more and no less.Sledging's all right,it's part of the game.It's all about pressure.But what do they say about various issues in this blog in the fair town of Oraanje?

  • Scott on January 17, 2007, 15:41 GMT

    By the way KhanPk...Gibbs is not white, he falls into the demographic category called "coloured" (of mixed descent) in South Africa

  • Ali on January 17, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    He got the right punishment, the coloumn of the elder journalist from SA published in cricinfo really embodies the reason for it. Why didnt they say such stuff when they went through "much worse" in Australia...they remained muted. Now having us on feild they start chattering slurs...not at all examplory...and obviously those fans have no right to be called fans...thus no winner in the this saga

  • Upset on January 17, 2007, 15:20 GMT

    I am so dissapointed reading some of the coments here below. I went with Gibbs to the same school and though we werent good friends, I had a few classes with him and I can tell you that if there is one guy that is not a racist, its Herschelle. He himself is from mixed origin and if there was ever anyone who always stood up for the underdogs its him. Many years have passed since I last spoke to Herschelle. I am now a trial lawyer and in my professional opinion if I had a client who stood in front of a person of colour and called him a bloody animal with 50 eye witnesses present, I would still take his case because there is no way that any court will find him "guilty" of racism. Saying that somebody is an animal, or "go back to the zoo" or calling somebody a monkey or anything in that line does not constitute racist behaviour.

  • Christian on January 17, 2007, 15:12 GMT

    Firstly, Michael... this is not a instance where the discussion of so-called "reverse racism" (a white South African phenomenon) is appropriate, and stating that Indian and Pakistani teams are "the most guilty exponents" of this is anything but logical.

    I feel Gibbs' comments, although "racist" lack bite, and certainly not bigoted prejudice, having been provoked. I may be mistaken, but I believe Gibbs to be of mixed descent; this seems to rule out any apartheid notions of supremacy from his comments. His "f***ing Pakistans" comment (whether or not he did say it, Ozkaapie) is offensive, and this in itself deserves the ban, but how can Gibbs' comments, referring to supports as "animals", even be compared with those of Australian crickets (not to mention spectators) who bring colour, stereotypes and racial prejudice into the equation. Or what about the institutionalised racism that has for so long pervaded English cricket? In South Africa, practical efforts are being made to restore equality and dignity, despite the country's despicable history with regards to racial equality. Why are we punishing players for insulting but otherwise innocuous, schoolyard comments, when we should be weeding out subversive racism from the places it does exist?

  • shayaan on January 17, 2007, 15:01 GMT

    well,well,well! Gibbs should not have said that (esp. not on the pitch.)but you have to say our fans are not the most civilised and their actions were not the greatest. He should not have banned but a fine would fix the situation.

  • saumyajit on January 17, 2007, 14:58 GMT

    The comment was not racist, but for exactly this reason I love it!!!

    I have seen numerous occasions when South Africans and Australians get away with murder, remember Slater wagging a finger at Venkatraghavan because he did not agree with his decision? The numerous times Ponting, Nel, McGrath, Gillespie and the lot have used the f word and got away? But when Ganguly or sehwag raises a finger, shows his bat, or responds he is slapped a fine or a ban.

    Great to see the South Africans feel they have been hard done by, and that it is not an equal world. You are so right, we know that, just realise how it feels when the boot is on the other foot, and you are at the receiving end of injustice.

  • Dan on January 17, 2007, 14:50 GMT

    All of the comments criticising Herschelle Gibbs seem to forget one crucial thing, THE FACTS: He called one section of misbehaving crowd a 'bunch of animals'. This is NOT a RASCIST comment, it is simply an INSULT. And just because similar comments weren't picked up by the stump mike on the tour to Australia doesn't mean similar comments weren't made. I think everyone just needs to calm down a bit and think about what really happened before they start branding people rascist, which in my book is a very serious allegation not to be made lightly.

  • khan on January 17, 2007, 14:43 GMT

    Mr.Sol Goode, i agree with you on quite a few facts that generally a lot of poor people that watch cricket in pakistan cannot be as best described as gentlemen. but nonetheless if someone doesnt take pride in his own origins, he himself has no origins. accepted that pakistanis havent shown the best of character and spirit but on the other hand nor have the australians, who have known to devote the maximum racial abuse by any cricket playing nation to date. my point here being is that after wishing ur fellow south africans victory which is cool by me.its your personel affiliation. but pls dont associate urself with a poor but a proud nation nonetheless by calling urself a pakistani. by doing that u bring disgrace upon urself as well as upon us. cheers!!

  • Marc on January 17, 2007, 14:35 GMT

    Gibb's remark was clearly not intended to be racial, though you have to concede that the governing bodies of cricket are forced to react sensitively to these things, which may on occasion be the opposite of sensibly. The impression I have is that accusations of racism are part of gamesmanship. The stumps microphone is really intended to pick up the dramatic sounds of feet shuffling and leather hitting willow, and the fact that they pick up the players' "chirping" is imho an unfortunate byproduct. Sledging adds colour to the game (no pun intended!), and the more juicy ones are reported after a match anyway. So I say: remove the stumps mike (or filter out the vocal frequencies)!

  • Quentin on January 17, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    An interesting observation reading all the comments is that it also seems to be divided down racial lines.

    Why can't we just let the racial card go, both sides. Everyone behaved badly, spectators,Gibbs, the South African team if you like. That is what it was, just bad behaviour!

    Lets see it for what it was. I am sure within the ICC rules Gibbs is guilty of,and deserves punishment for abusing a spectator. Thats what it was, nothing more and nothing less.

    You can look into every statement and beleive there is a racial undertone.This will get us nowhere in South Africa. Unfortunately many people still do. Lets just let go of the racial card and move on. This applies to everyone.

  • Die Brood on January 17, 2007, 14:25 GMT

    Usman Razaq - please wake up from your dream! SA will play Pakistan into the ground this coming test. At least they don't need steroids to play cricket, like Akhtar & Asif.

  • SG on January 17, 2007, 14:11 GMT

    Good, Gibbs is playing the second test, now Shoaib can rip his head off.

  • Scott on January 17, 2007, 13:56 GMT

    I agree that racism should be stamped out in sport but don't believe that what Gibbs said amounts to racism. It's been totally blown out of proportion. If it had been a bunch of Aussies behaving in the same way, I can imagine he might have said the same thing about them. Maybe he should be disciplined for the foul language but not for racist remarks.

  • Sagar on January 17, 2007, 13:52 GMT

    Michael, you accuse India of crying "biasm racism etc". Which incident are you actually referring to? Or are you assuming that every incldent that involves Pakistan must involve India? I know to you we all must seem the same (as we do not have a name like yours) but you should try and avoid showing your ignorance. Just a suggestion. Oh and mybe one day you will consider yourself an Australian rather then an "Indian living in Australia" . Keep trying. 10 out of 10 for effort

  • Daniyal on January 17, 2007, 13:35 GMT

    Can all the South African fans complaining about unsportsman like conduct from the Pakistani fans explain this to me.. why wasn't your team bothered by the racial slurs thrown at them by the Aussie fans? Why did we not hear such comments by Gibbs or other South Africans when they were receiving abuse from white men? Why then did they choose the media to discourage the practice? You're all hypocrites.

  • Grant Robbins on January 17, 2007, 13:34 GMT

    Kamran,

    Further to my previous post to which I've had no reply, I'd thought I would add an informative take on Gibbs from someone who knos him well and is a highly respected commentator and broadcaster on the game world wide.

    It reads: So, does that condone Gibbs for what he said? No. But it might help people understand why he said what he did. Fortunately, Gibbs will not be relying upon the testimony of his teammates or attempting to claim the moral high ground when his appeal against the ICC's two-match ban is heard sometimes in the next ten days. He won't need to. His legal case should be perfectly strong enough.

    I am not a legal person, but three things strike me immediately as peculiar about the Gibbs sentence. First, the charge against him was laid by Malcolm Speed and the hearing was conducted by Chris Broad. Speed is Broad's boss. Would that not affect Broad's judgement? Don't judges normally recuse themselves if there is a conflict of interest?

    Second, the Code of Conduct refers to cricketers making abusive comments to match officials, opponents or members of the crowd. It makes no mention of teammates, which is where Gibbs remarks were aimed.

    For the third point I rely on a very well-placed source within the sporting, legal community with experience of disciplinary matters who tells me that Gibbs should never have been charged with a category three offence.

    It should, apparently, have been category one or, at the very worst, category two. A technicality maybe, but an important one nonetheless. This, incidentally, deals with language that is considered obscene or offensive and not racist.

    You can accuse Herschelle Gibbs of many things, and many people do! But racist? The idea would be hysterically funny if it wasn't quite so ridiculous.

  • Dust on January 17, 2007, 13:32 GMT

    Firstly, I’m appalled with the manner in which Pakistan supporters acted during the game at Centurion. I was at Centurian and felt they acted despicably towards the SA players. Maybe instead of vehemently criticizing Gibbs’ so called ‘racist’ comments some people on this forum should first look into their own backyard. Before you tour to another country learn the etiquettes of the game and situations like these wouldn’t happen. Maybe all Pakistan supporters should be banned from attending the next match at Port Elizabeth.

    Secondly, the whole bat swirling incident by Sreesanth was a great laugh. I was at that game too and was in stitches to see Nel get some of his on medicine back. But what Javed A. Khan, Montreal, Canada clearly missed was Sreesanth and Nel congratulating each other at the end of the match at Newlands (no I wasn’t there, but I do watch TV Javed). The gesture to one another was a pure sign of respect.

    Thirdly, it amazes me that no-one has commented on the number of messages posted stating the definition of ‘animal’. Why? …because people will only read what they want to and remain short sighted.

    Fourth, if Amla had said the same would there have been such an outcry? No of course not, but his anger would have been the same towards that section of the crowd!

    Fifth, please imran don’t bring up our past of apartheid, because you actually have no idea and are clearly a very naive person. It’s not like we have discussed and past judgement on Pakistan’s involvement in Kashmir! SA is the most racially diverse team in the world and there is a ton of respect among the players.

    Sixth, and this drugs business - it is the PCB's fault if their players don't know about steroids etc. it's rubbish that they should both be playing next game. All SA players are informed in great detail so that the boundary of responsibility is clearly defined. Now because they go, "er oops, they're country bumpkins so they didn't know better", they are allowed back into the game?! it's almost as bad as warne's "my mom gave me cough mixture" excuse!

    I don’t condone what Gibbs said and as a South African I am sorry that cricket lovers around the world heard what he said, but I can think of a lot more terrible phrases than calling someone an animal…the whole situation is a joke!!!

  • Amer on January 17, 2007, 13:31 GMT

    I just read the article by "Telford Vice" (The truth is out there) and I strongly suggest to all those supporting Gibbs to go and read it. It says it all in a very simple and plain English. And I don't see any point arguing on this issue anymore.

  • oz fan on tour on January 17, 2007, 13:29 GMT

    this is political correctness gone mad! Although i agree with the ban i feel it is a bit much calling Gibbs racist, he should be banned for bringing the game into disrepute(out of bad luck i should say) not for racial vilification. Last i checked calling someone a Pakistani was a reference to their nationality not their race, which given my ignorance, would surely have to be Asian! If someone was to call me a stupid Australian (numerous references in this blog) it is a slight on my nationality not my race. But if I was to apply the rules that numerous bloggers here are displaying then they would all be racist themselves for calling South Africans, Australians et al racist! Wow what a conundrum, you cant actually call anyone racist based on their nationality without you yourself becoming one! I have traveled the world for nine years and lived in 9 countries, being a minority in race and religion in most of them, for work and one of the points I have learned is that the common thread throughout the world is a small percentage of ignorant d**kheads exist in every country. Regardless of religion, race or nationality this percentage exists and it would be foolish to judge or paint the rest of a nation ANY nation with the low standards that this minority sets. I watch cricket for the same reason as all true fans and that is to watch the best players display the skills that the rest of us can only dream about. My favorite player of all time Imran Khan is not of my nationality much less my race. Racism is a despicable thing but so is this constant us versus them racism card that the Pakistani fans continue to trump out as a reason for their inconsistent performances. Every time a decision goes against them it is because of some conspiracy against their skin, regardless of the introduction of neutral umpires (another brilliant idea from the master Imran). I always used to look forward to a Pakistan tour but perhaps not so much anymore as these issues always seem to surface where ever the team goes. And for those people that continue to refer to Australia as a racist country like its common knowledge need to look at the facts, Australia is one of the most diverse ethnic populations (don’t believe me look it up) in the world, and I like most Australians love that fact. In my small apartment block of 8 there are 5 nationalities alone, how many different ones are in yours? One idiot calls Monty Panasar an Indian and the whole country gets labeled a racist, but he also got voted the most popular touring player and is always in the press as the best thing to happen to English cricket in years, but yet we are still racists for a couple of stupid comments. It seems that cricket is now becoming a political vehicle for those with stupid axes to grind against other nationalities or races; perhaps it is time to view it again as game of skill only and not proof of racial, religious or national supremacy.

  • jawwad on January 17, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    y? wen we play gali cricket, we're brought up sledging and swearing and shittin on each other based on caste, creed, colour of skin, even linguistic dialects that we use! Im not saying its healthy or that it should be a part of the international arena. But The issue here is not what was said on the field, but who heard it. If the stump cam had not picked it up, we'd have no issue. And all it proves to me is that 1 isolated incident is being blown out of proportion and may in fact feul the fire that has been burning in cricket over the last many years.

    We're living in a very globalized era, and our players have been playing cricket since the colonial days. One would think that they'd b immune to meaningless bigotory on the feild by now. And i think it's high-time fans and followers of the game became as such also.

    You can't tell me that the pakistani players were perfect gentlemen on the feild and that the south africans were the only ones with racism in their hearts and minds. It's always there, no matter how 'multi-cultural' you might b.

    Sports in their nature are nationalistic, proud and incite all sorts of emotion on and off the field.

    I think policing the game has to stop and let the players battle it out amongst themselves. If the players have anything to report it should be done behind closed doors. Pakistan lost the match, and that's what we should be discussing and not what Gibbs said.

    In the end, I agree with mickey arthur .. stump mics are invasive, and they serve no purpose except sell viewership.

  • Mahesh on January 17, 2007, 13:06 GMT

    This one is for Michael on his 10 points of general clarification: (i have replied to each of your comments in UPPER CASE in seriatim below) 1) Almost all racist comments when SAF were in Aus was from ex-pat South Africans. YOU CANNOT CONCLUSIVELY SAY THAT. YOU ARE AN INDIAN. WILL YOU BE HONEST ENOUGH TO SAY THAT YOU WERE NOT RACIALLY TAUNTED BY A WHITE AUSTRALIAN? I KNOW OF MANY INDIANS (NOW MIGRATED AND LIVING IN AUS) WHO HAVE STORIES TO TELL ABOUT RACISIM THERE.

    2) The ICC banned Hair from matches involving FULL-MEMBER international sides. The Kenya tournament involves affiliates, there is no "bias". MY SUMMATION OF DARREL HAIR IS: A VERY GOOD UMPIRE WHO LIKES TO BE IN THE NEWS AS MUCH AS, IF NOT MORE THAN THE PLAYERS. IN MY OPINION, HARPER AND TAUFEL ARE MUCH BETTER THAN HAIR, OVERALL (IN PERFORMANCE AND GENTLEMANLY CONDUCT ON THE CRICKET FIELD).

    3) As for "bias", let's not forget that the computer analysis of all decisions made by umpires for 2005-2006 by the ICC showed Hair to be the best umpire in terms of accuracy (by some distance). THIS IS WHAT THE ICC IS SAYING TO SUPPORT HAIR. LET THEM TELL US WHAT STEVE BUCKNOR’S RATING IS ON THE SAME ANALYSIS. OR, FOR THAT MATTER BILLY BOWDEN IN RECENT TIMES. SIMON TAUFEL IS SIMPLY THE BEST UMPIRE, FOLLOWED BY HARPER. ICC WILL NEVER DISCLOSE THE ACTUAL RATINGS.

    4) Taufel (Aus) has consistently been voted the best umpire in the world by all players including the subcontinent. I FULLY AGREE.

    5) Before people suggest the umpires are pro-white countries, don't forget they are human - Asad Rauf and Aleem Dar (Pak) have had very very ordinary series in recent times yet I don't think it's bias. ASAD RAUF DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE IN THE INTNL PANEL. HE IS A NERVOUS, BUNGLING INCOMPETENT UMPIRE, VERY MUCH LIKE ASOKA DE SILVA WHO WAS REMOVED FROM THE PANEL A FEW YEARS AGO. SO DOES S DAVIS WHO OFFICIATED IN THE COMMONWEALTH TRISERIES ODI YESTERDAY (ENGLAND VS NEWZEALAND). FOR PROOF, ASK STRAUSS. ALEEM DAR HAS BEEN EXCEPTIONAL IN MY OPINION. YOU RARELY FIND HIM IN SITUATIONS WHERE THE PLAYERS ARE FORCING A DECISION OUT OF HIM.

    6) Gibbs deserves the ban because the game can't afford to justify comments which are publicised and set a poor standard for junior and senior cricketers alike. I AGREE. BUT I DON THINK WHAT HE DID TANTAMOUNTS TO RACISM. HE WAS BEHAVING LIKE ZIDANE. HE MAY HAVE BROKEN THE LAW FOR DECENT BEHAVIOUR, BUT ALL HE DID WAS TO ACT LIKE A PERFECT HUMAN WHEN PROVOKED BY AN ANIMAL.

    7) I agree umpires are inconsistent and some of the Australians past behaviour has been inexcusable (I'm an Australian supporter). Yet all umpires inconsistently apply the rules - except when Hair required Pakistan to return to the field (as in the rules of the game), he was punished for it - go figure! YEAH, UMPIRES ARE INCONSISTENT. BUT, DICKIE BIRD, SHEPHERD AND VENKATARAGHAVAN WERE CONSISTENT THROUGHOUT. I AM NOT MENTIONING VENKAT BECAUSE I AM AN INDIAN. HE WAS GOOD AND PREFERRED BY THE AUSTRALIAN PLAYERS, WILL YOU BELIEVE? HE RESIGNED FROM THE ICC PANEL BECAUSE OF PARTIAL TREATMENT BY ICC TOWARDS UMPIRES. NOW, THAT WAS RACISM. I BELIEVE THE PAYMENTS MADE TO UMPIRES WERE DIFFERENT (HIGHER) FOR ENGLISH, SOUTHAFRICAN AND AUSTRALIAN UMPIRES. HMMMM…..

    8) india and pakistan have managed to accumulate very amusing reputations for crying wolf at every opportunity - bias, racism, etc - yet are the most guilty exponents of "reverse-racism" – INDIANS AND PAKISTANIS ARE AN EMOTIONAL LOT. THEY EXAGGERATE EMOTIONS. BUT THEY COME DOWN FASTER THAN THEY GO UP IN ANGER. THAT SHOWS IN THEIR GAME TOO. THEY ARE NEVER CONSISTENT. AUSSIES, FOR INSTANCE WIN BECAUSE OF THEIR AGGRESSION. THEY ALSO SLEDGE BECAUSE THEY ARE AGGRESSIVE BY NATURE. THEY THINK AND BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE SUPERIOR. IN A MATCH SOME 7 YEARS AGO, WE ALL KNOW WHAT MCRATH MOUTHED WHEN SACHIN HIT HIM FOR A SIX. ACCORDING TO IAN CHAPPEL, ‘BASTARD’ IS A TERM FOR ADMIRATION IN AUSTRALIA. BUT, SORRY MATE, IT IS NOT SO IN INDIA.

    9) Daaniyal Masum is a case in point calling Rob from Aus "Rob the retard" and the alleging SAF ruined cricket due to match-fixing - it wouldn't have happened if subcontinental bookies didn't think of it first! THOUGH I AM AN INDIAN, I THINK ALL MATCH-FIXING AND THE BOOKIE THING HAS ITS ROOTS IN INDIA. EVEN HANSIE CRONJE WAS EXPOSED BY AN INDIAN BOOKIE, PROBABLY FOR NOT HONOURING A COMMITMENT AFTER TAKING THE PAYMENT. SIMILARLY, MARK WAUGH AND SHANE WARNE TOOK MONEY PURPORTEDLY FOR GIVING WEATHER REPORTS, BUT THE GUY WHO PAID THEM WAS AN INDIAN BOOKIE !!!

    10) I am an Indian living in Australia so withdraw any "typical white Australian supporter retorts" - try and respond logically, and preferably coherently!! DID I? I DON’T THINK SO! CHEERS AND ALL THE BEST FOR THE TRI-SERIES (WATCH OUT FOR FLEMING AND CO) MAHESH

  • Irfan - Italy on January 17, 2007, 12:58 GMT

    I couldn't agree more with Mr. Abbasi. I think the punishment is well placed and not too much. South African Team has a number of players who misbehave on the field. What Pakis crowd did must have been been just a reaction to the way the hosts were treating the visitors. Did anyone read Herrchelle Gibbs fathers interview where he said "To describe Herschelle as a racist is laughable; it makes me angry. My children attended non-racial schools when most of their contemporaries were still in one-race schools. If there's one thing Herschelle is not, it's a racist." And then he says, Pakistani fans are not welcome in Cape town they better not head that way...... I can see how open minded Gibbs family is.

  • phil on January 17, 2007, 12:43 GMT

    I liked what Michael said. Smith is without doubt the best puller in the world. How can anyone reply that someone is justifed in using racist language because they may have been aswell (allegedly). Lets all take a step backwards and admit that the Aussies aren't too bad afterall. Without doubt they are number one, and daylight is second, but all of a sudden all of their discretions, when compared to what happend here, is very tame. I call the South African side the 'Zimboks'. 10 years from now they will be in exactly the same position that Zimbabwe is in now. Pakistan? Well, Pakistan is Pakistan. Synonomous with ball tampering and cheating. Enough said.

  • Rahul on January 17, 2007, 12:37 GMT

    I wonder if Gibbs was really being racist in this case and had intended racism or not. If it had been English fans and he had said that the english were a bunch of animals, then would it have been racism? Or is this something blown out of proportion because they happen to be non-white fans?

  • Mahesh on January 17, 2007, 12:34 GMT

    Dear Kamran - This has nothing to do with racism. We Indians and Pakistanis get emotional and react in an exaggerated manner when any white homo sapiens (I'm being careful here!) says anything against us. We are the problem. Let us know our science for starters. Animal is not a race. Animal is only one stage ahead of the homo sapiens in evolution, confirms Darwin.

    Hence, all that Gibbs did was calling those unruly spectators monkeys, i.e. those who failed to evolve. This is not racism. He is just putting them back by a million years.

    Let us not fret and fume over what Gibbs said. The stump mic was far away from the rowdy Pakistani spectators. I can almost imagine what they would have mouthed. I have seen Azhar Mahmood in full flow during the days when there was no stump microphones around. He could not have said anything other than what I think he did. Come on, lets move on.

    Cheers Mahesh

  • Ol on January 17, 2007, 12:25 GMT

    I think the reporting of this story has not helped clarify what actually happened. This website reported Gibbs as having simply called the Pakistani supporters 'animals', which, as has been correctly observed, is not a racist epithet. Other English newspapers which I read subsequently gave a fuller quote which did appear to me to have some racist overtones. So no thanks to Cricinfo for failing to give us the full picture. It also begs the question of the role of the stump microphone. Professional players operating in highly competitive, aggressive environments, are likely to make utterances in the heat of the moment that appear unsavoury to the spectator watching on TV in their living room or browsing a website at leisure. We can't have it both ways - if we really want to have a presence in the middle of the fray, we can't be shocked when we hear industrial language. Racism is a step beyond that, though, obviously, and is not to be tolerated, but when players speak in earshot of the stump microphone, do we really expect them to choose their words as if they were in a press conference?

  • roger on January 17, 2007, 12:18 GMT

    Cricket is becomimg like football with all the racial and other obscene taunts attached.Penalise the player/s including the national team who perform such acts, with the possibility of banning the team from future competitions.The umpires especially must be more involved as they are on the pitch..any incident must be dealy with straight away. Set out new regulations about the game so that all future and current players understand the consequences... its time to act:

  • rext on January 17, 2007, 12:16 GMT

    Dear Kamran Might I suggest you hand over your blog to Professor Javad A.Khan as he knows more than you, or anybody else about cricket. Surely he holds the Nobel Prize for cricket knowledge!! He is most definitely the best cricketer never to have played the game, and obviously knows everything that can be known about everything! Except perhaps that empty vessels make the most noise, and he certainly makes the most noise. But the ill-informed garbage he talks amuses many of us I'm sure, and perhaps we all should sympathize with him as no matter how much of a big man he pretends to be, he doesn't know yet that he will always have a small penis!!

  • Joe Black on January 17, 2007, 12:12 GMT

    One thing we tend to forget - this guy is a professional sportsman. Abuse from the stands is par for the course, you should be able to take it and shut up. Whine about it in the dressing room, you can't be stupid enough to let it out on the field.

    Sports history is replete with sportsmen who have been harshly censured for reacting badly to fan abuse, from football to basketball. Remember Hersch, these guys pay good money to cheer or jeer you. Keep it in your shorts, mate.

  • Raj on January 17, 2007, 12:11 GMT

    Thx for commenting on this problem,Yes there is no place for rasicm in cricket or any other sport for that matter. However having said that, cricket and any other sport is a test for the mind as well as the body, in the words of Mike Hussey in response to a bit of banter out in the middle...Play on mate, play on. Pakistan should have not let it affect them, like it or not its a part of the game, the game is changing its meant to be played hard. I'm not defending Gibbs and if his comments were rascist then he should cop the ban but if the ban if for a bit of banter then it is over the top.

  • Amit on January 17, 2007, 12:07 GMT

    Here is the logical reply to an Australian Supporter 1. What do you want to prove by 1st point? 2. There is no bias, but when ICC had lost confidence in him, why reinstate him in affiliate matches even? This is what Percy Sonn had to say "The board has discussed this matter with great sincerity, and gave lots of attention to it and they've come to the conclusion that they've lost confidence in Mr Hair." 3. Hair may be the most accurate umpires in terms of decisions, but what about his conduct and attitude towards dealing with players? 4. Tauffel is the best umpire so there is no doubt he would be voted best. What do you want to prove by this statement? 5. Asad Rauf I agree had ordinary series, but Aleem Dar is one of the best and I would not be surprised if he is voted the best next year. 6. I agree 7. What about the blunder of ball tamepring. It wasn't proved. Hair's decision about awarding the match to England was correct, but his allegations about Ball Tampering were wrong. Mr Madugalle says "Having regard to the seriousness of the allegation of ball-tampering (it is an allegation of cheating), I am not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that there is sufficiently cogent evidence that the fielding team had changed the condition of the ball. In my judgment, the marks were as consistent with normal wear and tear, and with the ball being pitched into the rough and contact with cricket equipment, as they are with deliberate human intervention." 8. When did you find reverse racism with India & Pakistan. The subcontinent players are always dealt with severely. Recent Example, while Sreesant was fined for 30% of the match fees, Nel was let off, further in the 2nd test the Umpires warned Sreesanth and captain dravid while Nel just continued bad mouthing. Talk about Australia if you are an Australian supporter. Did Ricky Ponting get a ban after saying "you are a disgrace to be called an umpire" to Mark Benson. If this is not Bias, what is it? What was the south african over rate in the India series recently, did match referee say anything? 9. Are South African players without dignity that somebody bribes them and they fix the match? 10. I think I have exerted enough logic.

  • Adnan on January 17, 2007, 12:03 GMT

    Even if provoked the comments were not right and should not have happened. The punishment is not harsh at all. Cricket is now no longer a "Gentlemans" game, however we should try and play within some spirit of the game. Nel can do as he pleases. There is a match referee to look at his actions. We should give it back as good as we get it.

  • Dr Jagadish on January 17, 2007, 12:03 GMT

    I think both the boards were at fault. Firstly I think ICC is a toothless body which can be easily bought over by money. They will not do anything which will stop the income from coming in (From India and Pakistan) at the same time they are very good at maintaining double standard when it comes to interpretation of the cricketing laws. Remember Mike Denise the menace ( from previous Indian tour). Asian countries are always seen as golden goose. I hope ICC will not kill with their golden dagger. Pak board was wrong in accepting Shoaib Akthar and Asif back in the time and setting a bad example for the youth to follow. Less set up about the so called sledging from the SA and Aus team it is better. it is best reflected by Australian PM getting into the controversy that involved Sarwan and McGrath. I think this guys forget we asians also have a heart which can take things to certain extent. Racism has always been a big part of cricket and it always will be may be in covert way in the future

  • Zahid Mahmood on January 17, 2007, 12:02 GMT

    Let me clarify just one point to all of those who feel that whatever Gibbs said was not all that bad and shouldn't really be considered as racist or bad. He not only used the term "bunch of .... animals" but also used the term "FUCKING PAKISTANIS". I as a Pakistani was offended by this and will always be offended by such comments. Therefore based on sich comments from Gibbs, a disciplinary action was taken against him. Also, for those who have commented that Pakistani players are guilty of similar offences and I can tell you that in my opinion if a Pakistani player is found making such comments, he should also face the music and in all honesty Shoaib has faced the consequences for using abusive language in the last South African tour of Pakistan. Lets try and play the game in its true spirit and refrain from unprofessional attitude. As far as the unruly behavior of fans in the stadium is concerned, they should be escorted out and if possible, banned permnanently - whether Pakistanis, Indians, Australians or anyothers!

  • Dan on January 17, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    I think Pakistan and all it's supporters should just give up the game of cricket, while it can still leave with at least a remote sense of respectability. If they're not the ones causing the problems, Pakistan are the first ones to ridicule another country when they muck up. Controversy follows Pakistan like a magnet, it's almost like they want to be involved, like a selfish toddler seeking attention.

    Exclude Pakistan from the World Cricket, and the level of controversy and bad press that plauges the game would drop by 50%, for sure.

    (NOTE: for those who didn't notice... comments should be taken as a satire)

  • Shah faisal on January 17, 2007, 11:30 GMT

    I agree 100% with ICC to ban Gibbs for 2 Tests matches. very good decision ICC and match refree i give 100% credit to ICC and match refree .

  • Sam on January 17, 2007, 11:08 GMT

    To Understand this whole debacle you have to understand the history of the country and the mindset of all the different groups of people who live in this so-called “rainbow nation”

    400 Years of Racism lashed out by the British and other Colonialists as well as 40 Years of Instituted Racism cannot be reformed in a few years. We have 4 groups of people who were divided in the old SA and mostly these groups are still divided. I find in my everyday life that most South Africans are Racists.

    SA Cricket has got Deep Rooted Racism and is trying to reform but like the rest of the country with this cancer it cannot completely wipe it out so soon.

    Australia is a Racist Country! Look at the Aborigines. India & Pakistan mustn’t talk as they continue to use the class system and feudalism respectively. OK how many of your movie stars are Black like most of the country? The English wrote the book on Racism And the rest of the American followers don’t even know that they support the right wing KKK thinkers.

    But Gibbs is simply an Idiot for saying out loud what most people would just think.

  • sariyo !! on January 17, 2007, 11:07 GMT

    this waz a pathetic piece of act by hershelle gibbs..n the ban which is imposed on him is correct..sledging or as steve waugh used to say "mental disintegration" is one thing n to bark out comments on racism is other... wel gibbs is not going to play in the remaining tests and thats good newz for us..i think jaques rudolph will be a sure replacement..i think we all should watch that kid..hez got immense talent and can pose a huge threat for pakistan !!

  • Amit on January 17, 2007, 11:00 GMT

    I'm neither from Pakistan nor South Africa. But I would like to ask this question. "Mr. Gibbs, why weren't you provoked when Australian Fans abused South Africans players?" Instead of being an hypocrit, be firm and admit your mistake. When you say the comments were not meant to be recorded on the microphone, you agree that those were racist comments and would not like the world to heaer it. So please admit that you were wrong and you were racist. Be True to yourself.

  • Colin on January 17, 2007, 10:57 GMT

    You're all sad. How easy it is to stand here on your moral high ground. It's pathetic to hear everyone saying how offended they are as to what went on. Let the person who doesn't have a predijuced bone in their body cast the next word. The sport is riddled with cheating, intimidation of both umpires and players, ludicrous contious appealing (particularly when Asian spinners are bowling) and that is all justified as part of the game. A player venting his anger at what he has been subjected to to his team mates is, as far as I am concerned nothing to do anyone else. It is unfortunate it was said and picked up by the stump mike but it was, ans therefore a dressing down and suspended sentence of the player would have been adequate. His remarks were not addressed at the opposition so why should he suffer for a bunch of idiots on the sidelines who have, apparently, inadvertently, achieved what they set out to do.

  • Mohammad Fayyaz Abbasi on January 17, 2007, 10:47 GMT

    Asalam o alikum, Dear brothers,i am realy upset but what can we do. This white "chamry" doesn't get it. We are Alhmadulliah free nation and we know how to handle such events. I think they have learned thier lasson if not then they will very soon. By the way we shud hit them hard in ground by performing better. Our supporter there are representing us and we are respected nation we shud avoid such a language which could hurt som1 and then we have to pay the prices. Anyways, we are one nation and we are upproting our player in and out of the field and no matter what at the end of the day we are muslim and we are pakistani. Go inzi take us towards win and make us SMILE. thanks Brother Abbasi and all other friends.

  • haroon on January 17, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    Apple doesnt fall far from the tree, just read what gibbs dad has to say, about wishing the pakistanis wouldnt bring along their supporters to newlands .............. read into it what you like, and debate all you want, situation is sad, and unfortunatley going to get much worse. The fans that were thrown out deserved it, and the ban on gibbs is leniant .... definite mention of pakis in his statement, and for all that dont play sport in south africa ... it happens all the time and it is racist...... not only from whites but COLOUREDS too.

  • es on January 17, 2007, 10:32 GMT

    how interesting

    surprise, surprise, the issue is divided amongst racial lines, just read the posts on this forum. All non asian named bloggers say its too harsh, asians say its too lenient !. In my opinion Gibbs was on the wrong and deserves more than 2 matches, his record in the game when it comes to matters off the field have been questionable in the past. I feel the South Africans play a very hard, verbal game against the lesser oponents, but when they need to against stronger oposition eg AUS, they are as quite as mice. Throw the book at racists !, no matter what his dad says !

  • joey on January 17, 2007, 10:25 GMT

    for all of u guys who r complaining about gibbs not being racist ..please check it for urself at YOUTUBE just type GIBBS SLEDGING and click on the first video...and shut ur holes up from now on

  • Stapel, Netherlands on January 17, 2007, 10:10 GMT

    I think a ban for sledging is ok. But what I seriously question is why so many people seem to be convinced the sledging was racist. The question is: Would Herschelle have used the same words if these fans would have been, for instance, white English fans? I think yes! I can't be sure he would, but nobody can he sure he wouldn't. The racist card should not be played so easily. Because it minimalises offenses that are truly racist.

  • gopal on January 17, 2007, 10:08 GMT

    South African cricketers are really a disgrace in the cricketing world.They are worse than the Aussies.The list of South Africans abusing the opposition has been endless.Even a new guy is given the privilege of abusing the opposition.I want to recall an incident during India's tour of SA in 2001,Mornantau hayward was abusing sachin Tendulkar all the time with four letter words,also saurav ganguly and VVS were at the receiving end from kallis and Nel respectively.This shows the true character of their country.people like Nel and Gibbs should take a leaf out of their counterparts like Ntini and Amla.Ntini is a trying cricketer,i have never seen him abuse any batsman anytime.He is aware of his great bowling prowess and he doesn't want to take wickets by doing some cheap talk.I am not against the whites but the point here is that these people don't give respect to anybody.This clearly shows their upbringing.Aussies may have crossed the line at times times but they respect the opposition when it plays well. The point here is that Subcontinent teams are given a raw deal.If sreesanth was punished for telling bye to Amla then why not Gibbs who pointed Ganguly the way back to the pavillion.This is double standards man.I remember an Incident during the pak tour of Australia in 2004,shoaib was fined 50% of his match fee for pointing matty hayden the way back to the pavillion and also Danish kaneria was fined 50% of his match fee after uttered a four letter word against Michael clarke but Andre Nel keeps saying the same thing every over and nothing's been done.This is double standards. Finally i would also like to add that even sub-continent supporters are worse.Pakistanis are worst among the lot .There have been numerous incidents ranging from throwing beer cans at a player to personal abuse.Pakistani supporters also crossed the line in the first test and also pakistani players are not behind when it comes to abuse and bad sportsmanship,the dhoni Incident comes to my mind when Akthar hurled a beamer at him and did not apologise.

    I would like to conclude by saying that the world would be a better place if everybody accepts their mistakes rather than care abt personal pride and other things.what i mean to say here is that if your player is indeed guilty why support him,that really sets a bad example.

  • Dave on January 17, 2007, 10:03 GMT

    Buz Trevor - TOTALLY agree - this is an insane judgement which should be overturned. Calling people animals when they are behaving like animals (and doing it well out of their earshot to boot) is as far from racism as it's possible to be.

    And for the Pakistan board to aggressively pursue action against Gibbs when they have failed to deal with drug cheats in their own camp is hypocrisy of the worst kind.

    Gibbs's punishment should be overturned (as should Akhtar and Asif's release from their bans) and the whole incident should be forgotten as what it was - a simple non-racist comment.

  • shalabh on January 17, 2007, 9:58 GMT

    THis is extra enthuzism on the part of SOuth African Board. I dont think Gibbs calling Pakistani supporters animals amount to rasist comment at the best u can say he didnt like them. Calling it rasist is total crap and a deed of idle stupid minds. I would consider it even less offensive then sledging that usually takes place on the field. So the ban on Gibbs is totaly unwarrented. We have seen Pakistani players be abusive while playing with India so wat is the big deal. I will suggest Pakistani fans not to be hypocritic and start calling a spade a spade. Gibbs didnt like you so you hate him for that but calling hima racist just signifies how stupid can ppl get. caio n peace

  • gunter gerstner on January 17, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    i do wish the pakistani supporters would stop whinning about abouit all things referred to them.the race card is so easy to use, especialy against south africa.but the real issue here is not the racism, it is to distract the south african team from giving you another hammering in the 2nd test.these issues serve to highlight your defenciencies as a top cricket team.yousef and gul and akhtar are not going to make a huge difference to your squad and deep down you know that.the racism card is merely to detract from you cricket.

  • shoaib on January 17, 2007, 9:47 GMT

    I think there is too much going on...

    This pakistan team is not getting the rigth treatment bcos it is 'religious', they are praying namaz 5 times a day.

    Naseem Asraf is already against religion and it is quite Interesting to note the behaviour pakistan team is getting, when they reached the airport to depart for southafrica there was no security official.

    Just look at the level of umpiring, it looks lot of ppl are biased there including the match referreee.

    I'm beginning to feel there is something in this oval fiasco as well...it migth be also a plan of ICC and Daryll hair to blame on pakistani team cos this pakistan team is religious. And they ICC are trying to break the religious barrior but in the end they could'nt succeed cos Inzy took a stand.[this is what coming to my mind at the moment]

    To get an idea of what's happening with the muslims just have a look at this Interview http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine/2004/04/04/interview.htm

    This is getting Interesting day by day....I'll Insha-Allah pray for the well being of Pakistani team and a win.

  • Kevin Sizer on January 17, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    Given the track record of the PCB in respect of their dopesters, they should say less and do more. Spectators and players alike frequently bait or use bad language and perhaps it should be contained when it gets out of hand. The lackbalance to the discussion would lead to the daft situation when somebody who understands the relevant langauge can take offence at the spectators on the sub continent. Maybe they should ban the fireworks so beloved of the sub continent too? The lack of discipline iro excessive appealing or 'taking offense' are no more trivial than Gibb's outburst, so perhaps the fans need a little more tolerance in their attitude.

    Take a dip at RSA by all means if that's your bag, but keep off the pedestals, it's a long drop.

  • rithvik parokkaran on January 17, 2007, 9:38 GMT

    the punishment for Gibbs is the most ridicilous garbage ive ever heard of. How can Gibbs be a racist???he is a coloured player himself and hes been seen exchanging pleasantries with indians, sri-lankans and all types of coloured people. I think the pakistani cricket team and board are a whole load of cheats and just cant keep their fat mouths shut. They take every oppurtinity to take advantage of any team they play against and I think this is another time when crap starts coming out of their boards mouth. Pakistan are the biggest culprits of hypocrisy and cheating in international cricket and i think what herschele gibbs father said is right-we dont want any pakistanis at Newlands-thank you very much.

  • Uncle don on January 17, 2007, 9:28 GMT

    Good points chaps, Good to see Im not the only one who thinks Andre Nel, Mark Boucher's, Andrew Hall and Graeme Smith's behaviour is far outside the spirit of the game. Had Glenn McGrath continually behaved like Nel does with perceived immunity he would have been hanging up next to Saddam Hussain. Slegding is part of the game, like or not because men are competative but Nel and Hall in particular are a disgrace and if Saf cricket wants to have any credibility going forward they will remove these Moron's from their future plans. As for Paul Harris, has played a couple of tests and already he is becoming a loud mouthed flog like his teammates, I think Tendulkar and Dravid were well within their rights to ask who he actually was.

  • Donovan on January 17, 2007, 9:23 GMT

    A final post. I as a South African supporter, really felt sympathy for the Pakistani team since they were consistently on the incorrect end of bad umpiring decisions. Billy Doctrove, especially seemed to be so insecure, one only assume because of what happened in the forfeited Test match with England,and refused to give any decision to the Pakistani team. On so many ocassions glaring lbws were not given. I felt for you and your team. That is why I am wondering, given the whole Islamophobia in the West, the continued labelling of Pakistan as cheaters, note the ball-tampering, and then alleged drug-abuse,etc. In my opinion, seems to have got to the Pakistani team. So now when they take the field they are not only playing cricket they are representing and defending Islamic culture and Pakistan as a country. This has made made they cricket being played under a pressure cooker, and they have become hyper-sensitive (hence Andre Nel getting to them, Gibbs remarks, etc). It has, in my opinion, made them start to believe that they are perennial victims. And maybe they are being unfairly victimised. And even if the whole cricketing world agree that they have been unfairly victimised, this admission will not make sure that Pakistani cricket becomes the world-beaters, which every cricket-lover knows should happen. The Windies did this in the seventies and eighties, they did not carry their Blackness and try to defend it, they shoved it down every person's throat and taunted everybody. Do that and the Aussies, will not have a chance against U!

  • Uncle don on January 17, 2007, 9:21 GMT

    Good points chaps, Good to see Im not the only one who thinks Andre Nel, Mark Boucher's, Andrew Hall and Graeme Smith's behaviour is far outside the spirit of the game. Had Glenn McGrath continually behaved like Nel does with perceived immunity he would have been hanging up next to Saddam Hussain. Slegding is part of the game, like or not because men are competative but Nel and Hall in particular are a disgrace and if Saf cricket wants to have any credibility going forward they will remove these Moron's from their future plans. As for Paul Harris, has played a couple of tests and already he is becoming a loud mouthed flog like his teammates, I think Tendulkar and Dravid were well within their rights to ask who he actually was.

  • Ijaz Ahmed on January 17, 2007, 9:21 GMT

    Whatever Gibbs said was heard by millions and after the verdict he apologised as well and SA cricket Board announced that they will conduct an investigation. Just after a day look at the scenario. SA Cricket postponds the investigation, Gibbs appeals againts the verdict,his father comes forward by saying that they were were abused by Australian Fans.....RIDICULOUS. If they couldn't raise their voice at that time was their mistake. It does not give them the right to abuse others. It will be INSANE if ICC even considers the appeal. Racial discrimination and Slurrs are everywhere these days but I think there should be more sportsmanship on the field which is something gibbs doen't have.I think gibbs should have been handed over a ban for four tests instead of two. If players cannot show and exhebit sportsmanship on and off the ground then I dont see any point in playing each others. KAMRAN, hope you consider these points and write about it on cricinfo. Thanks

  • shah faisal on January 17, 2007, 9:16 GMT

    i agree with 2 tests matches against Gibbs.

  • Vin on January 17, 2007, 9:05 GMT

    I totally agree with Kamran. I think SA commentators are very much one sided and guys likes Barry Richards should be banned from comentary, another one is Mike Haysman. May be that's why they don't get assignments outside Africa.

  • Donovan on January 17, 2007, 9:05 GMT

    I'm still not sure if what Gibbs said was really racist or not. However, as a South African, I can readily admit that racism is one of the main challenges of the new South Africa. Furthermore, white South Africa refuses to accept that racism is by and large directed at Black persons (i.e. Black African, Coloured and persons of Indian origin - the persons who did not have the vote). In another site Gibbs' father states that his son attended a non-racial school when most of South Africa were attending single-race school. What Gibbs senior fails to indicate that in the eighties, those who attended these private schools were regarded as sell-outs to the aprtheid system. More importantly, Gibbs played what we called in the eighties, white sport. To explain, all those who fought apartheid followed the maxim, 'no normal sport in an abnormal society' and therefore refused to participate in normal sport where they interacted with white controlled sporting bodies because it would assist the apartheid government to pretend that all is well in apartheid South Africa. So by and large Gibbs socialisation would have been more within white culture as opposed to the majority black culture. As compared to Makhaya Ntini or Ashwell Prince. Those of us who have been involved in the struggle against apartheid have never regarded as Gibbs as any type of poster boy for the transformation SA sport. Notwithstanding that though, the reaction of Smith is an appropriate one. The SA team (and quite possibly society as well)must feel that they are beig left out to dry, since they are quite a number of insecurities within the SA team. The SA Cricket Board has acted correctly and Smith is batting in his player's corner, it would have helped nobody if Smith also lambasted Gibbs, it could be interpreted that Smith is more interested in staisfying the Board than his players.

  • JIMMY on January 17, 2007, 9:02 GMT

    The bottom line is that what Gibbs said was unacceptable and he has been punished for it, end of story. As far as sledging is concerned, it is an important part of the game (as long as it doesnt have racial connotations therein). I am surprised by the negativity towards Andre Nel. There is nothing wrong with him being agressive and sledging during his bowling. I have not heard any racist comments coming from his sledging. We have only heard comments from him like "I'm all over you son!" "its just a matter of time before you go" "cmon, play like you got heart!" "gimme all you've got" " There is absolutely nothing wrong with such sledging. Its a mental examination, period!!

    Remember Boucher saying to Tatenda taibu "tatenda whats your test average......7? 8? 9,5 ...ok well round it off to 10" and taibu getting out the very next ball. There's nothing wrong with that its part of the game!!!

  • Shamik on January 17, 2007, 8:54 GMT

    It's case closed now. He said "F**king pakistan" just following "this is not a f**king zoo", the implications being obvious. And I keep hearing "what if it had been said to a white person", etc etc. Well, has it? No, it hasn't happened so far, has it? And if it does, what on earth makes you think the punishment won't be same? You merely want to believe this to give yourself some false leverage, anyone defending Gibbs' actions now is a racist. Pure and simple. Also, people shouldn't involve any other SA player in this, unless one of them defend Gibbs'. For now, it's only Gibbs who is a racist and no one else. He has tainted his reputation for good. Now, if Graeme smith does anything else other than admit Gibbs was wrong or just offer no comment, then graeme smiths true colours will be seen. In a way it would have been better if Gibbs hadn't been banned. Shoaib could have delivered true justice, in the form of a 95mph snorter. Then theres no need to go through officials channels, etc, and put up with some of the ignorant comments people put up here . On the subject of sledging, why not just let bat and ball do the talking? Or are the players afraid their lack of quality will not be enough for victory?

  • Kev, England on January 17, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    So what exactly made Gibbs comment racist? That they were directed at Pakistani "fans"? So if the barmy army had been in town and he had directed his comments at white skinned blokes from England they would have been acceptable? Offensive, yes. Racist?

  • Sharjil, UK/Poland on January 17, 2007, 8:51 GMT

    I am afraid it IS racist...not because of the word "animal" itself, not because the supporters weren't behaving like animals (which indeed they were) but because it was directed towards brown people with intent, because it projected a sense of superiority over the target, and because it is historically a favoured phrase of white supremacists, ever since colonial times, i mean people used to write books, personal memoirs and letters to the queen delightfully recanting the day-to-day routines of the "non-white skinned animal-like natives". "Racism" incorporates not just the word but also the intent and the context. If a black man uses the "N" word with another black man, it is not the same as if a white man says it to a black man. If "animals" was used against other white supporters, then it would in fact not be racist, because there is no historical undertone in this example. Likewise, the example of calling Amla a "terrorist"...if it was directed at a non-muslim, would obviously not be islamophobic and would in fact seem like a stupid thing to say.

  • Shehzad Ghani on January 17, 2007, 8:43 GMT

    Michael: You could be better classified as a wannabe or even Michael Jackson than "typical white Australian supporter".

  • DR Hai on January 17, 2007, 8:43 GMT

    Gibbs should have been handed a ban worthy of his offense. This little ban just doesn't cut it. The 'animals' comment was just one of several, the most audible for me being "these f#ck|ng pakistanis", picked up by one of the seemingly intrusive stump mics at the bowlers end on Day 4 of the test. If I recall correctly Shoaib was banned for calling Paul Adams a "f#ck|ng twat", an isolated comment that got him banned for the final test against SA a couple of years back. This was before such offenses were properly addressed by the ICC and it was a lone comment, not one of many as Gibbs employed. Pak still won that series in which Shoaib was the star despite Smith's successful attempt at having Shoaib barred from the final game. Since then racial abuse and the issue of sledging have been addressed a couple of times by the ICC and hence this torrent of abusive comments courtesy Gibbs ought to have earned him a 4 test ban at least.

  • Colette Parsons on January 17, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    I for one only watch cricket for the likes of Andre Nel even though I am English, I think he is the only bit of fun in an otherwise very boring game.

  • James on January 17, 2007, 8:25 GMT

    International cricketers are not generally 'soft' creatures. If they don't have a thick skin at the start of their careers, they learn pretty quickly how to develop one.

    Bowlers and batsmen can be trying their backsides off, putting in hours and hours of extra practise, lieing awake at night worrying about letting their country down, desperate for their form to return.

    The next morning they go for an early breakfast in the team hotel and, sitting at the table next to them are two fat, hungover salesmen smelling of cheap wine from the conference party the night before.

    "I tell you, man, that van der Merwe, he's f***ing useless. And he doesn't care, too. Did you see that shot he played? He's rubbish. They must drop him right now." And with that they carry on filling their faces with fat and plan how they are going to stay awake during the next section of the boring conference about the job they hate.

    First, players are taught not to engage in such exchanges. Second, they are taught to remove themselves from areas of possible conflict. Sit at a different table, leave the bar, or ask for assistance from management or security. And don't take it personally! Thick skin, and all that.

    Unfortunately, it isn't always possible to leave and defuse the situation. Let's just say, for example, that a player happens to be...at third man. During a Test match. You can't just walk away. So you stand there, for most of the day, being told that your sexual orientation leans towards sheep, and members of your own family, and that you are racist. And more.

    And because there's nothing you can do about it, the abusers take heart from your inactivity and become more and more animated, taking greater and greater liberties with their right to free speech. And that's OK, because free speech is their right. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me. The players bite their tongues and hope the abusers don't throw anything more than words when their backs are turned, and that if they do, it's nothing too sharp or dangerous.

    But you know what really makes their blood boil? It's when the abuse is so loud it can be heard by people 50 metres away. By everybody, men, women and children.

    The Pakistan supporters referred to by Gibbs as "f***ing animals" were sitting right next to the designated 'family enclosure' of which Supersport Park administrators are justifiably proud. It's one thing being called filthy names, but it's quite another watching the reactions of children who are having strips of innocence ripped off them with every vicious barb.

    So, does that condone Gibbs for what he said? No. But it might help people understand why he said what he did. Fortunately, Gibbs will not be relying upon the testimony of his team mates or attempting to claim the moral high ground when his appeal against the ICC's two-match ban is heard sometimes in the next ten days. He won't need to. His legal case should be perfectly strong enough.

    I am not a legal person, but three things strike me immediately as peculiar about the Gibbs sentence. First, the charge against him was laid by Malcolm Speed and the hearing was conducted by Chris Broad. Speed is Broad's boss. Would that not affect Broad's judgement? Don't judges normally recuse themselves if there is a conflict of interest?

    Second, the Code of Conduct refers to cricketers making abusive comments to match officials, opponents or members of the crowd. It makes no mention of team mates, which is where Gibbs remarks were aimed.

    For the third point I rely on a very well placed source within the sporting, legal community with experience of disciplinary matters who tells me that Gibbs should never have been charged with a category three offence.

    It should, apparently, have been category one or, at the very worst, category two. A technicality maybe, but an important one nonetheless.

    You can accuse Herschelle Gibbs of many things, and many people do! But racist? The idea would be hysterically funny if it wasn't quite so ridiculous.

  • Hamza on January 17, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    Some of the points you bring Michael are not too bad for clarification, like point 2. Many people have posted this issue incorrecly. You are not a computer when are an umpire. You are a human being. Hair could be right according to the book, but will never be right in the people's minds because he never thniks like a human being, he thinks like a computer, just deciding everything with the book. Hair wasnt punished for that, Hair was punished for his behaviour all over the past years and for the mad ball tempering decision. Not only Pakistan wanted him to be banned, but also many other full member teams.

  • Suraj on January 17, 2007, 8:11 GMT

    Whether or not Gibbs' comments were racist may be a issue of debate but they were against the spirit of the game. The punishment is not sufficient. He should be banned for at least 5 tests and 5 ODI. Similarly "sledging expert" Nell should be banned for at least 6 months to become a gentleman to be eligible to play this gentlemen's game.

  • Sajjad Mohammed on January 17, 2007, 8:08 GMT

    i think ICC took good step against stupid player. They should ban Nel also for his wild behaviour. Everybody can see who was acting like "animals"

  • Kashif Jaat on January 17, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    i think Gibbs & Nell must have to learn how to behave because they are professionals and representing a country.

  • salis usman on January 17, 2007, 8:04 GMT

    Guys, lets enjoy the comments from Gibbs father now. Previously it was Shane Warne'e mother. Next time we will see aunties and uncles as well, whenever there is a punishment for Australian/S.African player. Where was Gibbs father when Shoaib Akhtar was penalized upon request by G Smith? He must have gone to pay the (late) school fee of Gibs. I agree he ahd studied in a non-racist school but Unfortunately studies had no impact on him, what soever. Even his father is no exception. He believes by buying medicine from a pharmacy he has cured him or his children. By the way, how Gibs remainded absconded from Inia for so many years after being properly educated. I think he is half cooked by the education system of South Africa. Next half is due....Lets hope he concieves it...

  • sumit chatterjee on January 17, 2007, 7:59 GMT

    I am amazed that the term animal has suddenly developed racist connotations.Did Gibbs call the player 'black' animals or 'brown'animals or 'coloured' animals.Everybody knows that the worst spectators in the world are in India and Pakistan and people of indian and pakistani origin elsewhere.They burn stadiums,run on the pitch and shove players and disturb the game in a hundred myriad ways.They throw fruits,bottles and even stones on the field.And this ridiculous charge of racism.All black players who have had the misfortune of touring the sub-continent are called 'kallus' and 'habshis' by the spectators.The whites are called 'gore' or 'firangs'.Indian films are full of racist statemnts about whites and blacks.The next time let the ICC and the match refree have people who understand hindi in the stands...then we will know who is really racist.Gibbs called the spectators animals because that is exactly what they were behaving like....animals.And we asians must get out of this mentality of considering ourselves victims.Ban Gibbs?I'd say give him a medal for calling a dog a damned animal.

  • Pankaj Kumar on January 17, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    Some of the posts here have found nothing wrong in the behaviour of the Pak fans. I remember when India team visited Pakistan in eighties, one of the spectator ran to the pitch and caught hold of Srikanth's collar and tore his shirt. Pakistan fan s are not certainly the best behaved. I have also found some of the Pakistan bowlers as ill behaved as Andrew Nel. I am not saying that Gibbs and Nel are not guilty but then Pakistani players and fans are also not the angels by any stretch of imagination !

  • imran baig on January 17, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    I think the behavior of the crowd was not good but certainly there should be a difference between the attitude of an international player vs crowd. The word used by Gibbs included "fu*king pakistanis", which certainly is not acceptable at international level.

    To me the punishment given was not enough. I think match referree should be consulted of why he didn't ban Gibbs for 4 matches instead of two.

    Using following link one can view his original remarks.

    http://www.cricketers.net/blogs/us_cricketer/archive/2007/01/17/herschelle-gibbs-remarks-against-pakistanis.aspx

  • karan, Mississauga, Canada on January 17, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    Lets not argue that SA were subjected to racism in Australia! just because it happened to them, doesnt give them the political license to do the same to other teams! people who present this argument are a disgrace to humanity! I say people from all countries should stand together against racism and not try to justify it. All issues apart, Racism should not be tolerated! period! And this behavior from a country of greats like Nelson Mandela....shameful!!!!Please guys stop relating this incident to any others that don't concern Racism!

  • Concerned Pakistani Fan on January 17, 2007, 7:51 GMT

    So let me get this right... during the course of play, there was a section of the crowd which was acting like a bunch of bloody animals, and Herschelle Gibbs said so. Right, soooo where's the racism? Much as I think it's a serious issue in Cricket, and even if Mr Gibbs' intentions had a serious racist tilt, what he said alone cannot be taken as such and nothing else.

    Now what I find more disconcerting is what his captain said, and I quote from the Cricinfo site: "The worrying thing is that Pakistan always have a large support base around the world. Security needs to be looked at." I'd like to know what exactly he means by that. Why is it worrying for him that Pakistan has a large support base? Why is security only an issue when it comes to Pakistani fans? Surely other teams like India and England have a larger fan base and just as emotionally charged up. The way he is clearly equating Pakistani fans to violence in the backdrop of wider global concerns regarding militancy and terrorsm is far more worrying to me.

  • Ryan Fernandez, South Africa on January 17, 2007, 7:47 GMT

    I agree that Hershelle was in the wrong in his comments, there is no defending him. But it is understandable when caught in the heat of the moment. Mr Abbasi, as much as this is a disgrace to South African cricket, the overturning of a doping decision on Asif and Akhtar is a disgrace to sport - they need to face the full arm of justice. In the same way Gibbs has to stand trial for his actions, the pakistani's need to be brave enough to take their punishment. I have a bad feeling that if we were in Pakistan and a comment was made in bad taste towards another country it would be swept under the rug.

  • umiligi on January 17, 2007, 7:35 GMT

    Gibbs made the following comments:

    He referred to the unruly spectators as a bunch of animals.

    Then said something regarding them going back to the zoo.

    And then said "This is not f*****ng Pakistan"

    And this was not directed at the Pakistan players, but rather said about the group of unruly spectators.

    Nowhere did he refer the anyone as f-ing Pakistanis.

    And I do not see how this can be seen as racist or how this can have anything to do with sledging. The issue of sledging is so far removed from this issue its not even funny.

    I do think it was wrong of him to say the comments, and really stupid, but this whole affair , especially the article by Mr Kamran Abbasi, smells like a bunch of sore losers.

  • Daniyal on January 17, 2007, 7:34 GMT

    Unfortunately sportsmen, atheletes, public figures, politicians and media personnel are put under undue scrutiny the world over. Partly because they are such high profile figures we expect a certain standard of behaviour from them and for which in the present case the ICC has formulated several rules. Now if you can't stand in the field and take abuse from a crowd of spectators who have paid to make your profession possible RETIRE.

    Crowds today can get out of hand and perhaps act like animals but the fact that they come and abuse you is what pays your bills and as such they have every right to express their pleasure or displeasure with you. Want to curtail abuse curtail Nel.

    Its unfortunate what happened with Gibbs here he's pure entertainment when on the field and I do believe his comments weren't directed towards anyone in particular but if you are a public figure you have a responsiility and will always be held to a standard higher than the average person. Remember that.

  • turab, Canada on January 17, 2007, 7:25 GMT

    Gibbs said effing pakistanis!! what more does he have to say to proove his loose temper or racist attitude? I am appalled at the fact that no one is talking about the sledging the SAF team threw at Pakistani counterparts. Cricketers are supposed to be profesionals and should be able to handle themselves in all conditions. Lastly, very dissapointed at the Pakistani fans as well, who bring a bad name to the whole nation.

  • Les on January 17, 2007, 7:22 GMT

    Do any non-south africans realise that Gibbs is a "player of colour" that he and his family have suffered from racism. His father a brilliant athlete in his own right had a career severly affected by apartheid.

    His comments had more to do with behaviour than about racism, believe me south africans are well aware of racism and this was not it.

    The series against India was one of the most hard fought battles of test cricket we in South Africa have seen for a long time, yet completely unblighted by charges of racism or intimidation, by players or supporters.

    As far as sledging is concerned it never seems to affect truly great players, but rather exposes the mental frailty of players with weak temperaments.

    Here's to a South African whitewash of Pakistan - or is that deemed a racist comment now too?

  • BABER on January 17, 2007, 7:22 GMT

    FORGET IT , LETS PLAY CRICKET

  • Ali hasnain Ghuman on January 17, 2007, 7:14 GMT

    Very good article:)

  • Mikesta on January 17, 2007, 7:11 GMT

    Michael has emphatically hit the nail on the head.

    Quite frankly from this article and also from many comments posted, I have to agree with the sentiments that Pakistani's are 'generally', 'cry babies'. Michael in his comment #8 sum it up very well. In my eyes the credibility of this Journalist Kamran Abbasi is quite low and I'm sorry to say I have a generally low opinion of Pakistani fans after reading many of their comments on this article and many other articles on 'Pak Spin'.

    I feel very sorry for those few intelligent and reasonable Pakistani's that do post here and share their frustration at their people's simple minded fans and journalist.

  • Abbas Ali on January 17, 2007, 7:10 GMT

    So much has been said about it that whatever i add will not do any good but if these interpretation keep going in cricket I see cricket ground present a WWE . As ICC was shocked on the commments of MR.MOODI (BBCI Spoke person)and Mr.Speed speedily reached India to solve the matter,I must say every cricket issue is important and should be treated in proper way.

  • Cynical Sid on January 17, 2007, 7:06 GMT

    Here's a different slant. Stump microphones violate players' rights to privacy. It's illegal (in many countries), to eavesdrop on private conversations, without a court order related to criminal activity. One must ask the question why the mike is there. The answer: for the benefit of the media. A storm in a teacup such as this one is fuelled and fanned by this blog site and others. So all of the participants in the debate above are pawns in the game, playing into the hands of the media moguls. Suckers, all!

  • Ryan on January 17, 2007, 6:52 GMT

    To the Aussies making remarks about the racist comments on South Africa's tour to Australia: You are full of it. I went to 3 of the games and in every single one it was Australians making racists remarks. Not once did I hear an expat South African making any such remarks. Open your eyes, Australia is the most racist country I have ever been to and I would be ashamed if I lived there. You want evidence? Australians were up in arms over the icident; not becuase of the racist remarks, but because South Africa complained about it!!! Just once, I'd like to see an Australian sporting body (ANY sport) deal with a problem instead of sweeping it under the carpet and then crying foul every time another country somehow offends their sensitive natures. If you can't take it, don't dish it out you whingers.

  • Amit Praikh on January 17, 2007, 6:50 GMT

    I think Gibbs' punishment is right on, these are professionals and should be able to tune out hostile crowds. Fans deserve the right to heckle and cheer/sledge from the seats, and I think the best players have the capability of tuning that out. Just as long as there are no objects being hurled at or near players.

    I'm a little disappointed with Kamran's take on South African sledging, when every team in the world uses it both on and off the field. Perhaps Muhammad Ali was the absolute best at sledging his opponent, but none would deny his absolute respect for the sport of boxing. I think that the South Africans play an exciting brand of cricket and should be applauded for their play over the past few tests, including this latest encounter with Pakistan. I think at some point, we just need to analyze the play on the field, and let that speak for the game itself. If Pakistan feels that there was some discriminatory remarks said to them on the field, they have every right to complain, but to me, it seems that cricketers in general need to grow thicker skins. Because the impression I'm getting from this article is that Pakistan and some cricketers around the world are sensitive to the verbal battle that goes on.

    What a joke.

  • Ali G on January 17, 2007, 6:50 GMT

    Most of the ignorant comments being passed around here are absolutely ridiculous. First of all, SA management is continuously defending Gibbs comments as being okay as they were directed at the spectators and not the players. Thats just wrong. Please first watch the actual incident here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =i63HfjK_SjY). Now if he wanted to direct it at spectators, he would be down at the boundary line, but he is right near the pitch, right in ear of pakistani batsmen. He may have been angry at the spectators but he also just used it to hurl entirely unacceptable abuses at the pak batsmen.

    Besides, And yes his comments "bunch of heyenas", "go back to the zoo", & "f**king pakistanis" can be construed as racist. Given the history of SA, & the frequent whinning from SA players about spectators abusing them, he should have known better.

    I may not agree with the severity of the ban, but its about time that players got banned for ungentlemanly behavior. These people are paid very lucratively for playing professionally and they should be forced to act as such.

  • Shahieda on January 17, 2007, 6:37 GMT

    I disagree totally! Firstly, the Pakistan management overturns serious offenders that used performance enhancing drugs and are now allowed to play? But when Gibbs vents his anger at being attacked by the spectators, he's banned for two matches? What is the logic in that? It's better to take drugs then to swear? Yeah right. Don't know if that is allowed in Pakistan, but in South Africa we try and get priorities right. Last visit of Pakistan here, your players were "attacked outside their hotel"? Yeah Right!!! If you can't win on the field, don't try low tactics to win off the field to get one of our top players out of the side, because it's low and by now SA have caught onto your tactics!

  • Arsalan Khan on January 17, 2007, 6:27 GMT

    An interesting thing thing my dad told me was that "hey.. man is a social animal anyway".

    lol

  • Mohammad Imran Malik on January 17, 2007, 6:24 GMT

    Gibbs called some uruly spectators "animals" and he didn't even directed it to any Pak player. How does this correlate to being a racist comment? At most its sledging towards a hostile crowd. Things are always said in the heat of the moment but Gibbs comment is anything but racist. Pakistani players say much worst in Urdu which can be picked by their lips movement. We are ok to play 2 steroid tainted bowlers, but an opposing player called crowd "animal" and racist tantrum of injustice is thrown freely by us.

    Cricket is supposed to be a gentleman game but in current days its anything but, lots is said by all the players to intimidate opponents during a match and should be taken in such context only. A players performance is the best answer to any sledging. Its universally understood by players of any game that whats said on the pitch is left on the pitch, all mingle nicely amongst each other after the game.

    Sledging should either be banned completely from the game or ignored, there can't be a middle ground for it, besides someone yelling obscenities to others is nothing more than ignorance and lack of character of that person and in cricket the best way to counter is with bunch of cool headed shots or deliveries.

    I am a Pakistani and I am sorry but Gibbs comment doesn't constitute racist statment.

  • Robert on January 17, 2007, 6:24 GMT

    I am amazed at the amount of anger and hate that people have expressed here. I still fail to see how anything that Gibbs said can be seen as racist. It certainly was insulting, and for that possibly he should say sorry... which I believe he has. Time to move on.

    A few points: 1. Gibbs although found guilty of accepting money to under perform, never actually did. Basically put, he said he would cheat and never did! 2. As for Akhtar, the hero to so many here, he has yet to be cleared of using performance enhancing substances. Isn't that cheating? 3. Andre Nel is an idiot, I find his antics childish at best. But I don't belive he was involved in the incident in question. So I suggest a second blog is created for that one. 4.Mr. Abbasi I find it rather amusing that you get to post an official cricinfo.com blog that is so biased. From what I made of your post it certainly is a case of the pot calling the kettle black - mmm... was that too a racist remark? According to many I am sure it is!

    Good day to you.

  • Swami on January 17, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    As an Indian fan, I think its high time Asian teams got off the "poor pitiable racist victim" complex. Even as we ponder the mystery of what exactly was racist about Gibbs comment, we have our own eternal victim Sunny Gavaskar with a gem. Barry Richards wrote of SA's batting showing some typical "Indian ineptitude" or something like that. And Sunny G finds that Racist!!

    I figured out a new definition for Racism: Player/commentator/Umpire from "white" country ( UK, Aus, NZ etc)saying something Asian countries (Ind, Pak, SL) dont like or dont want to hear.

  • Gail, Perth on January 17, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    Maybe they should have a microphone that interprets what the Pakistanis say into English, they are the biggest sledgers. How ridiculous are the comments of Kamran, a hint of discrimination against South Africans, I think. We all seem to have forgotten that there is a game called "cricket" and yes, what is said on the field amongst the team should stay on the field. This is political correctness gone too far.

  • PG on January 17, 2007, 6:21 GMT

    I no way condone any racist remarks made on or off the pitch and in fact agree that when any such remarks are made they should be viewed as most distasteful and deplorable. However South Africa, as opposed to other countries around the globe, has one of the most modern and progressive Constitutions in which the freedom of expression is enshrined. Granted such freedom of expression may be limited however the entire incident has to be viewed in the context of the match as a whole. Gibbs in my opinion should not be made a scapegoat and his comments should be analysed on legal standard and not in an all too often ad hoc manner as the ICC proposes.

  • Matt on January 17, 2007, 6:20 GMT

    Mr Abbassi has a knack of generating a large number of passionate and quite biased replies to his regular blog. I assume (as I have always done when reading it) that this is quite intentional and that we, the readers, should exercise due diligence. The replies often make for very interesting reading and this one is no exception.

    So…onto the issues at hand (and my two-cents worth!) 1. Racism diminishes anyone who considers themselves a human being. 2. The extraordinarily blunt references to race, color and nationality in some of the replies to K. Abbassi's blog here are unquestionably racist in their own right. Makes you kind of wonder doesn't it? 3. Cricket has for a long time now has been a high-profile professional sport and no longer a "Gentleman's Game", no matter what many my wish. I would also argue that sledging is an integral element of the sport played at the highest level and has been around for almost as long as the game has. That being said, it does not excuse boorish and outright rude behavior regardless of who you are. 4. Sport is the modern day equivalent of Roman world's gladiatorial combat. Anyone who doubts this has never been part of a “sell-out crowd” at a test match or ODI in one of the world’s premier cricket grounds. 5. Ever since sport became the tool of big business and has been international, then it has also been subject to politics. Undesirable? No doubt, but reality none-the-less. We might as well stand at the shore and hope to stop the tide from coming in. 6. I agree with many who would like to see the umpires take a firmer stand with poor on-field behavior. There is just one small problem: following the Darrel Hair “incident” it will be a brave umpire indeed who will take a strong stand against any individual or cricketing team if the issue is in the slightest bit “controversial”. 7. Regarding the comments made by Gibbs, in my opinion they were not intentionally racist, but many respondents obviously think that they are. Fair enough. 8. Gibbs has to accepted responsibility for the comments and apologized. He has also been adjudged guilty by the match referee and punished accordingly. Has justice not been done?

    Ciao

  • ahsan on January 17, 2007, 6:19 GMT

    Racism ofcourse has no place in any game.

    i believe pakistani players should live up to their reputations and beat the hell out of South Africa. This is only way that will stop me from calling a south African "white Trash" next time i see one of them in public... (:-))

  • Daaniyal Mas on January 17, 2007, 6:14 GMT

    Micheal and others,

    Im sorry I never alleged that SAFs almost brought the very foundations of Int'l cricket to its knees by match fixing...

    I never alleged that... Its a Proven Fact in case you just woke up involving a certain captain who has since left this world and a certain Mr. Gibbs who has always had a special relationship with the delhi Police... How is that reverse racism? How is it? Its a fact...and Gibbs has confessed to that...

    and yes...take the easy way out...blame the bookies from the subcontinent... as if Gibbs was a 3 year old and they offered him Candy... rather tired of drivel like that....

  • ash sharif on January 17, 2007, 6:06 GMT

    Nothing seems to surprise me about this South African team of 'boers' who constantly feel that just because they got rid of the appalling situation with 'apartheid' this now gives them the right to abuse all visitors to their 'golden land'. It does' not give you this right, learn some manners...

  • Sadiq , Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on January 17, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    Although a Pakistani, I used to respect and support the South African team but watching Andre Nel's antics on the field and now this Gibbs episode, I have lost total respect for this team.

    Lets not ban Gibbs, Shoaib can you please take care of him.

  • JOEL on January 17, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    The game that has always been called 'Gentleman's game' is slowly losing its reputation becuase of a few hand picked players like Gibbs.The ban is justified and authorities should be bring more harsher punishments for the unruly players go bring disrepute to the game.If you cannot keep your mouth shut, you better sit out and keep yelling.

  • Arshad on January 17, 2007, 5:13 GMT

    Poor Gibbs, now calling a Pakistani or indian or any supporter an animal shows how frail he is....and i agree with that. he should have been fined his match fees and not been banned. teh match ban goes to Nel rightly, which never happebs...they say he has attitude like that. please tell all south african...white or colored...put a sock in his mouth. his mouth looks like a prostute's virgina...always open with shit. cricket is no way a game to abuse in.

  • Subhan Khan on January 17, 2007, 4:59 GMT

    Every one knows how rude Mr. Andrew Nell is but the double standards of ICC became ever so visible when they actually banned Srisanth of India who everyone knows did what he did just because Nell had now control over his mouth. Every kid who watches cricket nowadays knows that Nell every now and then passes the limits, and I really do not think that Cricket is game of gentlemen anymore because of people like Nell.

    Know matter how much we talk about these things nothing is going to get better until South Asia Teams(India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh) get together and make ICC think and do something about it, but then, I guess we all know its very unlikely that India and Pakistan could ever think of coming closer.

  • Rushil Hansrajh on January 17, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    Kamran what you fail to mention in your article is that Gibbs is "Coloured" or of mixed ancestory himself. He was responding to what was confirmed to be racist comments from a Pakistani section of the croud, comments which were directed to Paul Harris (a white) and Makhaya Ntini ( a black).

    I personally believe that anybody who uses racist terminology in such a fashion are animals themselves, whichever country they hail from and the ICC should be applauding Gibbs for standing up to such bigotry.

    I think Gibbs' conduct does A LOT for the image of our rainbow nation, in saying that we won't tolerate bigotry from anyone be they Pakistanis, Australians or whoever.

    Also, perhaps it is a bit rich for a Pakistani to be commenting on what this scandal has done for our image given the vast amount of scandals that Pakistan has been involved in recently.

    Peace!!!!

  • Rajagopalan on January 17, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    Dear Mr Kamran: Your write-up is commendable. One would have observed the provocative remarks of Andre Nel even, during the last tour of India to SA. Many of such acts go unnoticed. It is high time the ICC took this very seriously, and reprimands Nel too, like Herschelle Gibbs or Shoaib Akhtar. From time immemorial, cricket is viewed as gentleman's game. Let the spirit of the game be uppermost than a victory or a loss itself!!!

  • usman on January 17, 2007, 4:17 GMT

    if you guys could just observe that what smith said about this in his interview is far worse than what gibbs said.

  • David Furrows on January 17, 2007, 4:14 GMT

    I take exception to the whole process really.

    Of course Gibbs shouldn't have said what he did, but banning a non-white player for two matches for "racism" towards hooligans in the crowd seems absurd and makes me very uncomfortable. I agree with almost all of his comments really.

    But most of all, I'm worried about those delicate little petals, the poor Pakistan team. Imran Khan famously said that he didn't mind being called a "Paki bast$rd", that it motivated him more and that anyway, he was a Pakistani and he knew he wasn't a bastard.

    Imran or Miandad would have been motivated to the max by the antics of the South African players. So would Waqar Younis, although Wasim was more a lover than a fighter in many ways.

    Unfortunately, the present players seem to lack that warrior spirit which is why I so strongly yearn for the return of the belligerent Shahid Afridi.

    Bugger the spirit of the game. This Pakistan team needs to get down in the dirt and scrap for their lives.

  • Keith Pan on January 17, 2007, 3:39 GMT

    Why is a similar punishment not meted out to sledgers Shahid Afridi and other Pakistani players.

    I have seen pakistani supporters in England. ANIMALS is an understatement, the behavior is equivalent to criminals.

    I sympathize with Gibbs as he was mentioning the crowd which in case of Pakistani supporters is beyond human control.

    Keith

  • Neil on January 17, 2007, 3:38 GMT

    I abhor racism. People who attack others on the basis of their skin colour or beliefs have no place in the game. But can we please have some sanity. What Gibbs said to his team mates was neither sledging (that's what you aim at opposition players) nor racist. He simply referred to a group of very badly behaved spectators as "a bunch of animals". Can anyone writing to this blog really tell me that their behaviour didn't warrant such a description. The colour of their skin or the team they support is, in that context, totally irrelevant. He did not knowingly abuse anyone. I simply cannot believe that he was banned for 2 matches. The ICC, in supporting the accusation of racism, has again demonstrated how completely bereft of spine it is, and how completely at the mercy of politically correct idiots within its organisation. If they think they have achieved anything useful out of this they are seriously misguided. If I was Herschelle Gibbs, I'd sue them for slander. Lets put this in context. Say an Australian team goes to Pakistan. A small band of their supporters gets rowdy and abuses the Pakistani players near the boundary and dongs one of them on the head with an Australian flag. One of the pakistan players in the centre of the ground comments to his team mates in his native tongue that they are behaving like a "bunch of bloody animals". Do you think that he'd get hauled before the match referee on a charge of making "racist comments". I think not. Can those in and around the ICC please "get a life". Oh, and I forgot. For once and for all get rid of that stupid stump mike. All it does is feed the hysterical among us.

  • karl on January 17, 2007, 3:37 GMT

    I think Gibb's comments were well made. The spectators did belong inside a cage. A sound proofed one.

  • ali on January 17, 2007, 3:32 GMT

    To Michael: Your 7th point about justifying Hair is plain wrong. We all know Hair cheated, he guessed that Pak tempered the ball without any proof. Here's one word for him: Moron if you think the ball is tempered, get a second opinion - (aka from Mike Proctor, who was the match refree who also happened to be a great cricketer). This was the reason Pak left the field rightfully.

    You talk about Pak and India being crying wolf, yet I remember on every sub-continent tour its the so called fore-fathers of the game (Aus, Eng etc.) who are always crying about the umpiring.

    And to all those Indian fans, who have contributed their filth on this blog by accusing Pakistani crowd to be animals. It only shows your evil intentions towards Pakistan. Don't forget the countless India Pak matches played in India w/o any spectators (after they were kicked out for disrupting the play). I remember they also ran to the field and disrupted the play, once they were about to loose to Pakistan. If Pak crowd is animal than Indian crowd is of worst kind.

  • zahid akram on January 17, 2007, 3:23 GMT

    Nobody is above law.If cricket is to be played in good environment then such punishment will help this cause.Gibbs shouild have been given even worse punishment as he is already a guilty person involved in match fixing case.Action should also be taken against Andre Nel irresponsible behaviour in the field.Well done Pakistan team keep it up,and you will win the next matches Insha Allah.

  • imran on January 17, 2007, 3:16 GMT

    To Mr. Kays,

    First, I have no qualms in accepting that what happened between West and East Pakistan, it was atrocious and despicable and as a Pakistani I am ashamed of this past. However, unlike you I am not going to defend such a grievous event and will make sure that generations to come remember this dark history so its NEVER repeated again.

    Second, lets not even point Pakistan and Bangladesh as an example of what was 50 odd years of blatant racism based on the color of ones’ skin in your country. Yes, South Africa was an apartheid nation and everyone especially South African's should NEVER forget that. Forgetting it would also be an insult to those who lived (if you call that living) under that suppression. A good example is the Jewish community who will never let Germany and the world forget about Holocaust and I totally agree with that attitude.

    Finally, for all those who dont consider Gibbs' comments as racist lets take a quick look. Calling some fans as animals is not racism, I agree. Cursing at them is poor form but not racism either, I am still with you here. However, alluding to Pakistan as a Zoo and asking them to go back to f***ng Pakistan, if you dont think that's racist then you are a racist and I suggest some self evaluation. Maybe you can find some online self help website. I am sure Daniel Malan didnt think what he institutionalized was racism either! Give me a freaking break!

  • Kovac on January 17, 2007, 3:15 GMT

    As an Aussie, if the below happened...

    "F***ing bunch of f***ing animals. F***ing go back to the zoo, it's not f***ing Australia this."

    ... then most Aussies would be embarrassed at the crowd behaviour and I can assure you there would have been no banning of Gibbs.

    And we would not have considered it racist. There have been far worse racial slurs of Australians on this blog. Some of you should hang your heads in shame. Don't point the finger at others when you are doing the same thing yourselves.

    And as far as Nel's antics go... we just laughed at him and belted him out of the park. Same as we do with Aktar.

  • SATISH on January 17, 2007, 3:08 GMT

    I liked SA team before and i loved to see winning the matches.the SA team complaints about racism and they are the one who are starting it.i personally think gibbs should be banned for more games.gibbs is professional cricketer and he should not behave like this , i am not a pakistani supporter but i strongly disagree it

  • tic on January 17, 2007, 3:06 GMT

    Is anybody else sick of Graeme Smith's hypocracy? He accuses Australian supporters of being racists, yet attempts to justify Gibbs on the basis that the Pakistani supporters were giving his players some stick. Gibbs' comments were clearly racist as they inferred that the Pakistani's were a lower form of life who belonged in a zoo - the vitriole was claer. Message to Graeme Smith, stop throwing stones from your glass house!

  • DAVDEN on January 17, 2007, 3:04 GMT

    To ASH:

    You cant be serious about your comment :"the great West Indies teams of the 70's and 80's could win without foul language and ridiculous intimidatory tactics."

    Im sure you'll find that they used language to thier advantage. Did the islands of the WI escape the spread of foul language?

  • Face Reality on January 17, 2007, 2:51 GMT

    Hmm.. how come none of u south african,australian and english supports never say anything about nel's behaviour or dismiss it as a joke.. come on.. respond to that n a pathetic a** named graeme smith... aussiez will rip ur a** South Africa.. dont cry then.. n jus come to india nex time n u'll get it from the crowd.. dont cry then again u pathetic excuse for sportsmen..

  • kamran on January 17, 2007, 2:49 GMT

    Will Sami be a mere spectator or has he gone for some take under the wing training with Inzimam. You talk about racism, Kamran, but fail to see the racism within Pakistan team. Lets clean our house first and then we would have all the time to reflect how is racism effects other country. I think its really hypocritcal of us to blame others for our own short commings.. Please play Sami, he's a great bowler and give the lefty a chance..

  • Hasnain Akhtar, Canada on January 17, 2007, 2:49 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar should be played from now on to the World Cup to get into the real game mode. I was quite impressed by Mr. Abbasi's resume on the top.

  • Nath on January 17, 2007, 2:37 GMT

    How can one even begin to take many of these posts seriously when they complain of racism, but then use blatantly racist language and stereotypes against the 'whitie' nations? To people such as JAVED A. KHAN, do not denegrate people of other races if you are complaining about racism!

    If you think 'I hate Australians because they are racists', are you not a racist yourself?

    Racism is abhorrent and cannot be condoned, but far too many people from the Asian region take everything to be racism. Every time they do not get their way, they attribute it to racism instead of accepting that some times people will make decisions against them based on many reasons other than race.

    For example, I do not like Muralithuran. Sri Lankan supporters will instantly say that makes me a racist. However, I think guys like Curtley Ambrose, Joel Garner etc are some of the best fast bowlers I have ever seen, and I have great respect for Chaminda Vaas, and of course people like Tendulkar, Dravid and all truly great players, regardless of the colour of their skin or country of origin. My dislike of Murali is because of his action and has nothing to do with the colour of his skin, but most Sri Lankans don't care about that, in their minds 'dislike of Murali = racism'. It is a chip on the shoulder that I find extremely tiresome and an attitude that I have difficulty accepting.

    It robs these people of responsibility. When things don't go their way, they don't have to take responsibility or accept they may have contributed to a situation, they can just sit back and say it's all because of the racists and a conspiracy against them, without ever having to face reality.

    Just look at the comments by Farrukh ... he's saying that anyone who posted that Warne was a better bowler than Qadir is racist! Well, by those standards, anyone defeding Qadir must also be racist! How ridiculous.

    Thank goodness for posts such as Michael at January 17, 2007 12:27 AM, it's nice to know there are some people out there with a balanced point of view.

  • ronnie on January 17, 2007, 2:32 GMT

    i think cricket is getting like other american sports. what is left is a huge fight amonmg the players just as baseball. Cricket is a game of gentlemen and is a game of respect. there needs to be worst punishments of racist slurs, drugs abuse and many other things that have been going wrong wit the game of cricket.

  • Majid on January 17, 2007, 2:30 GMT

    What a complete overreaction yes South Africa and Australia are the perveryors of all things evil. The ACB does not penalize aussies hang on didn't Shane Warne get 12 months for taking a banned substance. Of course the Pakistan board would have done the same sorry, I forgot 2 players tested positive to drugs and both got suspended or did they. Darren Lehman uses the expression black " " and gets suspended Latif uses the same expression with white and gets let off.

    Before you start complaining about the aussies and Sth Africans have a look in your backyard. Just because you swear and are a racist in another language does not make you any less culpable. All countries are to blame and until they are all prepared to be consistent these incidents will occur.

  • Hanvinght on January 17, 2007, 2:13 GMT

    I have watched alot of cricket, from all around the world. I have also seen alot of things that were not right. Mr. Waugh catching Lara after the ball had touched the ground while rolling. Ricky Ponting verbally abusing an umpire. Andre Nel with his antics, Brian Lara confronting Australian players, Chris Gayle going after Michael Clarke and the others that i can't remember right now. But let us pause for a moment to consider the decadent state that cricket is in. When did the gentleman's game allow swearing and the use of expletives? Isn't there a clause of intimidatory behaviour by players?and who is actually responsible to keep the gate from the barbarians without? The biggest sledgers in the history of the game are not the current Australians but the West Indians of the 70's and 80'. They played mental cricket because just from their demeanor you knew you were going to be blodgened with bat and ball by Roberts, Marshall, Holding, Richards, Haynes, Lloyd and the rest. This constant chit chattering that has now become part and parcel of the gentleman's game is indicative of the fact that your arsenal is not adequate to do the job at hand. It is more distracting than anything else. Cricket is played with bat and ball, but is the mouth gets involved then I think that it must be because the ball or the bat must have hit it. Anyway, I don't see what everyone is making such an international incident over the whole thing for. Gibbs should not have mentioned Pakistani and I bet it would have been alright. Furthermore, turn up the stump microphones and get a few translators in there and I bet that your ears would ring with embarassment. It is either you shut up and play the game or give it as good as you get. Remember the golden rule Do to them and as you want them to do to you.

  • D Hoole on January 17, 2007, 2:12 GMT

    I understand, while regrettable, that Gibb's reacted in the manner that he did due to unacceptable taunts and insults by spectators. He, therefore, does not deserve to be banned as his remarks were not racial. How could they be when he himself is a black man. Graeme Smith you warned Monty Panesar to expect abuse from the Australian public, instead they have warmed to his enthusiasm and attitude in general, which has made him a crowd favourite. This proves that the taunts directed at your players last year by ex South Africans, was in part borne out by their frustration at your racist quota system. As a South African I fail to understand why the ICC continues to tolerate this stupid racist quota system. The only criterion should be selection on the basis of merit. You will continue to suffer abuse from crowds around the world, while you continue to adopt this racist policy. You are making a serious mistake by employing a policy of affirmative action, as it rewards mediocrity and not excellence.

  • Vinay Gangaputhran on January 17, 2007, 2:06 GMT

    This surely is not racism because if the word "animal" is associated with racism, i am sure 80% of school teachers, School principals, fathers, mothers, basically any rule keepers where there are small children involved would be the biggest racist offenders. What Gibbs did would best be described as "rude" or even churlish but Racism is too big a word. C'mon give the guy a break, he was taunted repeatedly by the crowd and he is only human. ICC and the match refree should be looking to fine people like Nel , boucher who surely donot open their mouths as a part of morning exercises. To add the racial card to this makes a mockery and Gibbs certainly did not deserve sucha a harsh sentence. Mind you, i am not supportive of what Gibbs did, but i agree entirely with the fact that the words spoken on the field should be between the players only, the stump microphone has no business picking it up and relaying it to the entire world. In doing that we are crossing the sanctity between player and spectator. Mr Abbasi...Frankly have found your posts of late singularly lacking in cricketing substance and of the provocational kind fit to be in B grade tabloid magazines and not in a site of cricinfo's stature... For eg...your post on Abdul Quadir to be greater than Shane Warne...was as absurd as it gets anywhere, anytime. I think your objective is to write provocativily & controversially to get people to read whatever tripe you nowadays post to increase cricinfo's viewership, dunno how successful you are in that....

  • Lesley Cerejo on January 17, 2007, 1:59 GMT

    I am a Brit that lives in Australia and I have heard racist remarks made by fans not in Perth but in Brisbane. I am a Brit as I say and I have heard racist remarks made by fans in England also and I was on holiday in Pakistan and attended a cricket match and heard racist remarks made there, so it says to me that this happens all over so please do not jump on the band wagon just because South Africa as a dodgy past.

  • dallas_cricket on January 17, 2007, 1:55 GMT

    Not a racist issue at all.

  • Valavan on January 17, 2007, 1:41 GMT

    All SA players and Aussie players should be banned for using abusive content in the field, in that case provide a translator for Asian tournaments, i dont think Asian players dont make racial abuse. Since SA or Aussies make it in english, all can understand, but 100% sure that even in India, Srilanka or Pakistan, they do abuse in their own languages. One more comment

    Pakistan Team or the PCB is not ready to analyse where they went wrong in first test but to make a public stunt about unwanted infield activities.

    Since they made a good run in their home series all through the year, they just want to find a reason to escape from the loss.

    Evidently Pakistan lost their only away series in england even though after crushing England in their Home on 2005/06.

  • Narayanan on January 17, 2007, 1:40 GMT

    This is all very interesting, and I am glad to read the comments of the South Africa supporters about how this is a "man's game" etc. Let me try the South African cricket vocabulary: "F**king Graeme f**king Smith, f**king Andre f**king Nel, f**king Herschelle f**king Gibbs, all f**king standing around the f**king stump f**king microphone making f**king noises. I can see already that the f**king South f**king African f**king team is a f**king bunch of f**king extremely f**king civilized f**king men. MANY kings, obviously. Ban them all. I mean, f**king ban f**king them f**king all.

  • KevinE, New Zealand on January 17, 2007, 1:38 GMT

    OK, just read some more of the posts and found the quote. (I should read before I speak!)

    What Gibbs apparantly said: "F***ing bunch of F***ing animals. F***ing go back to the zoo, it's not F***ing Pakistan this."

    This is demeaning someone's country and nationality. This is close enough to to racism for me. Gibbs deserves his ban, although I do have some sympathy for him in the circumstances.

  • Proud Sri Lankan on January 17, 2007, 1:22 GMT

    I have read comments from Pakistanis , Indian and non asian people. Now its the turn of a Sri Lankan.

    Racism is bad for cricket. Muralis has been targeted many times by the Australians even when Murali is not at fault. We have been called names by the white folks. The white people have always been very biased in everything in life. We Sri Lankans are with the Pakistanis just like the Indians on this issue. The English cricket nations need to be taught a lesson.

  • Siddy on January 17, 2007, 1:20 GMT

    While what Gibbs said was wrong, I think it's silly to to isolate this incident as a matter of convenience. Your insinuation that this is "tit for tat" because Graeme Smith managed to get Shoaib kicked out is not only puerile, it makes no sense. If sledging is such a sensitive issue to Pakistan, why have they not registered complaints of this magnitude when playing Australia, who are widely regarded as the kings of Sledging? Clearly, the Pakistani team is trying to wring out something positive from their defeat. Don't mistake my comments as being "anti-pakistani" in nature, but I do think this kind of mentality is ruining one of the fundamental aspects of criket.

    Oh, and another thing. The ICC found Gibbs guilty of his comment because what he said was "...any language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethic origin". Calling someone a "pack of bloody animals" doesn't really figure into a violation given those terms, unless the Pakistanis are implicitly labelling themselves as animals ;) i kid, i kid.

    Bottom line is this: What Gibbs said is wrong/stupid, even if it was meant for ears only. But Pakistan's eagerness to jump on this reflects poorly on them and shows an insistence on making the most of a (losing) situation, and it's a very poor image for the team and for the sport of cricket.

  • Mike on January 17, 2007, 1:16 GMT

    Under the ICC rules on racism if an English cricketer were to refer to an Aussie as a convict - RASCISM. Likewise if an Aussie cricketer refers to an English cricketer as a POM - RASCISM.

  • KevinE, New Zealand on January 17, 2007, 1:13 GMT

    Firstly, if all Gibbs did was call a section of the crowd "animals" when provoked, that is not racism. Maybe not acting in the spirit of the game, but not racism. However, I do believe that more was said, to which we are not privy. The fact that Smith did not defend him is quite revealing. I have always had a lot of time for Gibbs, an exceptionally talented player, often very naive (his part in the match fixing scandal), but generally good natured and modest. He over-reacted to some taunting, this does not warrant a long ban. As I say it is hard for any of us to comment as we do not know exactly what was said.

    Regarding the general behaviour of the SA team. They are merely following in the footsteps of the very successful Aussie teams of the last decade. Is it unsportsmanlike? - probably, is Andre Nel over the top? - definitely. Are they cheating? - no they are acting within the laws of the game as administered by the umpires. Until the ICC directs its umpires to clamp down on sledging and on-field abuse, teams will continue to get away with what they can. And so should they, because it works!

  • Tony Opath on January 17, 2007, 0:58 GMT

    Folks it is not issue of whether the behavior of Gibbs was racist or not. As a professional cricketer who is paid to play international cricket he violated minimal requirements of conduct against both fans and his opposing team by the statements he made. Whether those statements were intended to be public or private is moot. The fact that a professional player is playing in front of the public in an international, professional match his behavior must adhere to consistent set of standards of behavior.

    I am afraid these incidences would undermine the evolution of cricket into professional sports if ICC would not consistently apply the rules of behavior. It is not relevant what the behavior of the crowd was and what their affiliation was. As a professional cricket player, Gibbs failed the basic tenets of any professional sport: do not be hostile, aggressive, or insulting to the fans. In some other professional sports the penalty would have been even heavier since the whole sport diminishes in the eyes of the audiences and not to mention the financial sponsors of the game.

    In this case ICC action was correct in penalizing Gibbs for 2 games. ICC action could have been even heavier since these incidences should not be repeated by any team. Compared to other professional sports, Gibbs could have been penalized for at least 2 months, plus a percentage of his salary and match fees.

    As a professional sports player, cricketers are paid a lot of money to adhere to minimal requirements of respect for the audience who pay to see them and also to the opposing team. SA cricket board also collects a lot of money from the revenues the cricket board shares from various international cricket events. SA cricket board should view this as a red flag for possibly even heavier penalty next time and in the future train their players and coach for better conduct on and off the field.

  • zillur on January 17, 2007, 0:57 GMT

    Umpires and Referees should not be biased and dumb in any international cricket played anywhere in the world. They are the persons to be blamed 100% for maintaining the decency of the game. Few examplary punishment to cricketers making any offense, no matter whether it is Lara,Ponting,Shane warne, N tini, Gibbs or anybody geoperdizing the ethics of the game must be handled very strongly. If they cannot, they should resign from their posts. Umpires and Match referees only watching the game should be punished equally. It is their duty not only to watch the game. Their duties are also to hear the dirty language they are uttering. If we want to stop this nuisense it is high time for ICC to punish not only the players but also the umpires and referees who had been ignoring one part of the whole picture. Let ICC try to renew this game as a GENTLEMAN' GAME.

  • cric boy on January 17, 2007, 0:53 GMT

    i compelted disagree with micheal seems like this guy doesnt watch cricket. on darrel hair why do all of his descions go against the pak,ind,sri and bang teams. maybe cause they are not white men.then on aleem dar he is rated no.2 in the world and all the matches i have watched him umpire i have always seen good decsions, i think he always umpires in the ashes. i think if you wanna talk about crying then you should look at your country cause whenever a player like murli or shoaib go to australia, you guys have a problem and want to report them. i think thats why murli once refused to go there.

  • Derrick on January 17, 2007, 0:43 GMT

    My lord, arn't the cricketing public a woefull lot! Mr. Gibbs isn't the smartest cookie in the box is he (I do hope no-one misconstrues my comment as rascist!) He said what we were all thinking, the crowd (Pakistani or Sth Arican, who could tell), were acting like a bunch of (caged) animals- probibly fueled by SA's finest lager, Lion!. How ever stupid he was, he did not in any way infer racial bias of degrade a Pakistani fan or group or player. He summed up the behaviour of the crowd in a suitable and succint manner. They WERE animals! I'm a Kiwi watching woeful skills over here and am so impressed by the quality of the S vs Pak match - pity tere are such over sensitive, pea-hearted, lefty losers spending too much time creaitng storms in tea-cups instead of focussing on te fact Sth Africa out-played a lack-lustre Pakistani team. Down with the 'bloody Aussies' and lets see NZ send the "Winging Poms" packing back to the Mothe rocuntry! DP

  • Humayun, CANADA on January 17, 2007, 0:27 GMT

    Let's not lose the spirit of the game. I say we ban any kind of sledging or racial comments on the field and off the field. Having a microphone at the stumps is a great idea to keep a control over this kind of behavior from the players. I do not agree with SA coach comments that the comment was meant only for the players on the field, if the coach has no respect for the players of the other team than he needs to be disciplined.

  • Michael on January 17, 2007, 0:27 GMT

    10 points of general clarification: 1) Almost all racist comments when SAF were in Aus was from ex-pat South Africans 2) The ICC banned Hair from matches involving FULL-MEMBER international sides. The Kenya tournament involves affiliates, there is no "bias". 3) As for "bias", let's not forget that the computer analysis of all decisions made by umpires for 2005-2006 by the ICC showed Hair to be the best umpire in terms of accuracy (by some distance). 4) Taufel (Aus) has consistently been voted the best umpire in the world by all players including the subcontinent. 5) Before people suggest the umpires are pro-white countries, don't forget they are human - Asad Rauf and Aleem Dar (Pak) have had very very ordinary series in recent times yet I don't think it's bias. 6) Gibbs deserves the ban because the game can't afford to justify comments which are publicised and set a poor standard for junior and senior cricketers alike. 7) I agree umpires are inconsistent and some of the Australians past behaviour has been inexcusable (I'm an Australian supporter). Yet all umpires inconsistently apply the rules - except when Hair required Pakistan to return to the field (as in the rules of the game), he was punished for it - go figure! 8) india and pakistan have managed to accumulate very amusing reputations for crying wolf at every opportunity - bias, racism, etc - yet are the most guilty exponents of "reverse-racism" - 9) Daaniyal Masum is a case in point calling Rob from Aus "Rob the retard" and the alleging SAF ruined cricket due to match-fixing - it wouldn't have happened if subcontinental bookies didn't think of it first! 10) I am an Indian living in Australia so withdraw any "typical white Australian supporter retorts" - try and respond logically, and preferably coherently!!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 17, 2007, 0:21 GMT

    This one is for CRAIG January 16, 2007 9:24 PM

    Craig, you not only think but say that, "Sri Lankans appeal aggressively and repeatedly? And if the umpire gives not out then there is no need to show your frustration ...this goes to any cricketer.....including Andre Nel..."

    Look who is talking? The KING of aggressive and repeated appealing who mastered the art of intimidating the umpires has just retired. Yes, I am talking about the Same Warne. And what about Ricky Ponting? He even has the guts and the cheekiness to go to the umpire and says; "You are a disgrace to umpiring". Craig, in which world are you? Do you only see in black and white? And see that Black is Hell and White is Paradise? Get real man.

    And that bloke Andre Nel is worst than any Australian bowler of the past when it comes to sledging. He can only be compared to Shane Watson, but thank goodness that moron is not playing these days.

    BUT, Gibbs deserved a BAN for that foul lingo unless you come from a world which is so full of uncouth, uncivilized and morons and F***OFF means nothing to you!

  • KhanPk on January 17, 2007, 0:13 GMT

    I have read about the topic a lot and at the end i would say something to Gibbs: You were one of my 5 favourite batsmen irrespective of where you from. But you have lost one of your fan and a lot like me. I think its more than a two test match ban. There is a quote,"The winds blow strongest against those who stands high". I think even if someone do say something bad to you, you have to absorb it for the rest of the world who respect you for your game not for being south african or white or whatever. When you are such a star, people think of you as an ideal etc and when a person like me hear a thing like that, you have em lost. These are some comments not as a pakistani but as one of your ex-fan.

  • V Raja on January 17, 2007, 0:12 GMT

    The stump microphones should be live all the time. This will prevent the sleding by the players and give the victory more respectable.The ICC should look into this if they want to be just and improve the conduct of players on the field.

  • Sandesh Rai on January 17, 2007, 0:01 GMT

    South African cricketers are not exactly known for their good behaviour. Grown up men should stop acting like kids. Playing a hard game of cricket is not a good excuse. You can play your game hard by playing a tough game of cricket. Not by verbal and physical intimidation.

    Pakistani cricket supporters in any part of the world, are one of the worst behaved spectators. But using such language is certainly not acceptable from cricketer of a national team. South Africa better work on cricketers like Andrew Nel working on their behaviour.

  • usman razaq on January 16, 2007, 23:54 GMT

    I totaly agree. What Gibbs actually said was edited and that is why an issue has been made about this. What he said was heard obviously by anybody watching the broadcast live and by match referees. However I am not really bothered whether Gibbs is punished for his mistakes, because just keep in mind my brothers, big Akhtar is back on Friday along with Mo Yousuf and Gul. They, unlike Nel and players like him do the talking with bat and ball. Mohamad Yousuf is going to play these S.A bowlers in his sleep. I am looking forward to seeing whether Nel mouths off when hes smashed to all parts. I would have prefferd to watch Gibbs bat in the next game against Gul and Shoaib to see him get a few knocks on the head. This S.A team just needs to be bought back down to earth. They beat India and are in the 7th heaven. Unfortunately, and it has been the case with Pak cricket, they never have a full strength team, the story will change on Friday. Just remember back to the last test series in Pakistan, where Shoaib demolished the S.A line up on flat decks.

  • Bryan on January 16, 2007, 23:54 GMT

    I feel the pakistani team is in general a team of huge whiners with gross double standards. What gibbs said was in no way racial, even calling them F****** Pakistanis may be coarse but is merely refering to the nationality, is it racist to call somone a South African or Australian even if the f word was used? This is the same Pakistan team that refused to take the field against eng, no matter how badly the umpires handled it the fact is that Pakistan were wrong in the 1st place and I feel deserved to forfeit the match. Not to mention the whole doping scandal. And some comments to say that south africa is a racist team, south africa has probably the most racially diverse team in world cricket at the moment, any person in the team would not be able to survive if they were a racist. I think pakistan and their supporters need to just get over themselves!!

  • bemused on January 16, 2007, 23:51 GMT

    rascism is abhorrent. but every time I check the Pakistan cric zone, it seems obsessed with rascism, bitterness etc. it also deflects attention from a big loss at cricket which is convienient.

  • fjkidwai on January 16, 2007, 23:46 GMT

    Two wrongs don't make it right! Though the peculiar behavior of Pakistani fans was most animal like, and they duly justified their status of a defeated nation; I do not think that Gibbs should be punished for stating a fact, further it may likewise be a culture thing with the South Africans to use such a low and racist language, or may be that is part of their up bringing. Pakistani fans are known to be most unsportsman like all over the world and I am surprised instead of hanging their head in shame they are barking foul one some one who has stated a fact.

  • John T on January 16, 2007, 23:42 GMT

    Sledging is fine, but there is a line you don't cross, that line is there for a reason, anyone that watches the behaviour of premiership footballers on a weekly basis knows that reason. I seriously think sometimes Asian teams over-react but on this occasion I cannot possibly see any justification for what Gibbs said and I seriously fail to see the logic that Gibb's advocates are uttering (probably because there is none).

    And I also find it highly amusing that a few Indian cricket fans are trying to justify the behaviour of Gibbs, I mean come on guys, if the shoe was on the other foot and the comments were directed at one of your players you guys would have reacted in exactly the same way (perhaps even worse).

  • Ozkaapie on January 16, 2007, 23:40 GMT

    Further to my previous post. Since it appears that there is a second, possibly 'anglo South African' voice, one has to ask whether Gibbs is again the 'fallguy'. In the matchfixing episode, he was asked by Cronje to participate, said he would, then promptly 'forgot' what he had to do, scoring 75 instead of giving his wicket away under 20. He can only be accused of not being the 'sharpest knife in the drawer'.

  • Ahsan on January 16, 2007, 23:40 GMT

    im completely NOT surprised at gibbs comments..purely because Pakistan fans are one of the worst when it comes to winding up the fans and causing a nuisance. Even then gibbs is not in the right to retaliate...he should have waited for a private moment to make his feelings known.

  • Sach on January 16, 2007, 23:40 GMT

    This is bloody ridiculous. Which part of Gibbs comments could be interpreted as "Racist". Yes he went over the top but there have been worst things said on a cricket field. The word "Animal" does not constitute "racism". It was offensive but the ICC as usual are pandering to political correctness while maintaining double standards which favour sub-continent nations. If Gibbs had made similar comments to an English or Australian cricket team, well there would not even be an issue. Why the double standards? Yes the Pakistani and Indian supporters are a passinate lot...but they have to remember that to earn respect they have to give respect, and they are renowned for stoning the houses and burning efigies of thier own players when things don't go according to plan.

  • andy on January 16, 2007, 23:38 GMT

    gibbs warrants a ban. but we must be careful, racial baiting of players by the crowd with the hope of seeing them react etc must be stamped out. rascism at any level is bigoted and ignorant. focus on the cricket!

  • DesiMD on January 16, 2007, 23:23 GMT

    Of course, it was Gibbs fault and no other player in this match can be blamed. But Pakistani supporters that were swearing or doing whatever, was also quite wrong - they were making their country look bad. But players have no right to say things like that - mainly because they are ambassadors of their country and they need to find ways to create peace.

  • Ozkaapie on January 16, 2007, 23:21 GMT

    OK, lets get this clear to those self appointed experts in SA accents- Wasiq,Irfan, Jake, Waqqas et al. I am a former Cape Townian as my nick implies, and still have my flat Cape Flats accent (proud of it). Listen to the audio links provided. The first two phrases are indeed Gibbs. The "F*****ng Pakistanis" IS NOT. It is from someone else close to the stumps. Without mentioning background or names, by process of elimination it is one of possibly three which includes Boucher, Smith, maybe Hall if he was on pitch.

    So stop saying Gibbs referred to Pakistanis, or anyone for that matter saying "Pakis".

    Riad said "Will somebody please explain to me how one can construe that, Herschelle Gibbs, who himself is categorized as a 'coloured' player in South Africa, is of a 'racist' mindset".

    I can assure you, as someone from that background, I am ashamed that some called coloured South Africans are amongst the racist of all because of where apartheid slotted them into the system.

  • From the Horse's Mouth on January 16, 2007, 23:15 GMT

    I have seen a few posts here claiming Gibbs calling Bloody Animals and couldn't see any problem with that..but why are they so conveniently ignoring other parts of his slur..." Go back to the Zoo F***** Pakistani's" Is that not racial slur?

  • Gautam on January 16, 2007, 23:10 GMT

    I heard what Gibbs said: There was definitely an inference to "Pakistanis", "Animals", "Go Back Home". If he had just called them a bunch of animals, it falls in the category of most sledges exchanged between players. In which case, hes just unlucky that the stump mic picked it up.

    But to me the fact that he brought in the word "pakistan" whether he meant it, or not immediately warrants attention. Banning players for 2 matches is not going to solve anything, I feel the punishment (or program) as comical as it may sound must be something along the lines of spending 1 week with the Pakistani players learning to assimilate with their culture and realise that the core in all human beings is more or less the same although outward appearances maybe different.

    Members of the crowd who taunt players, should be ejected. The players are paid to entertain us not handle personal abuse. It happens a fair bit here in Australia, teams that come here find it hard but the local players have a laugh because they know its just some silly drunks. But in the international arena local cricket boards have to be more sensitive.

  • Manmeet on January 16, 2007, 23:08 GMT

    Just a thought?.International cricket is not for those of a weak constitution? What kind of constitution does Pak cricket board has --Ban the players one day and take them back second day. Then Basit ali - calling Sreesant 'cowboy' in his article in cricino.

  • Brian on January 16, 2007, 23:04 GMT

    What nonsense. Every decent person abhors racism. Every decent person abhors bad behaviour by so called sports fans. How referring to those people who behave appallingly as animals is racist is beyond me. If I see my fellow countrymen behaving in an antisocial way and I refer to them as animals is it racist? Of course not. Gibbs comments were not racist they were an insult to animals.

  • Abdul Rahim on January 16, 2007, 23:01 GMT

    people are so petty and im picking up on somany double standards in all these posts that it is not funny. Dont take frustrations over losing out on Gibbs please! Punishment is abaolutely ridiculous.

  • sumz on January 16, 2007, 22:55 GMT

    funny how shoaib can get banned for swearing yet all this sledging from mr.nel and we dont see any bans for him, is it only when racism comes into the picture that the south africans get banned?

  • Khalid Husain on January 16, 2007, 22:53 GMT

    I dont think Gibbs should have beeen banned from playing, that only takes away from the game. A fine would have been a more appropriate for the misdemeanor. And, finally, spectators who can not behave should certainly be escorted out by stadium staff.

  • Abir, Florida, USA on January 16, 2007, 22:51 GMT

    Gibbs said "bloody animals" and as it happened while SA was playing against a non-white country, it ws promptly dubbed as racist and off he goes. I wonder, if Gibbs would have got the same punishement had he uttered the words at MCG against the Ausies, or if Shoaib had said the same in Mumbai against India. The context here makes this entire episode laughable and Gibbs a convenient lamb for slaughter. All of this, my personal opinion is a facade by ICC, to digress attention from the fact that this is a controversial series, which has 2 players playing with drugs tainted history, who in any other international sport would have been sitting on the sidelines. That was done with the tacit backing of ICC by the PCB.

  • Harinika on January 16, 2007, 22:48 GMT

    Andre Nel is a animal, i guess Gibbs was pointing towards players like Nel,Kallis and Smith whose behavior is like aminals.May be we misunderstood Gibbs!!!!!!!Come on Gibbs, PLEASE CLARIFY

  • Moe on January 16, 2007, 22:32 GMT

    I think the ban is undeserved. If spectators are hurling objects and abusing players than they are behaving like uncivilized people. What is wrong in associating them with animals ?

  • sabika on January 16, 2007, 22:29 GMT

    it really depends on whether someone actually swore at them and if the flag hitting thing wa not just an accident

  • Voice of Reason on January 16, 2007, 22:26 GMT

    The whole thing is bloody ridiculous. Gibbs had every right to call the crowd a bunch of animals because the crowd was behaving like a bunch of animals.

    He didn't issue a public statement saying so -- he was just conversing within his team. Perfectly fair.

    And don't even get me started on the racism angle.

  • Harry Peterson on January 16, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    Well I am a South African and I saw the game live.

    I truly beleive that SA deserves punishment. SA, when bowling, from A Nel to G Smith to P Harris, were persistently abusive and they went way beyond sledging. You guys just see the recorded highlights and you'll see this for yourself. When SA themselves complain of such treatment in Australia, they should set an example in their home country.

    The spectators should behave and there should be strict laws to kick them out of the ground, unfortunmately thats the best that could be done for rude spectator. But under no circumstances players should set bad examples - their behaviour should be from high morals. That is why they are in fields and spectators outside the fence.

  • mallikarjuna on January 16, 2007, 22:16 GMT

    Am not sure from which country Mr Murray is.. he had posted as Posted by: Murray at January 16, 2007 7:50 AM

    ..... and I suppose Pakistan playing with drug tainted players is OK?

    Well Murray, Gibbs has another dubious distinction of involvement in Match Fixing. I hope this should satisfy you the argument of why Gibbs was playing in the first place.

  • Sobank on January 16, 2007, 22:12 GMT

    This is a strict punishment which I somewhat support but it just makes me think that ICC have their priorities outrageously wrong. Think about it. Use drugs and get 2 years of ban. Be a racist and 2 matches. Shouldn't it be other way around?

    For me this kind of punishment is simply saying that commit a crime against "sport" is far more serious than a crime against nation.

    Having said that I would say that ICC have totally ignored the real criminal here and that is Nel. I could easily see him swearing on the players.

  • ANURUDDA on January 16, 2007, 22:10 GMT

    My response to MURRAY is ..... and I suppose SOUTH AFRICA playing with players tainted of fixing matches is OK?

    Care to respond Murray ? You are lucky Boje retired and the only FIXER left is Gibbs

  • Bruce on January 16, 2007, 22:01 GMT

    To Mr King. You think Gibbs deserves what he got and in the same sentence you call Andre Nel a Bulldog which is of course an animal. Are you a racist ???

  • Retrospection on January 16, 2007, 21:59 GMT

    I find the punishment harsh. What was displayed has to be seen as a natural reaction to spectators whose behaviour is close to what the aptly depicted as. The spectators should be the ones punished not the player for agitating and infuriating the players

  • Burger on January 16, 2007, 21:59 GMT

    So a reporter from Pakistan writes a blog stating that the SA team are racists. That is the biggest load of b*llocks ever! If there is one team that will steer clear of racism, its the South Africans. Its such a load of nonsense that whenever something is said referring to an Indian, Pakistani or black person, it is deemed as racist behaviour. What in the world is wrong with saying people were "acting like animals"? If he had said that about a part of the SA supporters, would there have been such an outcry?

    People all over the world have been sucked in by the governments, NGO's and press into amazing "politically correct idiots" that it doesnt matter what anyone says anymore, you get pilloried for it.

    Grow up.

  • Anwar on January 16, 2007, 21:58 GMT

    Cricket players are under the code of conduct not the crowd, if Gibbs wants those comments to be private he should not have used them on the field. Cricket is played for the crowd not for private so everything on field is for everyone. If he cannot take the comments from crowd he should not be playing the cricket, GOLF maybe no that is another getlemen's game.

  • Bruce on January 16, 2007, 21:57 GMT

    I think a few of the people who have accused the team of being racist don't have a clue. Maybe you should go and live in South Africa for awhile before you start making comments. And do they realise Gibbs is of mixed race ? People who think South Africans judge people on skin colour are sorely mistaken. And another thing, Just because a minority yes thats correct minority of afrikaans people at one time condoned racism and enforced apartheid does not make all afrikaans people racist. In fact alot of afrikaans people are not and were just as eager to end apartheid as the rest of South Africa. South Africa is a great country and we have a great team. I think alot of people are just upset because pakistan lost the test so they go on to make accusations about the opposing team. Come on people use your common sense. Do you think FIFA would host a soccer world cup in a country full of Racists ??? So easy to label people alot harder to try and understand the situation.

  • frednork on January 16, 2007, 21:54 GMT

    I also note that its not OK for Gibbs to make the comments, but its perfectly fine to quote him ad naseum, even to put the quote up in lights on the cricinfo "quote...unquote" page. Reporting on what is unacceptable has a fine line, if it becomes sensationalised, then it could be seen that the line has been crossed from reporting the comments to making and perpetuating the comments. Or, perhaps the safe way to sledge is to say, "you know, i heard (insert name here) say that the (insert oppositions name here) is a (insert racial slur here)" - but your honour, I was only reporting what someone said... the community that the sport is being played in is as responsible for the perpeutation of racism as the players, and that includes the reporting community. Creating a storm is a good thing as it brings to attention what is unacceptable, but at the same time it can easily create a strong element of support for the perpetrator who has been vilified out of proportion to their initial crime. Where is the balance?

  • Asif Sheikh on January 16, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    Hi there: Is world dividing into east and west...? Did Islamphobia or Infidelism play a part here? Racism in cricket started appearing more prominently recently, I remember; let’s say 15-20 years back, one incident like Lillie/Miandad made the headline, a blue moon incident. But now its every second day. I believe it has something to do with Current world crisis. Peace…

  • Willie Kruger on January 16, 2007, 21:49 GMT

    It seems non South Africans does not know this A non white South African can not be a racist. To be serious, I agre with Rubin Naidu. Sport in general is out of hand.

    To ban players using the F word, sport will disappear. Gibbs is no racist, he was crude and so is most players when things go wrong.

    The sad thing is the crowd that behaved badly was South African. Fanie de Villiers, Pat Symcocks and Brian McMillan where accused by Pakistani supporters. Either South Africans are racists or Pakistani's are over sensitive.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 16, 2007, 21:48 GMT

    EVERYONE please, read here what Gibbs said. And please don't assume that for saying "bunch of F***ing animals" he got a ban. He said:

    "F***ing bunch of F***ing animals. F***ing go back to the zoo, it's not F***ing Pakistan this."

    Those who have NOT heard it, please go and hear it. There is a limit to sledging, BUT this is profanity. Whether it was directed to the players or the crowd the bottom line is he directed his F***ing remarks towards Pakistan, period.

    He deserved a ban. Normally, ICC's policy on racial slurr is 3-5 test match ban, they have been lenient in punishing him. And Gramme Smith is a BIG idiot to support Gibbs.

    For someone who said here, Gibbs did not say anything in India as the crowd did not say anything to him. My dear whoever you are, please remember Gibbs was scared to death when he was in India. First he had to go to the Police HQ in Delhi to get his charges on match fixing waived and then he came to Bombay to play. He was in a shock and was acting like a bheegi billi. "wet-cat." and in his own Gully (street) he was barking ......... pretending to be a Lion.!

    This ban should be a hint for Andre Nel and he should zip up his BIG mouth before someone put a glove in his mouth.

  • Usman on January 16, 2007, 21:37 GMT

    Sad day for the sport that was once used to be called the "The gentlemen's game". Shame on you Gibbs!!!

  • Mawali on January 16, 2007, 21:33 GMT

    Kamran sahib, I am not sure if I totally agree with you point of view. But, having read some of the (S. African)posts here I am convinced we have a case of the "kettle calling the pot black". The fact of the matter is like it or not, racism is part and parcel of life on earth. What we expect under the psuedo banner of "civility" is to exercise controlled racism. I haven't the faintest idea what this dude said to the crowd, or what the crowd said to him. The fact of the matter is; as a professional athelete he should be prepared at all times to handle crowd abuse. Here in the US we have had several instances where the crowd provoked a baseball player(just to pick on baseball) and the player is the one who ended up getting the short end of the stick. This Gibbs fella ought to know better, and shut his fricken mouth before he gets out of hand and ends up making some spectator a millionaire from a law suit. Now, I agree with Jester(poster)that its time to move on. Please understand that sledging is part and parcel of the game. It is called mind control in an effort to throw the opposing players concentration. It happens in every sport and more so in Basketball (my sport of choice)Michael Jordan, was one of the best at it and guess what heights he achieved. Pakistani players should hone their skills for sledging, both take it and dish it out. You can't be a pansy and play a professional sport these days.

    Having said that my advice to the South African supporters is to shut up and acccept the facts. We all know what happens to the choir boys! AMF

  • ali on January 16, 2007, 21:29 GMT

    hi, i am a hardcore pakistani fan but i want to echo the comments of Sol Goode earlier! This 2 match ban has been put in place purely for the use of the word 'animal'. if gibbs had said 'idiots' no one would have thought twice about it. and that is specifically the issue, gibbs meant it in the same context as saying 'idiot' or 'plonkers'. Fair enough to CSA if they beleive he meant it any other way but i think a mountain has been made out of a molehill. why does pakistan (however indirectly) have to be part of more controversy!!!!Just play cricket!!!!

  • Asad Rana on January 16, 2007, 21:24 GMT

    I am realy amazed people are defending the comments as insult not racism.I believe most in support and against it never been to a stadium for any games thats how crowds are but players are never given a microphone to reply their taunts and specialy visiting team supporters.

    Another thing ICC has nothing but double standards in this game two west indian umpires were playing for South Africa and if the standard remains the same smith should not be worried about loosing Gibbs as SA should win the series easily.

  • Craig on January 16, 2007, 21:24 GMT

    To MR Javed Khan

    I am not being racist here, but you give all examples of aggressiveness from non-Asian cricketing nations.

    im sure there has been plenty of examples where there has been an asian cricket player being racist towards white players. it does work both ways. Is ther much difference with excessive over appealing by Sri Lankans for example. If the umpire gives it not out, there is no need to keep askign and to show your frustration. That goes for every cricketer Andre Nel is aggressive in his bowling, no more than lilee, thompson et al were, so why does this constitute a glove in his mouth? A agree that Gibbs said nothing specifically racist - it just can be interpretated as racist.

  • bemused on January 16, 2007, 21:22 GMT

    Wonder if Kamran would have raised this storm in a tea cup if Pak had won! Anyway, it was a smart move by you to deflect attention from Pak's pathetic defeat. How does calling somebody "animals" amount to racism is beyond my comprehension. I would say it is a disgrace to animals! The so called "abuse" directed at Pak players by SA team can't help much as most Pak players can barely understand English! It's akin to Pak players swearing at Proteas in Urdu!! If only Pak players were educated and well-versed in English, they would have been able to return fire with fire. If you hadn't forgotten, Pak players did sledge Indians(in Urdu, of course) in their recent series. Remember, those who live in glass houses.... To me, the wider problem is lack of education, drug cheating et al among Pak players!!!

  • grootes on January 16, 2007, 21:17 GMT

    Zeeshan Khan,

    As a South African I know full well about our past, however I do feel that it is far to easy for someone to play the "still stuck in Apartheid-mode" card. The fact is that yes there is still racism in South Africa, however I have personally been witness to more racism since I moved to Canada. It seems to me that people need to look for a reason to justify there own actions. If the Gibbs situation was reversed and say some South African fans were abusing a Pakistani player what would have happened? I would think that there would be an uproar about the misbehaviour of the fans and that the player had every right to retaliate after the fans are all racists.

    Calling someone or a group of people animals is not racist and Gibbs was entitled to his opinion and to say it. Gibbs was sticking for a team mate, I am pretty sure you would do the same thing if it was you. Why does it seem that Pakistani cricket, and now its supporters, are always making headlines and putting cricket into disrepute? Are they that hard done by or are they somewhat to blame. As the old adage suggests, where there is smoke there is fire.

    My advice is lets get on with the game. I was excited before this series began because Pakistan always play explosive cricket.

    Rankings also don't paint an accurate picture, they merely suggest whether you have beaten your opposition lately or not. I am pretty sure that if SA played Bangladesh and Zimbabwe a couple of times they will also be right up at the top.

    Now that there is some drama to work with this upcoming test could be a belter! cheers, and lets just enjoy the game. grootes

  • Mohammad Manzoor on January 16, 2007, 21:08 GMT

    I wish gibs wasnt for 2 tests against pakistan..( they could have given him the punishment later..the reason i say this is becuase i wanted him to face shoiabs bouncer and realise what animal really means..but oh well its too late and i dont agree with the punishment either..It's the minimum punishment u can get ..He should have been banned for 4 tests Atleast.!

  • Steve on January 16, 2007, 21:08 GMT

    The whole thing is a storm in a teacup. If the ICC is concerned about making cricket "family" viewing, why are the microphones prying on to field ? For heaven's sake turn them off - don't ban entertaining players like Gibbs ! All these hypocritical comments about racism. If they really want to be politically correct, why don't the ICC have some one checking the Afrikaans and Urdu - I'm a sure some juicy comments to generate more selfrighteous hearings could be found. Or perhaps a man with buzzer in case a 4 letter word comes up? How about instituting a Majola award for the most politically correct player of the series? As for the poor Pakistani batsman who find it so hard to stomach Nel, I would be doing my utmost to send him over the top, the madder he gets the more eratic his bowling becomes. His poor bowling to the tail with the usual huffing and puffing played a considerable part in the Pakistani tail wagging .As for persistent abuse from the crowd to boundary fielders who can't walk away a word to the umpires and then to ground officials should do the trick . I am thoroughly cynical about Speed getting involved. A little tit-for-tat for SA in Australia last year I'm sure. The only serious part is that a great player is deprived of his livelihood by a bunch prats in the ICC. The rest of you lighten up and that includes Majola

  • Butterteeth on January 16, 2007, 21:06 GMT

    "Posted by: Jayesh at January 16, 2007 8:04 AM Their form of gamesmenship (I call it blatant cheating) is encouraged by the ICC"

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. If you think sledging on the cricket field was invented by the Australian team, think again. Its been going on for years even back in those "gentlemanly" good old days in the 20's and 30's. Its fashionable to accuse the Australians of it yet every other team does it too.

    And "Rubin Naidu" remembering Gavaskar walking off without a peep? I can remember him walking off and taking his batting partner with him once because he was angry at an umpires decision.

  • frednork on January 16, 2007, 21:04 GMT

    I think the racism comes from the people interpreting Gibbs' comments as racist. If he had have called a white crowd a bunch of animals - there would have been no problem, however there is a existing perception amongst racists that people of non white skin are animals, and therefore Gibbs' comments are racist. The banning of Gibbs is only perpetuating this attitude of underlying racism, and until we move on from this subterfuge, racism will not be wiped out - from sport or other.

  • Mike on January 16, 2007, 20:55 GMT

    Why was it funny and quaint when an Australian fast bowler foamed at the mouth and made a prat of himself, and not so when a South African does so (Andre Nel). Just like the Gibbs affair, there is a double standard at play here...

  • paul on January 16, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    He didnt only call them bloody animals he also dished out some racist words to get that straight to the people writing comments saying theres nothing wrong with calling them bloody animals... other words were also said but they were abit too extreme and they were racist

  • CHRIS on January 16, 2007, 20:46 GMT

    If and Australian had said it, he'd get 6 matches.

    I am sick of SA's HOLIER THAN THOUGH attitude and they're constant references to what they've been thru. Dont expect everyone to swallow your cries of "new" innocence. But moreso, just stop pointing the bone at Australia folks. We just love cricket too and it's far easier to know what's going on globally if it's in english.

    Enough cheap shots! There is enough retirements now for you to start beating us on the pitch.

    Regards

    Cricket for all!

  • A Soma on January 16, 2007, 20:46 GMT

    Pity, but racism is SA sport rears its ugly head again. Hassan Howa's (May he rest in peace) words "no normal sport in an abnormal sport" echo true again. SA still has a long way to go towards a normal society and sport being one of the unifying factors once again has, and is not, living up to its expectations. Until "window dressing" os sport and notibly cricket is addressed this problem will recur.

  • Not racism? on January 16, 2007, 20:45 GMT

    Some ppl in the comments suggested that Gibbs comments were not racist. Here is what he said " bunch of animals. go back to the zoo, it's not Pakistan this,", with an abusive word to go after every three words. Is he not calling Pakistan a zoo or all Pakistanis animals? Please explain to me how this is not a racist comment or why he did not deserve the 2 test ban? Shoaib Akhtar swears once and he is banned. This is much worse.

    Also throughout the match Andre Nel had a lot to say to batsmen after every ball he bowled. If you look the match closely you can make out quite a bit of it. So is that not crossing the line b/w sledging and being abusive?

  • hassan on January 16, 2007, 20:36 GMT

    F***ing bunch of f***ing animals. F***ing go back to the zoo, it's not f***ing Pakistan this," Gibbs said this is what Mr. Gibbs actually said...

  • Sriram on January 16, 2007, 20:27 GMT

    I certainly support the punishment meted out to Gibbs for his outbursts. But I would liken racism to that of tackling corruption. Its a two ended problem. Not only the Bribe seeker needs to be punished but also the bribe giver. Similarly, Both the instigator (The Crowd) and the perpetrator (Gibbs) ought to face the music.

  • tamk on January 16, 2007, 20:23 GMT

    @ Matthew: If you care to see the footage of the incident he expressedly says: "*&^%ing animals, &^%$ing PAKISTANIS, GO HOME" while standing near pitch, no where near the boundry line at the end of the over.

    Like i said before and hasn't been posted Graeme Smith used the racism issue againt the aussies to get under their skin, does he belive a word of it NO as typified by his support of Gibbs. He's a whinger of the worst variety.

  • faz on January 16, 2007, 20:22 GMT

    what about nel he dosent seem to learn how he should behave at the international level. gibbs ban is like a warning to nel.

  • amir on January 16, 2007, 20:14 GMT

    For all the people that are saying it wasnt a racial slur because Gibbs only called the spectators a "buncha animals" If you get the chance do check out the video because hes tone and words are blatantly racist, i quote "a buncha bloody animals, go back to the zoo you f*#$ng pakistanis" now how on Gods green earth is that not racist? He should have been banned from the odis as well. Still live in an ignorant world and mostly the modern, civilized societies acting in such manner is a total shame for those that speak of equality and modernism!

  • Muhammad Imran Bhatti on January 16, 2007, 20:12 GMT

    Dear sir, What mine thinking is that during the game ,the players should not talk or sledge at each other .It should be there game which shoud speak or talk. The punishment given to Gibbs is right, i agree with that.But I would like that Pakistani players should not answer them with the same manner as they do. Pak players should play to their potential and should answer with their bat and bowl.If the Nel do sledging , ur response should be with a four. if any batsman do sledging, the bowler should send a bouncer.Thanks and BYE

  • Daaniyal Masum on January 16, 2007, 20:06 GMT

    what a shame... The south African team seems to have it in for this beautiful game that I have always loved.... First they almost destroyed it with their Match Fixing and now theyre trying to destroy whatever last semblance is left of this being a gentlemen's game... Give me the Imran Khan's the Gavaskars, the Gowers and Clive Lloyds anyday over this pathetic rabble that pass for test match cricketers today... sad..

  • john gill on January 16, 2007, 19:57 GMT

    "F***ing bunch of F***ing animals.F***ing go back to the zoo,it's not F***ing Pakistan this ,"Gibbs said

    this is what Gibbs had to say ... i am a white .. what if a black person walked up to me in soth africa and said this is not your f***ing europe, go back where you came from, f***ing money greedy people.. what would i say ??????

    therefore GIbbs (hahah boy i fell sorry for you) your so not fit t play cricket!! its not even funny at times..

    still god bless you .. and all the others

    long live south africa nad pakistan !!

  • Ian on January 16, 2007, 19:56 GMT

    I find it laughable how people from outside SA can judge it without knowing the facts. FACT 1: Gibbs is of mixed race (coloured) ancestry, HE IS NOT WHITE! FACT 2: His comments were directed at Pakistani fans who were swearing at SA players. Those fans were subsequently kicked out of the stadium for their bahaviour. FACT 3: Sledging does not constitute racism. Unfortunately due to SA's past, teams like Pakistan find it easy to cry "rascist" when given any opportunity or to twist the story to make themselves appear like the hurt party. Get your facts straight Pakistan, and play the ball, not the player.

  • Ted Fishman on January 16, 2007, 19:53 GMT

    Would the world learn to transcend the differencs of color and race and religion. I mean come on there are 22 players out in the field playing a "gentleman's" game and all everyone has to talk about is the colour of skin the spectators or players have. I ask those who support sledging, and can someone please explain it to me, how is it a positive thing? as an independent (not belonging to either of the countries in action) spectator to the first test match at centurion, i was appauled to see Nel sledging all the pakistani batsmen (in particular the young kind farhat) and the umpires didnt do a thing about it. All this time farhats partner at the other end (Khan Younis i believe it was) helped him maintain his cool, however on one occassion Nel said something to Younis following up on his delivery stride. Younis responded by walking upto him and exchangin a few words. Why does the world fail to see what the starting point is and just look at what eventually happened. Infact Nel has started sledging fromthe very first over. its obvious it was a ploy to get the opposition perturbed. This i am sorry to say is by no means part of cricket. Let your skills as a professional cricketer talk.

    Now if the crowds react to something you cant tell them not to. Afterall ICC controls the conduct of players on and off the pitch not of the spectators. But i believe if the players got along fine with each other no one from the crows would go such lenghts as to abuse players fielding at the boundry ropes.

    Of all the innovations ICC is bringin go the game, i think it would be much better by far if it banned sladging from cricket altogether.

  • Ed Smythe on January 16, 2007, 19:45 GMT

    I think a lot of this is the settler colonies coming to grips that brown-skinned people can compete, and often win, when given the opportunity. Oz and SA have had a rather unique history, unlike the UK, NZ, USA, Canada, etc., in dealing with racial differences. While SA is now run by the majority, and Oz does not officially discriminate, the legacy of being 'for whites only' takes a long time to get over. I think that in a generation, none of this will be an issue any more, and until then, we will need a zero-tolerance policy for ALL racist reactions. I would hate to be an Alma or an Ntini in the SA dressing room.

  • john gill on January 16, 2007, 19:43 GMT

    in my opinion both the pakistani supporters and the southafrican plyayers are to blame. i have been in the crowds of an international cricket match, which had been played by the pakistan cricket team . the pakistani supporters can be the best supporters in the world by appreaciating the performances of players and lovings them, but at the same time some (which is a very small section of usually youngsters)in the name of fun hurt other people's feelings andd insulting them, though they dont mean to be bad. in todays world racism is as good as nothing, its about money. a black would be treated better than a white in a market if he has more money. so as far as being insulted is concerned, i am dont agree whith that. dark people are the same as whites, or lets put it this way to sound better - the white people are no the dark people. haahha this debate can go on forever and ever, but the truth is everyone considers themselves better than the other. "YES" on should not be racist, but c'mon even the pakistani players must have said it some time or the other in the dressing room or on the field (not in front of the south african players) "damm these african players or these wicked white and black players) Herchell Gibbs was just unlucky that his comments were herd.. my suggestion for Gibbs is - it was wrong of you to say it, but it is not only you whose making this mistake!! therefore correct yourself and correct others as well, from both the teams!! i know its easy said than done, but atleast try ..

    god bless pakistan and southafrica ... and india (my indian friens is sitting next to me -hahah)

    love all .. bye

  • Kashif Malik on January 16, 2007, 19:42 GMT

    For the avoidance of doubt Gibbs was not just punished for saying "a bunch of bloody animals"; there were other offensive remarks obviously too racist to be repeated anywhere again.

  • Aamer on January 16, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    To add to my earlier comments, this whole debate has nothing to do with result of the test. South Africa won because they played better and they deserved to win. I would've condemned Inzi and co aswell had they remarked "F***ing Saffas".

    Nobody is crying sour-grapes here.

  • Pushan Bharadwaj on January 16, 2007, 19:40 GMT

    Sledging is now an accepted fashion in cricket, no big deal it seems although Ian Chappel and his Australia had always been particularly criticised for it. Somehow sledging has to be stopped and these days with the presence of stump microphones it is not at all a job finding the defaulters. Probably, people arent interested to probe simply because if they do so, more than half of the players may be at fault and that would be a big joke emerging. However Herchelle Gibbs comments have to be taken in context. These spectators who were embarrassing the south african players standing on the face deserve such comments, not just picked up on the stump microphone, but ideally shouted at them on a loudspeaker. If the players have to react in the Gandhian way to earn a gentleman's status then I am afraid, the spectators need to be taken to task when they commit such offences.

  • Pieter Vermeulen on January 16, 2007, 19:39 GMT

    So OK, this is what he said (according to a reputable South African newspaper): "F***ing bunch of f***ing animals. F***ing go back to the zoo, it's not f***ing Pakistan this,"

    In case you have problems with the translation ***==uck

    Which part of that is racist? Would there be a different way to refer to the supporters of one of the teams?

    Grow up!

  • F Ahmad on January 16, 2007, 19:30 GMT

    This is in response to: Posted by: John at January 16, 2007 7:58 AM

    I am afraid I have to disagree with your comments. To label Gibbs' commentas racist is ridiculous. The fact of the matter is the crowds behaviour was appalling. If the supporters where white would it have been "racism" as well? Not to mention that Gibbs himself is not white either. I think what incencensed Gibbs and most South Africans is that these supporters are born and bred South Africans who support Pakistan.

    Dont get incensed if your countrymen are supporting a visiting team. Take a good hard look at why would a person born and bred in SA is supporting a Pakistani/Indian or anyother team?

    Maybe they are alienated by your society maybe there is racism beyond the cricket field in your country and this is one way for that spectator to vent at the establishment.

  • Aamer on January 16, 2007, 19:28 GMT

    Some of the posters failed to see what this 2-test ban was all about. Some even denied that Gibbs made any racial comments.

    Well, let's see, these are Gibbs exact words "F***ing animals.. go back to f***ing zoo.. f***ing Pakistanis". Read it and tell us you still think there was no racial abuse.

    In my opinion Gibbs got away with very light punishment. I remember South Africa in Pakistan in 2003. Shoaib Akhtar was banned for saying "f*** off". There was no racial comment but match referee still banned him. Nel kept using the F word throughout the series against India and he wasn't even causioned by umpires or match referee. Aussie crowd kept making racial comments during the test series against South Africa in 2005. I wonder ICC would have given the same punishment had SA players made any racial comments against the aussies.

    ICC has double standards. It wasn't just Gibbs, Nel, Boucher and Smith are culprits too for bringing the game into disrepute over the years. Sledging is fine but there is a line that must not be crossed. South African and Australian players are damaging gentlemen's game.

    To sum up, something needs to be done about excessive sledging. Racial remarks should not be tolerated and culprits must be handed a maximum ban. Unruly and abusive spectators should be asked to leave the stadiums.

  • N.N on January 16, 2007, 19:26 GMT

    Good on Gibbs for deciding to appeal! For once, in this sport that we call a "gentleman's game", an appeal is justified. I am of Pakistani descent myself and find it absurd that one takes the word "animal" so seriously. I call my sister an animal all the time. But as a result I'm not forecefully shut inside my room, or however a punishment is handed out in a household! There is absolutely no proof as to who the comment was directed to. But going by the context, it can be deciphered that it was targeted to a bad, bad pakistani crowd. Being a Pakistani, I do feel ashamed in saying this but there is a lot of illiteracy and intolerance in our culture. And this is in turn leads to unnaceptable and strange behaviour.

    To all non-pakistani's reading this- we are not all the same. I can assure you.

    Now getting back to the point, Gibbs deserves to have this ban overturned completely. If it can happen to Pakistanis I need not mention under highly suspicious circumstances, it can also happen for someone who in my opinion, is innocent.

    Thank you.

  • Nick on January 16, 2007, 19:26 GMT

    Indian: please rethink your post in which you say all white people support Gibbs. For the record, I am white, and I condemned what he did. When you make blanket statements about white people, you are being just as racist as anyone else. Please think about these things.

  • Ram on January 16, 2007, 19:23 GMT

    I Agree With you but dont talk as if all pakisthani players are obidiant. They are worse than any other team in the world.first of all teach pakisthani players to not to take drugs to bowl faster. Winning that way is a same...every one can talk better talk appropriately.

  • Jeff Hall on January 16, 2007, 19:12 GMT

    This is what Gibbs had said - as recorded by the live mike - "F***ing bunch of f***ing animals. F***ing go back to the zoo, it's not f***ing Pakistan this,". That is a racist and disgusting remark made by a player who has made a habit of sledging the opposition throughout his career. The only difference is that this time his racist comments were caught on mike. Gibbs deserves the two-match band and everything else that comes along his way. Furthermore, he will need to live with the fact that he has branded a racist South African cricketer for the rest of his professional career. He should also watch his back when playing Sub-Continental teams, or in England for that matter. Cricket does not need disgusting people like Gibbs in our sport. South Africa should be ashamed of themselves for developing a racist culture such as this.

  • J Ahmad (Pak) on January 16, 2007, 19:08 GMT

    What a load of crap! Kamran you seem to have lost the plot lately. If the sole purpose of articles like this one and the earlier one comparing two spinnets is to generate traffic to your blogs then I must say bravo!

    Now for your content: I am a Pakistani and I think the ban on Gibbs is too harsh. He should've been reprimanded and fined instead. His comments were meant for a roudy bunch of supporters, not for the Pakistani players per say. I've been to matches in Lahore where the crowds have chanted the worst of abuse to visiting teams but nothing was done to stop them.

    SA/PAK relations haven't been the best of late but as far as the punishment goes, it was a bit harsh.

  • Praveen on January 16, 2007, 19:07 GMT

    I am not sure what was racist about Hershelle Gibbs comments. He was merely describing the behaviour of a section of the crowd. The ICC needs to chill and not give into all this political correctness bullcrap.

  • IRFAN SAFDAR on January 16, 2007, 19:05 GMT

    Hey Rob Nicholls from Australia. The authors name is Abbasi not Akmal, get your facts right.Why do all the westeners refer to him as Akmal????

  • Faisal Sid on January 16, 2007, 19:05 GMT

    In all probability my post wouldnt get posted because I am about to paste what Gibbs said but it is important that it get posted. This will answer all those people here which say calling spectators animals for behaving like animals is not racist. "F***ing bunch of f***ing animals. F***ing go back to the zoo, it's not f***ing Pakistan this," Gibbs said. Be the judge and tell me this is not racist?

  • Mike on January 16, 2007, 19:04 GMT

    Gibbs is sort of right. South African grounds are built different than India and Pakistan grounds. For starters there isn't a 10 foot wire mesh grill separating the players from the crowd. This leaves for fans to abuse players. The same thing happened in Canada where Indian fans incensed Inzi and he went out to the crowd with the bat waving. I think spectators who are abusive to players should be immediately ejected. This is like the pitch invasion problem of this decade and abusive spectators should be ejected at once to stop this kind of thing. All in all, what Gibbs said is probably more polite than what the crowd said to him.

  • Asian on January 16, 2007, 19:03 GMT

    We dont mind sledging in cricket as long ICC defines what is acceptable seldging and what is non acceptable sledging. Sledging can be fun most times but when sledging gets personal and racial and abusive it shouldnt be tolerated.

    And the same set of anti sledging laws should apply for all sets of teams and players.

    For example: Sreesanth taunted Amla and was fined. Fair enough. He went over the limit.Fine.

    But what about Nel sticking his tongue out and his consistent use of the four leter words with the Indian and Pakistani batsmen? He shouldnt get away with it. He should be fined too.

  • Asif on January 16, 2007, 18:56 GMT

    Can i also add to the previous post before someone adds 2 & 2 and comes up with 5. I DO NOT think all SA are racist, in fact im sure majority are very decent people, black or white.period

  • asif on January 16, 2007, 18:50 GMT

    I think Gibbs got banned not just because of the word "animals", indeed other much more explicit clearly racist language was used,which the commentators also alluded to without obviously mentioning the exact words. there is no doubt about that, so all those posters "with so what" bandwagon, plse just accept that and somehow just stop trying to justify racist behaviour. Do you really think that SA board would accept the verdict of 2 match ban for Gibbs just uttering the words "animals". I am astonished that their coach seems to think that racist slurs are ok as long as only his team mates can hear them-mind boggles. Incidentally the coach doesn't seem to be going on about just "animals" propraganda as alot of ill informed posters here are doing, perhaps he knows the truth. Secondly playing the game hard is one thing but Andre Nels behaviour is just pathetic with unrelenting abuse after every delivery, although i will say that he does it against most teams. I remember against Eng, commentators flagged it up as a serious issue, the English commentators that is. SA commentators, needless to say, turned a blind eye. Im not saying, dont play hard, but his hysterionics essentially amount to cheating by unfairly intimidating & disturbing players concentration. He got as good as he gave against Aussies, but then again in this so called gentlemans game, do two wrongs make a right? Peace

  • Helmi Ansari on January 16, 2007, 18:50 GMT

    Gibbs deserved what he got. And the spectators were thrown out of the ground - and that fact should have gotten more press. Shame on them for behaving poorly with the sportsmen on the field. they are both wrong in their behavior and deserve appropriate punishment.

    To say: "F***ing bunch of animals, bunch of hyenas, f***king go back to the zoo, f***king Pakistanis" - is offensive to me. And if it offends me, I am sure it offends others as well. Hence - the punishment is deserved for both the player and the spectator. In fact I would say the spectator should have a 1 year ban or more on attending any sports event in South Africa or elsewhere if that could be administered somehow!

  • Pak support on January 16, 2007, 18:50 GMT

    Someone said :"what really amazed me was when i saw that roockie paul harris swearing at pakistani batsman"

    Exactly!!!!! I couldnt believe it either. He did it to the Indian batsmen too. Sledging Sachin Tendulkar on Harris' first match...can you believe it?? This guy might have been in his diapers when Sachin was smashing bowlers all around.

    So my Gibbs supporters where was the ICC and the match referee when this was happening??? How come only Sreesanth and us Asians always in trouble with the ICC law? Is the ICC law white too? hahahaha

  • John Bugatti on January 16, 2007, 18:46 GMT

    Gibbs's remarks, made shortly before the lunch interval on Sunday, were clearly audible over the stump microphones.

    "F***ing bunch of f***ing animals. F***ing go back to the zoo, it's not f***ing Pakistan this," Gibbs said.

    Hmmm..are these RACIST comments? Methinks so -"f**cking animals. F**king go back to the zoo, its not f**king Pakistan, this" - sounds pretty f**king racist to me!

  • Gaurav on January 16, 2007, 18:43 GMT

    Hi

    I feel racism/intimidation is all part of the game. Please dont assume that Indians or Pakistanis dont do it. Perhaps english as a medium can hamper our efforts. And U cant even imagine what kind of atmosphere used to prevail during Indo-Pak matches given the animosity involved. A comment about Ur race is as innocuous as any f word used with generosity in our sub-continent. We feel real bad coz our teams arent playing that well.

  • Jawad on January 16, 2007, 18:43 GMT

    I dont think people actually heard Gibb;s comments right. I watched it on Youtube and after saying" bunch of animals, " he added " f****ng Pakistanis". That to me was just unacceptable.

  • John Jay on January 16, 2007, 18:32 GMT

    and i felt bad for south africans when they were in austrailia last year...but after seen the display of south african's behavior in first test, i hope they get same treatment again....

  • Rashid Zaman on January 16, 2007, 18:31 GMT

    Hiya everybody, Totally agree with you Kamran and i dont think that the sentence was harsh not at all but i will agree with the match ref. One thing i must add is that these pakistani fans who allegedly called the South African cricketer names agreeably have not done good for our cricket loving nation. The SA coach is a disgrace, how can he coach people with such a childish mentality??the mind boggles he stated that he didn't believe these stumps mics were right (thats cause your boys antics have been caught red handed!) If it was one of the Pakistanis God forbid what commotion would have been caused! These guys( the RSA team) are players we admire especially Gibbs..shame on you dude.Sledging is a part of cricket a little harmless fun to get the blood going and see if a cricketer will bow under that pressure but Racism is something we want to totally obliterate from this world and to see it in this team is a sorry state.... a sad day for cricket!!!hmmm

  • Anonymous on January 16, 2007, 18:29 GMT

    I think players of Asian countries also could pass racial slurs, only thing is that they are not in English and hence not caught right away. I do not think Asians themselves are saints and all others - poor souls needing redemption

  • Imran Ahmed on January 16, 2007, 18:27 GMT

    The real problem lies with how Australia and England have been allowed to take abuse aka sleding to a new level. Just like the betting/bribery scandals that failed to touch the crooks simply because I dare say they were "whites". Period! End of story. Period! Period! Period! Period!

    Let us take a good hard look at how England and Australia have been allowed to bring the game into disrepute.

    and you know what, the South Africans are simply doing what the "masters" are doing.

    Of course if a Pakistani player had called anyone even a non player an animal.......

  • Abid on January 16, 2007, 18:27 GMT

    I will add three comments: 1. Why we are comparing SA players acts to spectators? Players are professional and we should expect a profession representing his country, while spectators could be any one, a SA fan could carry Pakistan flag and could aggrevate a SA players, an Indian fan could carry Pakistan flag and could revenge a SA player, an Aussie fan could carry Pakistan flag and could abuse a SA player. A brown skin doesnt mean a Pakistani heritage. So we should not use a spectator bad behaviour as an excuse for a professional player abusive response. Because a player wearing SA or Pakistani uniform is for sure representing his country and should behave like an ambassador.

    2. I think match referee punished Gibb with the minimum possible punishment under the ICC codes of conduct for racism, and thus shoot two birds with one shot: a). Handed minimum punishment for a disgraceful crime. b) Diverted attention from actual culprits (Nel, Harris and Boucher).

    If it was a response to spectator abuse then we should have expected it from Ntini, but he is a sportsman and shows his response through his performance.

    3. I think the biggest disgrace should be on the match officials, especially incompetent Billy Doctrove, too polite Steve Bucknor and biased Hunter (third umpire). They all were watching Nel and co cursing with every single ball but they didnt intervene. Either Doctrove and Bucknor are raised in some Ghetto of Carribean where "F" words are part and parcel of a kitchen language, and don't upset them at all, or they are after the game of gentlemen.

  • Senthil Kumar on January 16, 2007, 18:13 GMT

    One swallow doesn't make a summer. But a whole flock sure does. South Africans have plenty of racist tensions and they each express it in different ways. Gibbs might think of others as animals, which is probably the worst he has been called! Andre Nel, you are a disgrace to cricket, and to sport, and to your nation. You may not be racist, but you're a boring monkey whose trick is getting to be a little too repetitive. South Africa, fix your own problems before you call others names.

  • Farrukh on January 16, 2007, 18:11 GMT

    Kamran is as objective as ever in summarizing the match in general and this incident in particular. Now I don't know about Gibb's ancestry and don't give a damn about it really. Racial slur is a slur no matter where it comes from. Getting a two matches' ban' serves him right. He should have know better. But what amazes me more is the nature and contents of comments coming from people of western origin, it was apparent when Kamran drew some comparison between Shane Warne and Abdul Qadir and now it is pretty obvious. They would defend their lot, no matter what. Now THIS is racism and should always be confronted.

  • Simon on January 16, 2007, 18:03 GMT

    All you guys getting worked up into a lather of indignation, can I point out a small fact here. The Pakistani supporters who were loudly racially abusing Harris were in fact in the family enclosure at Supersport Park. So while they were running off at the mouth swearing, ranting and wantonly absuing (there were disgusting sexual references made) they were doing it in front of little kids who had come to enjoy a game of cricket. Gibb's comments were silly, sure but the behaviour of the Pakistani supporters was gut wrenchingly sick. No wonder Gibbs was angry, and understandably so.

  • Adnan Kapadia on January 16, 2007, 17:52 GMT

    Wow!!! people really showing their interests and views, guess i'm a little late. 1) If Gibbs branded those wild spectators who sweared at and abused Paul Harris and Ntini, as "bunch of animals", then he wasn't wrong! The punishment could have been monetary or 1 ODI. 2) Nel, should start his life again, going to a decent school having decent people around him, that might help. He's aggressive for no reason, he's a good cricketer, but his behaviour will definitely ruin his career, sooner or later. 3) Umpire Bucknor did have a few words with Nel for his behaviour. Mr. Doctrove...well, he should again be reminded, that he is a Test level umpire and he has a lot of authority on the field, but for some reason, he looks very quiet and shy, probably doesn't like talking to strangers. 4) I even heard, one of the commentator, probably on the 4th or 5th day, saying "pakis in trouble". But then, maybe I was very irritated because of Nel's behaviour and was hearing ghosts whisper. I still appreciate the whole South African team for having multi-racial team as a proper unit and for playing amazing cricket. Rupert...nobody wants the "tea & cucumber sandwiches" culture to creep in BUT I think you would also agree that Nel might not stop himself from saying things to a batsman for 20 overs, but only once, if the batsman replies, the umpires get involved, the whole scenario changes, as if the batsman committed a sin. But anyway.....lets have a nice cup of tea & some sandwiches!!! no points for guessing which ones though ;-)

  • Syed Zaki on January 16, 2007, 17:52 GMT

    The only way to counter this kind of behavior is to strike back the same way. The Pakistani cricket team when it goes abroad, becomes a feeble bunch. First, you have to counter (and shut your opponent up) by playing good aggresive cricket like your opponent is playing or harder, and start sledging the way they are sledging. Open your freaking eyes and learn from how Javed Miandad used to play. Remember, he wouldn't take abuse from anybody. Learn from the past greats. This is how the winning teams are playing and you (the Pakistani team) need to step up to the plate. Don't get bloodied and cry, for God's sake hit back and bloody the opponent.

  • akhlaq ahmed on January 16, 2007, 17:51 GMT

    I am ashamed at the behaviour of the Pakistani supporters. This is not the first time they have behaved like animals and got away using the race card. I have had the opportunity to watch Pakistan team play test cricket in pakistan, England and ODI in Sharjah on more than 50 times and the Behaviour of our people is always boorish, speacial racist remarks against various players are raised by them in Urdu and Punjabi. Vinod kambli was called Kaalia, negro, west indian, while the ozzies were called pigs and dogs and kaffirs. I think pakistani supporters need to to be educated in the intricacies of the game as majority of them are unaware of the same and hacks like mr. Abbasi think twice before writing unsubstantiated matter terming it as racial. Question to Mr. Abbasi.Animals, animalistic behaviour-- please elucidate what is racist about these remarks.

  • Rubin Naidu on January 16, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    I am wondering what happened to the game of gentlemen that cricket used to be. I remember as a kid watching great batsmen like Gavaskar walk away without a peep when given out even when they were clearly not out and opposing teams congratulating players on getting a 50 or a 100. Sledging, B.S, abuse have no part in the game. I would have more respect for a team that loses sporting than one that wins behaving like a bunch of crybabies.

  • Aman on January 16, 2007, 17:27 GMT

    I have seen Indian crowds behave very poorly with visiting teams - especially with Pakistan and WI. Many shout religious slurs against Pakistan (even though 3 players in the Indian set-up are Muslim) and racial insults against the West Indies. Just because these elements are brown, doesn't excuse their behaviour. I am Indian and am ashamed of them. I have even corrected and cautioned many of them myself. Many of them are beyond help and should be banned from watching sports in a public setting. On the other hand, Pakistani players are no paragon of virtue either. In any Ind-Pak game, you can see a volley of insults being launched by Pakistan players (especially Afridi, Akhtar and Co.) at Indian batsmen at all times. I think that is hard cricket and Indian batsmen should be prepared for it and so should the Pakistanis. The source of the sledging is irrelevant. This is a man's game and if you cannot stand the heat, then you need to get out of the kitchen. From personal experience I can tell you that there is sledging involved even at the college level in India, so we are not the sheep we are made out to be. Just because a white person is sledging at a brown person, doesn't make him racist. I actually WANT Nel to taunt Indian players like he did Gilchrist. He makes a complete fool of himself, but he is not racist. He treats all opposition as the enemy. His behaviour is a disgrace and he cannot be excused under the premise of being a colourful "character". I also think Smith should not have whined about Akhtar sledging him. If your players dish it out, then you better be prepared to get some back, because it is coming. There is some inconsistency about how players from different countries are treated, but this is simply because cricketers from Aus, SA and NZ (English players are relatively well-behaved) are familiar with the rules. The rules do not say anything about talking to a batsman on the crease. So you see plenty of Australian and SA players chattering away at an opponent. However, the rules clearly warn the fielding team against making any sendoff gestures at the batsman when he is dismissed. You will find that most of the times an Indian is fined (Sreesanth, or Venkatesh Prasad in the World Cup) it has has been because they gestured at the batsman after dismissing him. As far as excessive appealing is concerned, I think the ICC needs to take a closer look at its laws. Teams from the sub-continent are blamed a lot more simply because they have spinners and close in fielders. Any appeal made by this circle and the bowler is louder and usually there is a lot of noise around. The umpires need to learn to be thick-skinned, period. Warne is an exception, becaue in my opinion he doesn't intimidate. He "works" on the umpire. Talking with him, telling him what he was doing etc. I will end my book by saying that Gibbs was in all likelihood not making a racist remark. I have seen Indian fans behave like animals and I am sure sections of fans all over the world do the same. It doesn't make him a racist when he is merely labeling their behaviour.

  • Indian on January 16, 2007, 17:26 GMT

    And if anyone is interested, this is really what was said by Gibb.

    http://www.thestar.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=3630783

    Its no laughing matter this. This is a serious offence. The punishment he received wasnt enough. Yeh dil mangay more !!! :)

  • Graham on January 16, 2007, 17:19 GMT

    Firtsly I am a South African, so maybe I will be accused of been a little biased. However I am still confused why the comments were racist. I think it was an off the cuff remark and was 100% accurate because the one group of Pakistani supports was behaving like animals. I would however like to state that I think a lot of the psost are been racist in 2 ways. 1) It is not fair to label all Pakistani supporters as been agressive and behaving badly. I was at the game and sat in front of a group of Pakistani supports who were very loud but in no way abusive and I believe the same can be said for most of teh supporters there 2) I think the anti South African comments are unacceptable. If you are saying that it is right to ban Herschelle for stating what you percieve as anti-Pakistani remarks, don't you think it is a little Hypocritical to in the same breath state racist remarks yourself? South Africa is a country with many problems. Some of our people are racist, that does not give you the right to state that we are all racists. I do agree that sledging is an issue that must be addressed, but it is part of the game and as such you can not blame players for doing something that is allowed.

  • King on January 16, 2007, 17:17 GMT

    i think gibbs deserves what he got. i also think that bulldog andre nel should be banned if he cannot control his bloody mouth.

  • Harry on January 16, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    I agree with Buz Trevor. The comments that Gibbs made were made with regards to a section of the crowd and knowing Gibbs, he would have made that statement no matter what race or ethnic group they belonged to.

    He was simply stating that the players were copping abuse from a section of the crowd.

    To Mr. David Smith. I don't think that reversing the prejudice against Afrikaans speaking people will remove racism. It only exacerbates the situation. Also, Smith, Nel and Hall are sledgers and sledging is allowed within the rules of cricket and there were no reports of any of those three dishing out racist comments. I'm sure the Pakistani team would have lodged a complaint if there they made any racist comments.

    You can say that Apartheid was brought about by dictatorial Afrikaaners, but you cannot say that Afrikaaners are all racist. That would just be another gross generalisation. As would saying all Germans are Anti-Semetic. I personally have met some of the most peaceful, liberal and open minded people who were Afrikaaners.

    Yes, racism is unacceptable. But I do not see racism in the SA cricket side of today.

    Gibbs should maybe have been warned to watch what he says in the middle, but should never have gotten a 2 test ban. He has been treated unfairly.

  • Suri on January 16, 2007, 17:15 GMT

    Agree with Mr. Abbasi. There really is not room for anyone to abuse someone else on the basis of their nationality, gender, or whatever.

    I also agree with Imran that Mickey Arthur shooting off this mouth is so damned lame - it is one of the worst excuses and he should be punished as well - for 'aiding and abetting racism' on the part of his players.

    South Africa or any other country say Australia are gung-ho when it comes to handing out abuse, while they whine and whimper when they get a taste of their own medicine. The instances are numerous - The South Africa in Australia case, the Hashim Amla case. And the converse? the present one, the Sreesanth case, Andre ever-the-loudmouth Nel.

    I say ban not just Gibbs, also ban the owners of the 'ears' his comments were meant for. And kick out the coach who defends him with lame excuses.

    And make this universal. Stamp out not just racist excuse, but all abuse from the game including the lame and stupid comments players and coaches make as a part of (Steve Waugh's) 'mental disntegration'.

    You want to distract the players to get 'em out? Go chat to them in a friendly manner and try to distract them if possible. If you cant, shut your trap and field at your position. A single abusive comment, and you're out should be the mantra.

  • ganesh on January 16, 2007, 17:13 GMT

    I wonder where Mr Abbasi and his Pak fans were during the last India-Pak test series ? The abuse some of the Indian players had to put up with, from the likes of Shahid Afridi makes Andre Nel and Gibbs seem saintly in comparison.

  • Kaz on January 16, 2007, 17:12 GMT

    re the comment made by hannes on 16/01/2007 at 8.53AM if Gibbs has indeed used the word Paki to referr to the section of the crowd then i feel the punishment is well deserved and indeed in my opinion can even be seen as being lenient, as a Britsh citizen of Pakistani origin it is a well know fact that the word "Paki" is a racially deragotary term used often in a similar extreme way as a certain word to refer to people of a black African origin , which the intelligent readers should be able to work out without my need to mention such a vile word, if Paki was indeed the word used then it should be punished, ignorance cannot be used as an excuse cricket is now a truly global sport and such comments must be viewed in such a perspective

  • Surya on January 16, 2007, 17:04 GMT

    Right - Gibbs calls someone "animals" and that is racist? What nonsense. What is the racist implication in that?

    Given what the Paki supporters were doing that is the most decent thing one can say about them! Would it have been better to call them b**tards? That is not racist right?

    ICC is behaving stupidly and in a hypersensitive manner and the Paki board - is taking a high moral stand where there is none.

  • Kumar on January 16, 2007, 17:00 GMT

    It's strange how certain team gets away with "excessive sledging" and racially motivated coments. Particularly the ones that are "white" it's sickening to say the least!! The non-white teams do nnot have anything thing racial to say, we are comfortable with our selves hence we do not need to resort to those tactics to win. For a team that complained aboout abuse in Australia, one would think their behaviour towards it would be one of "ZERO TOLERANCE", but it goes to show what they are willing to do then complain about it.

    I am a strong believer that all are "bigoted" at soem level, it;s the degree to which we show it...I bet given free range you would see how "sickening" players would behave. The Entire SA team shoudl be banned for it and the Captian for CONDONING it needs to be punished also, if it was Pakistani player charged I bet Inzi would have been fined as well.

  • Raj on January 16, 2007, 16:59 GMT

    BTW is Gibbs digging his nose in the image above? :) LOL digging for gold eh?

  • Proud Indian on January 16, 2007, 16:56 GMT

    And yeah in response to some of the messages about we being extra sensitive to the race issue. Well my dear friends, your cousins and ancestors basically destroyed us and the rest of the non white world in ancient times. Being a little sensitive to race issues isnt such a bad idea guys coz what if history were to repeat itself ;)) Now, we wouldnt want that, do we?? :))

  • Majid Ali, UK on January 16, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    Salam everyone. Players should play international cricket to play criket in a proffesional manner and to represent their countries. If the players on-field behaviour is bad, and if a specific crowds behaviour is bad, the image of that particular country is affected. For example, if you take a bowler like Andrew Nel, hes a good bowler, i think hes good for cricket, and i love watching him play because hes commited and is passionate, but as long as he doesnt cross that line. He just wont shut up. Cricket is a game, not played by words but by a bat and a ball. Players these days try to get into each others minds a lot. The talking should be done by bat and ball. When the bat and ball speak loudly, then that is hard cricket! Also pakistan fans were known for their pitch invasions in the 1999 World Cup in England which affected the image of the country vastly. Cricket shouldnt as a game suffer due to a few individuals who try and foul mouth teams, players and countries. If there are a few individulas who act like "animals" as Herschelle Gibbs put it the whole country should not be blamed. There should be a mutual respect between all players for eachother. The crowds should also respect the players, no matter what race or religion anyone is. Of course there will be emotions and anger at times when things arent going your way, that happens with everyone, but it is up to the characters of the players to cope with it. Cricket is a global, multicultural, game, and most countries have players of different sects/religions representig them. South Africa have blacks, such as Ntini, Amla, Prince, - Hashim Amla is a Muslim. Pakistan play Danish Kaneria, who is Hindu. England play Monty and Sajid Mahmood, West indies have players from different countries and different religions, India have Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus playing for them. New Zealand have a Hindu in Jeetan Patel, Sri Lanka have Muslims and Hindus, Bangladesh have Muslims, Christians and Hindus. If Gibbs said something bad, then South Africans as a whole are not to be blamed, just the individual. South Africans have acknoledged blacks within the community, have a black leader in Nelson Mandela, and the quota system gave equal oppurtunities to the coloured people. Also Pakistan as a nation shouldnt be blamed for a few "animal" like supporters who deter the image of the country. Since the Pakistani cricketers have embraced religion in everyday life, their cricket has got better, and most of the team dont sledge, and just get on with it. Islam doesnt teach disrespecting other people, but to respect them, no matter what race or religion they are. Look at Hashim Amla, he is a quiet player who gets on with it, and has let his bat do the talking in the last game. He isnt interested in all that sledging, even when hes fielding at short leg, or silly point for South Africa where most fielders would like to distract the batsman. Gibbs i belive was true in saying that the bunch of pakistani fans "were like a bunch of animals", although i dont think it was neccessary. He could have said it anywhere else. He was treated harshly for speaking the truth. But it is a lesson to everyone. Cricket is not about badmouthing, or sledging but playing the game in the true spirit, and letting the bat and ball do the talking. Bradmans Invincibles, or Clive Lloyds or Viv Richards teams never needed to sledge like teams do these days. They bowled ferociously, and batted without fear. Now that is hard cricket. When i go out and bat in match sledging doesnt affect my mind as much as good pressure bowling when my patience is really tested. I think there should be more respect towards players, from the crowds and other players, as this will help improve the image of cricket. If teams, players, and crowds are suffer, then cricket suffers. The players playing good hard cricket and the crowds supporting their teams, really is what cricket is all about. And it should stay that way.

    Majid

  • Oliver Kirsten on January 16, 2007, 16:47 GMT

    David Smith contends that the "Afikaner spirit" is alive within the South African team and that one needs but "scratch the surface" for the racist views to come out. I find it truly mindboggling how often people completely fail to recognise the overt racism in their own statements whilst discussing the very issue. Negative generalisations are often accepted / overlooked as long as the group being described has been sufficiently vilified (Nazis, Afrikaners etc.) David, do yourself a favour and replace the word Afrikaner (as in "Afrikaner spirit") with Pakistani, Jewish, black, - or your choice of group description - and it suddenly looks quite ugly, doesn't it? Furthermore, the Afrikaners, David, are a group of South Africans that speak the language called "Afrikaans" (a language stemming from Dutch). This group is 99.9% white as very few couloured (people of mixed European and Hottentot, Khoi or Malaysian descent) or black South Africans would want the tag. Ditto for all English speaking south Africans. There were three Afrikaners in the 1st test against Pakistan, AB de Villiers, Jaques Kallis and Andre Nel. The team also included two English-speaking "coloured" players, one player of Asian descent, one Xosa and four English-speaking South Africans. Quite an eclectic mix to have an "Afrikaner spirit". Whatever that may mean.

  • Indian on January 16, 2007, 16:46 GMT

    I wonder what happened to the complaint that was supposed to be lodged by the Pakistani team against Nel. I hope they go through with it. He needs a few lessons in people skills before he reaches the World Cup islands.Someone ought to knock some sense in to him before its too late and he gets ganked, down in the Caribbean by a BRO ;)

  • Farhan Khan on January 16, 2007, 16:45 GMT

    "As a Pakistani" comments of SOL GOODE, a Pakistani??? haha tell me another joke sol!!

  • alan kyle on January 16, 2007, 16:43 GMT

    there are not many angels in the cricket world and the wheel continually turns.the bad guy today is replaced by another tomorrow.it makes for interesting reading the holier than though comments of the offended teams supporters.in this case pakistan need something to air freshen the smell off their drug abusers and gibbs has provided it!!!! he got 2 matches get over it and move on.

  • Riad on January 16, 2007, 16:42 GMT

    Will somebody please explain to me how one can construe that, Herschelle Gibbs, who himself is categorized as a 'coloured' player in South Africa, is of a 'racist' mindset. The fact of the matter is that, when it comes to cricket, the subcontinent teams and their cricket boards have a huge persecution complex. It is high time that players, officials and even the media( best exemplefied by Mr. Abassi) from the subcontinent climb down from the moral high ground, as that would be in the best interests of subcontinental cricket.

  • Sarmad on January 16, 2007, 16:39 GMT

    Ok this little incident has been played out of proportion. Gibbs was only banned because the incident happened in South Africa, which has a large South Asian population and suffers from a serious case of post-apartheid oversensitivity as far as racism and race pride is concerned. He called Pakistani fans 'animals'.... weren’t they acting like animals by hitting Ntini and abusing Harris? I honestly would have expected much more from a furious team mate. Imagine a Pakistani getting hit on the head by an Indian flagpole... Gibbs is no angel, but he has been dealt too harshly.

    What about those fans who took the liberty of abusing South Africans in their own country! Were they planning to sue the ground authorities for racism after being ejected? I had the misfortune of watching a Pak Vs SA ODI at Rawalpindi and the abuse hurled at Ntini and Co went beyond racism. Instead of punishing reacting players, ICC should do something about crowd abuse. Scouts should be planted in the crowd and any abuse targeted at the fielder, be dealt with sternly.

    About 'that idiot Nel', one important thing to be taken into consideration is that we have a couple of sensible Umpires on the field who can listen to every thing being said. If Nel had babbled anything abusive, the umpires would surely had taken notice and had reported it. As a recent capture on the TV showed, his comments to an Indian batsman were about the pitches in SA being bouncier and more enjoyable to bowl on. So does this count as abuse??? In a game which is fast decrementing the bowler's pay check, I certainly do enjoy watching Nel bowl as his chatter and energy adds so much to the game.

  • Azaro on January 16, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    Personal slurs of any kind should not be tolerated be they racial, sexual or about one's heritage. They should all be punished. Sadly, having played cricket around the world I can recognise these slurs in several languages including most of the Asian ones so it is NOT just the South Africans doing it - all teams should be stopped and/or punished whatever langauge they use.

  • Indian on January 16, 2007, 16:37 GMT

    If you read through all the messages on here, every single white person supports Gibbs' actions.Tells you a lot doesnt it? :)

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on January 16, 2007, 16:37 GMT

    OK he should not have been banned for being a racist.

    I think we should ban him anyway for being such a twat. He thinks he is Tom Cruise in those shades!

    He should have been banned a long time ago for match fixing. Justice has been done although albeit in an indirect way!

  • subramanian on January 16, 2007, 16:28 GMT

    how is that controversy seems to follow the Pakistani team wherever they go???Perhaps they should act like grown ups and show all the fire and fury on field rather than off it...Remember after all the voices shouting for Gibb's head subside ,wat remains would be the fact that Pakistani played bad cricket and lost as simple as that.... As regards Nel and co are concerned ,they seem to be playing cricket like spoilt brats really one cant help but spot shades of colonial dominance in that...may be i am wrong ,maybe they really play their game that hard,but i (and millions other sub continent viewers (those "animals" incl))are no sherlock holmes whose eyes are trained to look at anything but the obvious.....its time for those blessed souls to either sledge the australian team with equal ferocity (and get fucked in the process)as they do the hapless and (at times) spineless Asian teams or to give up sledging all together......

  • Anup Kumar Das on January 16, 2007, 16:20 GMT

    ICC match referee went way over the top! What is so racial about calling any one 'bloody animal'?? Insult, yes. Racist? NO Players are humans after all. When they are abused, they get angry and they react. What is racist in their expressing anger?

  • Wijdan on January 16, 2007, 16:18 GMT

    To those who want to view the incident, it can be seen here: http://cricketvideosunplugged.blogspot.com/2007/01/sounds-like-boucher.html

    I agree with most of Kamran Abassi's article. However, I don't think sledging in general is bad. It brings the best out of some players and makes the game more competitive. It's in every sport and cricket should be no exception. But racist slurs do not have a place in any society or game. I was surprised that Gibbs didn't get banned longer, especially considering his history in the game. Had this been Shoaib Akhtar, I imagine he would have been banned for half a year at least.

  • Robbo on January 16, 2007, 16:17 GMT

    These things should not be got out of proportion, South Africa complained of Racial taunts in Australia. The odd comment not particlarly directed at individual is not the same as insulting somebody consistently even if that is not racial but seems to be accepted as sledging. While not condoning racism comments should be put in perspective. Perhaps as importantly the Pakistanis have no right to take the moral high ground having whitewashed their drugtakers

  • Len on January 16, 2007, 16:17 GMT

    Pakistan lost the game but managed to win against Gibbs.Part of the crowd behaved like animals and Gibbs spoke the truth.Come on Pakistan play the game and get on with it. Dont look to stump mikes to cloud a defeat.

  • goughie on January 16, 2007, 16:14 GMT

    its purely double standards, as a white person, i feel the asian bloc always get mis-treated whilst touring places like australia and south africa... one rule for aussies etc nd another for the asian bloc... its a farce

  • Raj on January 16, 2007, 16:12 GMT

    When Andre Nel and Co swear and abuse the batsmen(especially the coloured people), commentators Barry Richards, Jackman etc find it hilarious and feel that these kinds of antics is what makes cricket an interesting and fun game to watch. They absolutely love it. Now when Sreesanth(Indian bowler) was having a few words with the SA players, Richards and co found it too hot to handle. They were like "Arent the umpires going to do something about this?? He is going over the limit. The match referee may like to have a word with him at the end of the match blah blah blah blah".They go on and on and on and on about that one player and one incident. Listen whitey Richards we are fed up of your double standards. The ACC should let ICC run the show alone. The ACC should have a major say in all that happens. Without the asian teams, the ICC is nothing, a BIGGGG ZEROOOOOOOOO.

    The white race was never superior and will never be. You have always been an unfair prejudiced lot and you always will be.

  • Kripa on January 16, 2007, 16:06 GMT

    Players like McGrath, Nel, Gibbs have consistently been racially abusing players from other countries, especially from the sub-continent. They deserved to be punished severely. Laws should be brought to cricket where the team facing abuses from the fans immediately are awarded runs. This would automatically stop the fans from behaving badly. Also punishment in terms of money is stupid, the punishment should also include stripping of their performance in the current match. If Gibbs wanted to swear, he could have very easily done so in his native language. Seems to me he wanted to be heard which only magnifies his intentions.

  • Waqqas on January 16, 2007, 16:05 GMT

    As with peoples comments to a previous blog, it seems that this one too seems divided along racial lines. Intersting. It seems as though Pakistanis have become much disliked. First of all the SAFs go to Australia and complain about racism for some time during it and even after the tour. Then one of their players get done and suddenly its not his fault? I was watching the match and heard this whole incident live on air. Apart form the "animals" comment Gibbs kept saying "f****** Pakistanis" along side the "bloody animals" part. So i guess it was part of the same sentence.

  • Bloubul on January 16, 2007, 16:00 GMT

    Gibbs should not have been banned for two matches. Hey, s**t happens. Next test on Friday! Big can of whoopass again for Pakistan. Gibb's ban gives another new player the opportunity to show the steel of South-African cricketers! Go the Proteas!!!!!!!!

  • Rehan on January 16, 2007, 15:59 GMT

    South Africa is a completely classless team. As much as I respect their cricketing ability, they ought to be better ambassadors for their nation. You are not playing club cricket, this is an international between the representative teams of two proud nations. And what is all your cockiness about South Africa? What have you ever won?

  • Umair Muzaffar on January 16, 2007, 15:59 GMT

    The defense that Hereschelle Gibbs has put forward and the defense that seems to be supported by Graeme Smith is that the comment was for his teammates to hear.

    This is a cause of concern … somehow it is OK for the teammates together to carry bigoted feelings but as a public front they need to hide it.

    I am not sure if this is at the heart of the ICC’s or CSA’s policy. I believe that both the ICC and, particularly CSA with South Africa’s background of racial injustice, has put these clauses in their constitution to make sure that at least Cricketers are hate free. Their intent is not to have the Cricketers be nice to one another publicly and planning a lynching in private.

    The mere fact that Herschelle Gibbs uttered those words is an insight into his mind --- and tells us how he thinks. On top of that it is being justified as loose conversation between the teammates. If that is true than Greame Smith should have come forward and have reported his player’s racist outburst himself rather than wait for Inzamam to complain and then defend the remarks. The mere fact, that Greame Smith is defending the statements as conversations among the teammates, allows us an insight into how Graeme Smith thinks himself as well. As if it does not matter how you actually think as long as you don’t say it publicly. The reality is that according to the ICC and CSA’s true meaning of the clauses is to promote Cricket as a gentlemen’s game and to promote clean and unbiased thinking amongst its players and teams.

    Somehow that Zimbabwe Cricket’s decision to revamp its Cricket to favor the underprivileged looks like a way to clean up world sport.

    That said, I think that authorities need to implement crowd control when the barmy army goes on with it’s antics as well as the Ausi supporters are also monitored exactly the way the Pakistanis, Indian, Sri Lankan or Bangladeshi supporters are monitored.

    Regards, Umair

  • south africain sont merde on January 16, 2007, 15:58 GMT

    South African team used to be a good bunch ...but since Graeme Smith has taken over the captaincy , the bully he is ,,he wont leash his pupps like nel or gibbs or Andrew hall..what really amazed me was when i saw that roockie paul harris swearing at pakistani batsman...NEL and HARRIS u guys are lucky that i wasnt one of thoese batsmen.. lets take south africa outta of the test playing nations like before apartheid cz they havent change a bit..

  • Matthew Gray on January 16, 2007, 15:58 GMT

    Not really sure why he is being punished at all. Calling a group of a crowd a bunch of animals is surely only considered racist by somebody that is searching for racism. I'm sure that I was called worse by my coach after a bad training session. It makes me a little bit sick to be sticking up for a south african as I am an aussie that had to sit through the winge session that was last years aus vs SA test series. It seems to me as though sticks and stones are no longer the only things that brake bones.

    I can however see the irony of the side that complains the most about 'racist taunts' being punished for an alleged one of their own.

  • TB on January 16, 2007, 15:56 GMT

    I am just fad up with spectators who hurl verbal abuse towards players just because they paid the price of the admission. I am a Pakistani living in the United States and I see the same issue here as well. For goodness sake watch the game peacefully; support your team but don’t be abusive towards the opposition.

  • saqib on January 16, 2007, 15:56 GMT

    Come on people. i have read many people saying that "bunch of animals" is not a raciest word. I think they didnot see the whole video. Some one also said "F Pakistanis". These two words were enough to make everyone in Pakistan be angry on SA. And if they meant some particular player with"F pakkistanis",then well they should have made it clear in stump mic because the whole world was watching it. And i am quiet surprised the way SA coach has justified the event. I hope Shoaib AKhtar bowls a bouncer to BIG MOUTH NEL and shut him up.

  • Nikhil on January 16, 2007, 15:54 GMT

    I think the verdict on Gibbs was too harsh. The players are under constant pressure to perform on the field and the comments made reflect his frustrations and nothing else. There are things which even Indians and I am sure Pakistanis will say which can be construed as racist. The more serious action should be directed at the bowlers like Nel who quite freely offend the batsmen and its an insulting sight even from the living rooms of our homes

  • Magesh on January 16, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    I think the problem is with Pakistan. When India traveled to south africa, there were no such incidents, but come pakistan, just in the very first match we see such incidents. Pakistanis must learn discipline, that is my humble suggestion.

    Cheers,

  • Gulazam on January 16, 2007, 15:37 GMT

    The way the SA players conducted themselves throughout the match was a disgrace. Forget the usual suspect Nel, even a new player like Harris was over the top with his constant verbals from day 1. While Pakistan has had its fair share of issues SA cricket has not been totally devoid of problems - so there is little to be gained from comments targeting the Pakistan team especially as they weren't even involved in this incident.

  • Nick on January 16, 2007, 15:35 GMT

    I think everyone who loves cricket should be distressed by the increase in tasteless and abusive behaviour by players on the field, including pressurizing the umpire. Australia have continued to do this in recent years, and some of their appealing is no better than cheating. In my opinion, this whole issue of standards of conduct became a major problem with Steve Waugh's Australian side, who bent the rules and abused opponents and umpires freely. This unpleasant and unpsorting behaviour is now a general problem, not confined to one team, and it is the responsibility of the ICC to stamp on it hard and fast. I don't condone the behaviour of the spectators who were abusive, but they were punished, and Gibbs also should be punished. I am not sure whether his remarks were "racist" per se, but I do believe that calling someone else an animal is unacceptable, and should be dealt with severely. Overall, the problem is a problem for cricket as a whole, and it is long past time that the ICC intervened, established much clearer standards, and returned the game to a more honourable standard of conduct. But will the ICC ever have the independence or courage to do so?

  • Nick on January 16, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    I think everyone who loves cricket should be distressed by the increase in tasteless and abusive behaviour by players on the field, including pressurizing the umpire. Australia have continued to do this in recent years, and some of their appealing is no better than cheating. In my opinion, this whole issue of standards of conduct became a major problem with Steve Waugh's Australian side, who bent the rules and abused opponents and umpires freely. This unpleasant and unpsorting behaviour is now a general problem, not confined to one team, and it is the responsibility of the ICC to stamp on it hard and fast. I don't condone the behaviour of the spectators who were abusive, but they were punished, and Gibbs also should be punished. I am not sure whether his remarks were "racist" per se, but I do believe that calling someone else an animal is unacceptable, and should be dealt with severely. Overall, the problem is a problem for cricket as a whole, and it is long past time that the ICC intervened, established much clearer standards, and returned the game to a more honourable standard of conduct. But will the ICC ever have the independence or courage to do so?

  • Chris Benoy on January 16, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    Well this entire situation is a joke, sledging is part of the game, yet this wasn't even sledging it was a comment quite rightly made about the crowd who were in fact acting like animals. Well done Hershelle, you might not me the sharpest tool in the drawer but you might as well stand up for yourself.

    As for Nel he is one of the characters that make the game great, long before Pakistan were even a competative test playing nation there were agressive bowlers that would give a bit of lip to the batsmen and its what makes the game special rather then it being played by a bunch of robots.

    "I have difficulty beleiving that someone as obviously stupid as him plays game after game in international cricket and literally gets away with murder time and again" That goes down as foolish quote of the day, unless you have any proof that Nel kills someone every game then well, bit of a silly comment.

    As for stump mikes, keep them on, I loved hearing the comments during the ashes, Warnie was calling Bell the Sherminator in refrence to a film character, well do you see a bunch of English, ugly ginger people complaning ? no, its pathetic. If you cant handle playing the sport then don't play it, thats a fairly simple concept.

    I just wish that all these sub-continental teams would just stop bloody moaning every time some issue comes up, stop calling the racism card really, its not helping sort out the actual racism yet it gives match bans to people who essentially haven't done anything wrong. Grow up.

  • Kayes on January 16, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    Imran, please do not mess with the history of a nation. Everybody knows what you Pakistanis did to your own brothers, the Bangladeshis. Look at your own piece of history first. It is pretty much clear that you all want Gibbs banned from this series. And why not? He is a match winner. You are afraid of him. Paul Harris played a gigantic role in 1st Test win. So, you abused him verbally to get him mentally down! Who are the pathetic fellas here? The Pakistan team is cursed. Trouble and unwanted incidents follow wherever they go. You just don't have the guts to accept the result of a game. Have you ever physically involved in any type of game? Many things can be said on the field. Players become physically and mentally stressed. What Gibbs said was a clear consequence of what the Pakistani supporters did. Those uncultured people should be kicked out of South Africa and should never be allowed to visit there ever in life. However, Gibbs did wrong there. He shouldn't have got agitated and should have remained within the spirit of the game and let the officials handle the matter. But I agree with Tauhira. The punishment is too much as it was clearly a humanly reaction.

  • Jake Odombay on January 16, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    If anyone has any doubts or questions about EXACTLY what Mr. Gibbs said, please see the video of it on www.pakrcric.com ... because he apparently did not just say "bloody animals". He said a lot more than that. You guys listen it out yourself what he said. That is why the punishment given to Gibbs is Right !!! I am south african of black heritage. My parents have had to deal w/ immense racism growing up. My love is in SA but on this issue, I have to side against Gibbs as Racism against anyone is wrong and he was gone against our own SA principles/beliefs.

  • question on January 16, 2007, 15:22 GMT

    Why is everyone using this article as an opportunity to mention the drug fiasco? To my knowledge this is an article relating to another subject matter. So Gibbs was mistreated by a group of Pakistan supporters, could the abuse have been anywhere as bad as the abuse KP recieved when England last toured? Did England reply to the abuse that SA did? No.

  • Danish Khan on January 16, 2007, 15:21 GMT

    Two wrongs dont make a right, and the principle of mathemetics of two negatives becoming a positive doesnt apply in the principle of this wonderful sport. The behaviour of our fans (which is a very minute segment of our Pakistani fans) was absolutely wrong and they were rightly evicted when the incident of them abusing was reported to the security by the players. It should have been left till that! Those fans were not professionals of the sport, however Gibbs and for that matter a defensive SA team & coach are! And could Gibbs honestly without lying to himself say that it was the 'behaviour' of the fans as 'animals' as he so suggested and as many comments here suggest? And a comment from Murray that playing drug tainted players is ok or not leaves me to suggest playing Gibbs, known for taking and admitting so a bribe is ok????? Hell! We're not even saying that its not ok, even though he shouldnt have reached 94 when surviving two plumb lbw appeals! Gibbs should be fined as well along with a two match ban!

  • Len on January 16, 2007, 15:21 GMT

    Gibbs wasn't refering to a persons nationality or race. He was refering to there actions. If a person acts like an animal they deserved to be called an animal. It's time for for people to start taking responsibility for there actions instead of calling the race card all the time!!!!

  • Faizal on January 16, 2007, 15:19 GMT

    i feel sori for Hashim Amla in this situation... porr innocent guy!

  • Unni on January 16, 2007, 15:16 GMT

    kamran - Compared to what ICC did to Inzy for trying to assault a guy for calling him Aaloo, Gibbs' punishment was way too harsh

  • D. Carlos on January 16, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    If the only comments attributed to Gibbs were that the "Pakistanis were behaving like animals", that cannot be construed as a racist comment. The ban appears to be a bit harsh in light of these comments. So I am assuming he had to have said something more that we are not aware of.

    However the Pakistanis cannot claim any moral highground as no one but the said players and their on air commentators will ever be able to understand their comments picked up through the stump Mike.

    It strange though how one can be banned for such a comment while Glen Mcgrath goes unpunished for asking Sarwan of the WI team what a certain part of Lara's anatomy taste like. Granted Sarwans retort was enough punishment for Glen. But hey these are Austrailian's they can get away with anything it seems.

    Anyway for the Pakistanis this is Daryl Hair situation all over again, when they claimed the ball tampering incident is tantamount to calling an entire nation cheats, only for 2 of their players to be caught using steroids.

  • Matthew on January 16, 2007, 15:13 GMT

    PS the SA team statiscian works for me...and he reports that "animals" was all Gibbs said.

  • Karl Slingblade on January 16, 2007, 15:12 GMT

    Oh yes, I forgot to mention 2 favorite words that most Pakistani bowlers love to dish out when bowling. I cannot mention them here but I can explain that the word implies doing unnatural acts with ones sister & mother. Credit for pointing these words out to me goes to a good friend of mine who is from Pakistan. But seriously, we're living in a world where one cannot order black coffee before offending somebody or the other. Where have the Benny Hills and Andrew Dice Clays of the world gone?

  • Abbas B on January 16, 2007, 15:12 GMT

    why is it that in the past 2 series between pakistan and south africa (including this one), south africa are specifically hurtling abuse towards Pakistani players and supporters? definitely both gibbs and some pakistani supporters are at fault, but whenever such incidients occur, south africa always jump to the occasion of reporting pakistan for so and so misconduct. the same thing doesn't occur when south africa play most other teams, except for australia.

  • Alisdair Owens on January 16, 2007, 15:09 GMT

    As an Englishman with no love whatsoever for the SA team, I have to say that I'm appalled by this ban. Calling a group of abusive supporters a bunch of animals is in no way racist. It's time that this sort of hypersensitivity was suppressed.

    On the other hand, if someone could find a way to get Andre Nel punished for his appalling behaviour, I'd be all for it.

  • Matthew on January 16, 2007, 15:07 GMT

    Just scrolling up...I have to say...Rupert, Mark, Victor, Graham, saif, Rogan...HEAR HEAR!!!

  • IRFAN SAFDAR on January 16, 2007, 15:03 GMT

    Im amazed how some of the people in the forum are trying to justify that the remarks were not racist."fuc... Pakistanis" that is as racist as it gets.Shame of Gibbs , shame on Smith who is always crying.

  • Matthew on January 16, 2007, 15:02 GMT

    WTH? He said they were a bunch of animals (with a few expletives thrown in I hear). What's racist about that?! Maybe he could have got a suspended ban for attacking the fans, but being called animals is hardly racist! I'm South African! I know all the definitions of racism! And being called an animal is not one of them!! ...no more than calling your girlfriend's meddling best friend a bitch or calling the fat guy next door a pig. IMO the Pakistani public's response to this is ridiculous and probably stems from the current issues generated by world opinion of Islam (not that I have a problem with Islam myself). They are just being oversensitive. If that had been a bunch of pissed Aussies or the Barmy Army, they would have just laughed at him.

    And let's not forget the Pakistanis started it either....

  • Iftikhar Qamar on January 16, 2007, 15:02 GMT

    Well..no place for abuses and racism. So no compromise should be done in this context. Gibbs should be penalized more severly and those spectators who caused problem should be dealt according to the law as well....No body should be above law.

  • Farhan Quavi on January 16, 2007, 14:59 GMT

    And i tell you one thing. This all nonsense of Pakistani supporters harrassing South African players is just crap. Boucher, Smith and Gibbs these three players were around the batsmen most of the two innings and continuously uttering offensive, racist remarks that were intended for the players and not for the Pakistani supporters. One time in the second inning when Imran Farhat hit a boundry and Younis khan went up to him and pat him on his back, one close in South African player told imran Farhat sarcastically, 'May be he likes your hairy ass.' It was picked up by wicket microphone and interestingly enough, umpire stood there as if they heard nothing. Man, I tell you one thing, this is no sledging. And this is only one of the several degrading remarks that were picked up by microphone. Unbelievable, simply unbelievable.

  • SG on January 16, 2007, 14:55 GMT

    No one knows exactly what Gibbs said, the only thing confirmed is the "bunch of animals". Until it is fully established what he said, and on what basis he has been banned, we shouldn't pass any judgement. I would be extremely surprised if he has been banned purely for calling the spectators animals, which is probably not the right call, but in any case considering the stance the ICC (and in particular someone like Chris Broad) has normally kept, Gibbs must have said something genuinely bad. Also, something really has to be done about security, Gibbs should never have been allowed to be abused in the first place, those idiotic "fans" should have been chucked out instantly. Also concerning the SA player's behaviour, I think a few have certainly crossed the line. It's embarrasing to see people here persistently praise SA for "playing hard cricket" etc etc. Hard cricket is not constantly swearing at the opposition and behaving in truly vulgar fashion. It's about what you do with the ball as much as the body language you give. It's fine to stare at the batsman or give a few sarcasic claps, or just give an "honest" opinion on his technique. As long as there is respect, nothing else matters. And it's obvious the SA players have zero respect, and it may cost them later on, as I think we all know how Pakistan can react. Mr. Abbassi may have gone a little overboard with the "vile" behaviour of the SA players, I wouldn't say it was vile, maybe only Nel, he his the single source of the bad blood between the teams, he really is not good for the game, he does not even have the quality to back up his obscene behaviour, unlike McGrath (although he also overdid it at times). It's quite amazing also how rapidly people jump on the "this is PC nonsense" bandwagon, I need not say what type of people they are. However, if the complaint was made by the PCB based on just the "like animals" comment then it is probably a bad call, it may or may not have been racist in nature and that situation one must be big enough and ignore and give Gibbs the benefit of doubt. But ofcourse, the facts are not crystal clear yet. I also think Pakistan fans and players should not concern themselves with this anymore, it's done and dusted. The fans should look forward to the next 2 test matches, hope and pray they win, and the players should pick themselves, hopefully with Shoaib playing from now on, and look to achieve a great feat in winning the series, whilst silencing a few people on the way.

  • Jeremy on January 16, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    By the definition of racism, what Gibbs said is not racist, should be end of story. I'd love to see one person here try to defend the position that the comments were in fact racist by nature. No one has so far or not that I could find.

    Please do if you can.

    Calling what he said racist can only be interpreted as either ignorant or racist itself. It's racist because it implies you are saying that calling a non-white group of people "animals" is racism. Whereas you could never make the argument that calling a group of white supporters "animals" is racist.

    Anyhow people making the racist claim seem to have very poor blinded arguments and they probably won't understand my argument. Ultimately though it's stupid to argue with idiots. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

  • Frikkie on January 16, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    I think the whole thing is rediculus, if he Gibbs had said the same things about Australian or English supporters their would have been no problem.

  • Saud on January 16, 2007, 14:53 GMT

    Its all fun and game and then someone complains to the match ref. Who has never abused on the ground? or never in life said something which someONE will find offensive somehow? Personally I don't want a match between mullah 11 vs pope 11 nor am I a fan of people winning the game with the using their tongue . I think a "Self Monitored Players Union" might be the solutions rather then ICC bans.

  • Gray on January 16, 2007, 14:49 GMT

    Its ridiculous the ban Gibbs received. Here is a man who reacted to taunts made at his team mates...If i have it correct, the Pakistani supporters were allowed to abuse the players without reprucussion? The stewards should have thrown them out. The South African authorities should have thrown them out the ground! Herschelle said what he did in the privacy of his own team...isnt that tantamount to an opinion..he did not racially abuse the crowd, unlike they were doing to the players. I support Gibbs and believe that the supporters should be held. accountable for their actions as well! One of South Africans strengths is their ability to unsettle opposition, ie. where they lack talent they make up in heart...Andre Nel is not the most talented but i challenge anyone to find someone with a bigger heart for their country in world cricket.

  • Wasiq on January 16, 2007, 14:48 GMT

    Kamran,

    As you can probably see based on these comments that this is indeed a wider problem not just in cricket but throughout the globe. Most of these folks are looking at it either black or white, which doesn't surprise me at all. Anyway i just wanted to respond to this article to inform your readers the exact words of what Gibbs said. I have heard this with my own ears over and over again to be precisely sure of what he said. After the end of an over before lunch this is what the microphone picked up. Gibbs: "F***ing bunch of animals, bunch of hyenas, f***king go back to the zoo, f***king Pakistanis".

    So NO he didn't simply say animals but he specifically said Pakistanis. It's up to you to decide.

  • Suri on January 16, 2007, 14:48 GMT

    The Gibbs issue is part of a broader problem in SA Cricket Team.....lack of talent!!! We saw a disgraceful performance by Nel, Harris etc on the field....why??...cos they could not get out their opponents by their talent and control. Gibbs one of the few talented cricketers in the team got caught up with this bully boy attitude, and aggression which got the crowd going ...the rest is history. Gibbs is no racist that is not the issue. SA selectors you have chosen some poor criketers to represent our country..they should be ambassadors for the sport, role models for the kids, instead we have half a team of mediocre criketers who wouldn't even make an Auzzy 3rd team, and who think that they can compete at test level. Auzzies sledge but they are cleaver and subtle about it, not in your face hooligans. They get under your skin mainly cos they are so good, and then throw in a few sledges for good measure...nothing at all wrong with that. SA selectors should shoulder some responsibility for fielding such a mediocre test side when talent in SA cricket abounds. It puts people who really should not be on the test stage in an environment where they can not cope with the level of play, and they resort to abuse to try and cover up their inadequacies. Blame also to the leadership, Captain and Coach are out of their depths in the leadership stakes. We need real leaders,people of substance to mange and lead our national sides, they should set the level of play and moral integrity of the team, they are representing not only a team but a country.

  • haroon on January 16, 2007, 14:46 GMT

    okay people enough of this and that, lets add up all the in "favour of gibbs", and see how many of them are white south africans, then we do some statistics and see who really is complaining that gibbs was not racist in his comments, please do quotes gibbs words, word for word , and once there is any mention of pakis in what he has said, then it isn's a general comment anymore. ITS DAMN RACIST,

    and again i am proudly south african, and we dont tolerate such statements.

  • Rohan on January 16, 2007, 14:41 GMT

    I think the decision to punish Gibbs is right. What happens to the South African players when they travel to Australia? Why don't they speak when it is called for. Abusing has increased a lot in South African team and players like Andre Nel should also be reprimanded so that they don't take the spirit of the game away.

  • JasonP on January 16, 2007, 14:40 GMT

    When the Pakistani Cricket team can play a game of cricket without accusations of ball tampering, drug abuse or disgusting fans carrying on like a complete bunch of YAHOO's in the stands - then maybe there would be room for them to be critical!!! The Pakistan cricket team is a damn disgrace to cricket as a sport and an institution! If their fans have to be escorted out of a stadium for ridiculous and unacceptable behaviour - then "animal" seems an adequate description....as for banning sledging in cricket? Please! Leave it be - just make sure you sledge adults who can take it....

  • Shoaib To bruise nel on January 16, 2007, 14:39 GMT

    well well there is alot of comments on this topic isn't there. But why shouldnt there be it's a big story. Cricket should do more to promote anti racism, just as football is doing. I love the article sir, Gibbs punishment is a fair, desrved one. And like you said in your article the south african players were giving alot of stick to the pakistan bowlers.

    Andre nel was having ago at the batsmen every ball, i just cant wait till shoaib is back i'm sure there will be alot of bouncers directed at nels head, i can;t wait. Nel needs a good hiding.

  • Abrar Ahmed on January 16, 2007, 14:38 GMT

    Actually, no one seems to know what was actually said.Possibly becacuse the ICC deems the matter to be so "sensitive" that only selective extracts of the chat has been oficially put forward. It could be, that other derogatory racial epithets had been used but has not been made public. We therefore need to reserve judgement till th full facts come out. Having said that an emotive term such as "PAKI" (which may have been used)has different connotations and impact around the world. I remember about ten years ago, commentaries by Tony Greig (native South African)used the term "Pakis" in referring to the Pakistani test team. I believe, this was a completely innocent use of the word and within the context of Australian or South African community would not be deemed to be a racial insult. I would even go so far as to suggest that any ethnic pakistanis living in Australia or South Africa at the time would have been offended or slighted. However, over the years it has been generally acknowledged that the word "PAKI" may give offence as this epithet is used in a derogatary manner and used as a insult in the U.K, for example. Tony Greig too, is sensitive enough now not to use this word. It's all about understanding the context, whether the terms is likely to cause offence, the degree of provocation giving rise to the insult and the like. Having said that, there can be no mitigating circumstances for someone such as Darren Lehman to utter his thoughts on the Sri Lankan teanm after having been given out. Shane Watson's pronouncements on Aleem Dar may not amount to the same thing

  • Naveen Subramaniam on January 16, 2007, 14:37 GMT

    I completely agree with Javed Khan - the kind of behaviour the aussies and south africans get away with is shocking and farcial to say the least. Daryl Harper said to the young Indian keeper Dinesh Karthik not to get carried away the minute the youngster made a longish appeal. He was officiating in the same test where Andre Nel was repeatedly running down the pitch and talking to the batsmen after every ball - not a word was said to him. It was as though Nel's ritual was a part of his daily exercises!. I would go as far as saying that the biggest perpetartors are the ICC - how else can one justify the recall of darrel hair?. Unfortunately, India and pakistan seem to be at the receiving end. There can be no sympathy for the behaviour of Gibbs and the south africans - they may be winners, but are poor role models and certainly can't be called champions.

  • Afrikaner 1 on January 16, 2007, 14:32 GMT

    David Smith - you are hallucinating - Gibbs is certainly not an Afrikaner, neither is Smith or Hall - easy cop out - blame it on the Afrikaner - you, sir, are clueless.

  • Rational man on January 16, 2007, 14:30 GMT

    The Pakistani fans had it coming. If you act like animals what do you expect. And why are they living in South Africa, abusing SA players and vehemently supporting Pakistan with flags and what not. Its shameful and disgraceful. Show some respect to the country you live in. They should be humiliated and kicked out of SA. I can never understand how these morons get into such countries in the first place. Go back to Pakistan.

  • Narayan R on January 16, 2007, 14:30 GMT

    Cricket is a game and needs the sporting spirit.. All the aggression is fine as long as the game is played in spirits. This is not war. Abuse, racism and any kind of unsporting activities have no place... They can easily be found on the back alleys of any city and cricketers don't have to worry about promoting them.. Gibbs has to stay out and so be the case..

  • Farhan Quavi on January 16, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    You know friends, it seems like most of you haven't watched any of the action when pakistan was batting in both innings. The kind of rubbish I was hearing non-stop has led me to lost all the respect for this South African team. I became such a big fan of this S.A team when they beat Aussies in that fifth one day chasing that huge 400+ score but after watching this last test match - i have stunned by the racial behavior these players have displayed. Non-stop you could hear in the background Boucher, Gibbs, Smith throwing out racial slurs on the batsmen. Here is the video link from this test match where boucher is saying F--KING PAKI. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifAgtI989ns&eurl And that annoying Nel. i dont understand what to make of this guy. South Africans you have lost a fan here and many more around the world - I tell you that..

  • Eddy on January 16, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    Hashim Amla is strong enough to stand up for what he believes in , thus castle does not appear anywhere on his attire.Are some of you morons honestly suggesting that he, Prince or the strong willed Ntini or coloured Gibbs would racially taunt the Pakistanis? The SA bowling coach is not white, neither in the convenor of selectors. Does the name Gerald Majola sound white ?If our cricket is as rotten as some of you suggest would these people still be involved ?Can the players continue to take abuse and not discuss it ? Are they not human ?

  • Navin Pinto on January 16, 2007, 14:27 GMT

    All this crap about Gibbs making a racist comment makes me sick! Calling a bunch of unruly supporters "a bunch of animals" and telling them to "Go back to the zoo!" can in NO WAY be interpreted as remotely racist. As an India living in the US, it pisses me off when people of my race make such accusations of racism. It is so cowardly! Were the supporters feeling they were from an inferior race that they felt racially abused?

    Anyhow, without a doubt, people of Indian and Pakistani races are far more racist than any other community. It's time we admitted that and faced the bloody facts.

  • lividd on January 16, 2007, 14:25 GMT

    to all those who are crying about 'animal thang' not racist remark... well lemme update u all... the remarks that got gibbs in poop were 'f@#$%^& PAKISTANIS'... now tell me thats not racist... this that!

  • Get a life on January 16, 2007, 14:24 GMT

    It's amazing that none of the Pakistani supporters comments reflect the fact that Gibbs' comments were actually not racial. He referred to the crowd behaving like "bloody animals" Is this racist? If he had said this in Australia, would it be considered to be racist. Is this whole affair just about "sour grapes" then? Kamran Abbasi, you are way too biased to be a responsible journalist - get a life.

  • Sean, Australia on January 16, 2007, 14:16 GMT

    #Sorry Mr.Jag if south Africa were taunts by the crowd in Australia, does that mean SA players are allow to make racial comments towards the crowds? Your comment looks funny.

    #I totally agree with you Javed A. Khan. Andre Nel should be warned for sledging on batsman. It's ok once or twice but not every ball. I have noticed that SA players try to distract the batsman.

    #Confused you yourself confused and how do you know what is right and wrong???!!!

    #Murray are you out of your mind??? If you are going to talk about drug issues, who is going to talk about matchfixing matters?

    #If you bark at the dog when the dog barks at you, there is no difference between you and the dog. I agree that bad behaviour is not acceptable but you H Gibbs representing a nation should be wise.

    I don't think calling someone animal is a racial comment. Infact its not. But inappropriate behaviour of Gibbs is unacceptable and he should be punished. May be a warning. Gibbs You are representing a nation please behave yourself...

    Cricket is gentlemen game and simply we cannot allow bunch of clowns like A Nel come and spoil the game

  • jon on January 16, 2007, 14:09 GMT

    nonsense

  • John Vane on January 16, 2007, 14:01 GMT

    The first thing that needs to be said is that if Gibbs did racially villify members of the crowd then he needs to be punished, the second thing is that he is a professional cricketer who is paid to do a job, part of that job is to be situationally aware. If he doesn't know the stump mics might be on then he has problems. Thirdly, as has been stated before, this is one incident in one place that has nothing to do with Australia, Darell Hair, Andre Nell, Drugs in Sport, the West Indies, etc so why are people drawing all of those issues into it? Fourthly, why in any blog on this site does it degenerate into a race based slanging match - honestly it's 11 men on each team in white clothes. Lastly, Gibbs, even if not guilty of any particular crime, is guilty of gross stupidity so enforce the ban as it stands but make sure that the same ban applies consistently for comments overheard about the nature of the crowd.

  • Ryan on January 16, 2007, 14:00 GMT

    Rahul,

    Im pretty sure this coments board is about Gibbs. What are you reading? Im sure Shoaib would be the same if he wasnt so drugged up.

  • Gobbler on January 16, 2007, 14:00 GMT

    This entire incident is ludicrous. Racism has nothing to do with it - its all those "holier than thou" hypocrites that love to criticise others, under any circumstances. How is it that the players don't complain about Nel et al ? Perhaps its because they have decided he isn't worth it and would rather smash his bowling over the fence than whine about his antics ! Abuse of players by other players and/or members of the crowd (in ALL Countries, not just Ozzie or SA) have been going on since Noah was a boy - and will continue regardless of any hissy fit being thrown by the ICC and/or CSA and/or anybody else ! For heaven's sake people let's all grow up. Also, to compare Herschelle's misdemeanour to the drug bans of Pakistani players is totally ridiculous. Players from ALL countries swear and perform on the field but it seems that only some (ie those from politically correct and wimpish ones) are punished and publicly villified. How about banning loutish fans from cricket matches ? That would make a heck of a lot more sense to me...

  • Fabs on January 16, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    Its good that people like Shary Malik acknowledge that the supporters need to do their role as well. As an australian I was embarrassed by the racist remarks made by supporters against south africa when they toured here last summer and think its good that the grounds are ejected the hooligans from the ground. It seems that everyone is doing their bit to stamp out the problem and i think that if it continues to be moderated as such it will eventually disappear. But what I want to know is what Gibbs said that was racist. All I've heard that he said is that that particular part of the crowd were a "bunch of animals" and I don't see that as racist. If they're swearing and carrying on then that makes them animals and has nothing to do with whether they were pakistani, south african, chinese or antarctican. Perhaps the other stuff he said is too harsh to be repeated... When will players let their bats and balls do the talking instead of running their mouth all the time?

  • Sal on January 16, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    Since when did highly paid sports pro (so called pros) get a licence to use abusive language racsist or not. What sort of role model is Nel when he is ranting and raving swearing and blinding during every over , "i smell blood" etc. Get a grip SA Cricket you are becoming more and more like the Australians. Sledging is one thing to distract a batsmen, but to hurl insults is another. You talk about Pakistan and their problems, what about Gibbs and his tainted background, was he not branded a cheat not so long a go, he is still a wanted man in India, right ?? if pakistan can have "branded cheats" in their team look at your own shadey past. You don't look so rosey now do you.

  • Graham on January 16, 2007, 13:53 GMT

    I think that it has been established that if all Gibbs said was "bloody animals" this is DEFINITELY not racist. If anyone thinks it is please explain the rationale. However as a real South African sports fan I agree with the comments about Smith and Nel. Smiths constant gum chewing and spitting are very irritating and he is not a captain I am proud of and who I would want our youth to look up to. Prince would make a far better captain. Nel is a big buffoon. He is an embarrasment to South Africa and to himself. Everyone says that he is mild mannered off the pitch, but this is no good to the fans as we only see him on TV or live. I enjoy a bit of chirping and niggle but Nel is pathetic. Grow up Andre you are going to burn yourself out before your time.

  • cricketer on January 16, 2007, 13:51 GMT

    south african players(among other whites) can get away with anything....thats the feeling ICC is giving... i am an indian but i sincerely wish...akhtar plays next game and bowls to nel!!

  • Jag on January 16, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    Sincere apologies to Mr ABBASI for wrongly referring to him as Mr Akmal previously. Dear me, looks like my earlier post has been received more varied opinon than I care to keep up with... To clarify my position, I was never defending H Gibbs. There is no excuse for racism or direct retaliation to jibes from the crowd. A man cannot choose the colour of skin he is born with.

    I was postulating though, whether the Pak players should have shown some of that aggression rather than their supporters, and where the supporters frustrations came from in the first place...perhaps from their team's inadequacy to deal with the all the (non-racist) sledging.

  • Tom on January 16, 2007, 13:48 GMT

    The racist comments on this blog are disgusting, far worse than anything Gibbs said but yet many of you seem to feel free to dish it out and crucify Gibbs at the same time. Two facts: 1) Gibbs is a "person of colour" (only a racist would care). 2) You don't have to be white to be racist. The number of blogs here which refer to racism being a symptom of all white south africans or south african society as a wholeis astonishing. Do any of those who posted these sentiments realise just how truly racist they themselves are?

    Feel free to flame me, I'll not be returning to this blog. The attitubes displayed by many posters on both sides of the arguement are revolting. Complaining about racist comments with a racist post is hypocracy of the worst nature.

    The Pakistani fans behaved atrociously and those responsible should be banned from live cricket matches in South Africa for a set period Gibbs' comments were rude and he should know better. A 2 match ban is a little harsh, but fair enuff, he was in error. Playing the race card is pathetic, he did not refer to anyones race, religion or ethnicity and was referring to a specific group of people, not a people as a whole. So what was racist about what he said?

    As for Andre Nel and the rest of the team this hardly seems to be the forum. Sure Andre Nel is an idiot who can be downright offensive but it seems to me that many of the posts here seem to be from people who've simply been looking for an excuse to SLEDGE south africa and it's cricket team and have no understanding of the real issue here.

    That is all.

  • pratyush on January 16, 2007, 13:45 GMT

    i think any kind of racism cannot be allowed in a game of cricket, either by players or by spectators. spectators need to be punished as well. i think players are human as well, why do we only expect them to be right always ?

  • will on January 16, 2007, 13:43 GMT

    "All credit to Cricket South Africa for further investigating Herschelle Gibbs but what they really should be doing is considering the public conduct of their team. It is conduct that does little for the image of the Rainbow Nation."

    Gibbs should not be playing international cricket - he should have been banned for match fixing. Asif and Akhtar should not be playing either and if you are looking to call anyone a disgrace how about Inzi (remember the Oval). Funny how you only remember when you are cheated or abused...

  • Ozkaapie on January 16, 2007, 13:43 GMT

    Channel 10 in Sydney played the audio with subtitles in their report. It is: "****bunch of animals" "**** hyenas, go back to the zoo". Clearly in Gibb's accent. Then a slight gap and a DIFFERENT voice, from slightly further away says: "F****ing Pakistanis". Until I heard that second voice I had not thought it was racist. Animals is an apt term for the crowd behaviour. But I wonder who that second voice is???

  • Enqyoob on January 16, 2007, 13:42 GMT

    Pakistani team should be commended for complaining about racist taunts. The recorded insult by convicted match-fixer Herschel Gibbs is only the tip of the sewage pile. Andre Nel, Graeme Smith and Hall are also persistent foul-mouthed abusers, and the ICC and umpires have been blatantly biased in tolerating this, while "cracking down" on perceived offenses such as Srisanth saying 'bye' to Amla, or for appealing for catches on close shaves ( I mean bat-ball-pad, not Mr. Amla)

    WHY has Graeme Smith not been banned for "bringing the game into disrepute" as his team has most certainly done, in both the India series and now in the Pakistan 1st Test? His personal example is dismal, and he is clearly encouraging his team to continue to bring the game into disrepute. Pakistan should ask why Nel's and Gibbs' and Smith's behavior is not bringing the game into disrepute, like the ICC accused (falsely, as it was proven) that Inzamam of doing.

    If the ICC can't stop being racist louts, India and Pakistan should take their money and cricket teams into a new organization independent of ICC. Let the ICC go watch the boors spit at each other - Australia and South Africa are abusive louts, and England are slimy whiners. They deserve each other. As for the West Indies, after Lara's behavior towards Dhoni after his team's dishonest "catch", I cannot have any respect for them either. Their umpire Doctrove is an Uncle Tom of the worst kind.

  • Sally on January 16, 2007, 13:36 GMT

    perhaps Chris Broad is at fault here, if he is the person that instigated the enquiry (the above article is so badly written and doesn't quite provide all the important facts that I am not too sure).

    If he has then perhaps it is his error in labeling this a misconduct with racist overtones instead of just calling it what it was, ungentlemanly conduct and bringing the game into disrepute - which would normally be a cash fine.

  • Rashy on January 16, 2007, 13:36 GMT

    Here is the recording of Gibbs comments

    http://www.pakcric.com/cricket/cricket-videos/boucher-saying-f-pakistanis-pakistan-vs-sa-2007-test-1.html

    Gibbs said: "F*cking animals.. f*cking go back to the zoo.. f*cking pakistanas!"

  • Graham Coulson on January 16, 2007, 13:35 GMT

    Andre Nel gets away with it because the ICC lets him get away with it. I agree he seems not all together up there, but he was definitely not "violent" as some misguided people have mentioned. Anyway, this is not about Andre and his attitude, this is about Herschelle getting a bum deal for calling a spade a spade.

  • Shamik on January 16, 2007, 13:28 GMT

    If Mr Gibbs is to be punished then so should the supporters. Read my take on it here:- http://shamikdas.blogspot.com/2007/01/hersch-sinner-or-sinned-against_15.html

  • Charanjeet on January 16, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    I have long believed in following. The subcontinent provides all the money to ICC and yet we are treated like step child. Lets breake away from ICC. Make our own federation with 10 teams from India 5 from Pakistan, 2 from Srilanka and 1 from Bangladesh and play a year long trophy with one team winning in the end. Lets keep the money in subcontinent itself and have better stadiums and more players earning money. HOWS THAT????????

  • Tom V on January 16, 2007, 13:25 GMT

    Pakistan had lodged an official complaint with Broad after Gibbs was heard saying "a bunch of bloody animals" The comments were made shortly before lunch, soon after South Africa complained about three spectators near the boundary who allegedly swore at bowler Paul Harris

    What did Inzy have to complain about? Did he say: "Gibbs swore at the louts in the stands. As these louts looked to me like Pak supporters, I assume that he is calling al Pak people animals" Seems like convoluted reasoning to me. Maybe I'm missing something here.

  • Sam on January 16, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    I think Mr Abassi is just doing what all the media do, sensationalise. They have to write a story and have to make it worthwhile for their editor - all we have above is one mans one-sided opinion. I honestly thought journalists were supposed to report the news/incidents with as much fact and nuance from both sides to leave the reader well informed to make up his own mind. Disappointing reporting.

    Gibbs has a responsibility to conform to ICC behavouir codes, but nothing I heard could have been possibly listed as racist.

    A doping ban overturned and a apparently 'racist' ban in the same article - no comparison!! And if I have to explain why then everyone is totally missing the point here.....

    I have read the above posts with interest, all the posters who think that they can comment on SA being still stuck in the apartheid era, when it is very obvious from their post they have never been her - should quite frankly get lost. I live here, we deal with our new country daily (and we all know it isn't perfect!) and unless you've been here and experienced it - keep your one-sided unsubstantiated opinions to yourself. For the others that live here and continue to feel oppressed - go back to India (one poster was Indian). I've been there, and quite frankly, the social problems SA has is nothing compared to what is happening in India - or what you could face in India.

    Our country is not perfect, our team is not perfect, but I won't stoop to your level and point fingers at all the Pakistani imperfections that exist, rather I would say ....

    1) if this had happened to any team other than sub-continent, this wouldn't have even made the news, and in that I include the WI - but that is perhaps their because their fans are better behaved.

    2) look at this is a big dose of common sense, don't let journalist/reporters stir up storm which shouldn't be there and lets just enjoy the cricket.

  • Amer on January 16, 2007, 13:21 GMT

    Gibbs was charged under Level 3.3 of the ICC's Code of Conduct for making "abusive comments" about a section of the crowd.

    So, regardless of whether or not one thinks the comments were "racist", the comments for sure were "offensive" and unacceptable, PERIOD!

    If instead of Gibbs, it was some brown guy from Asia, I am sure all of those defending Gibbs would be commenting that "2-test ban" is NOT enough!!

  • Robert on January 16, 2007, 13:17 GMT

    Well as the stump cam and mic can be used to incriminate a player I recomend that anyone who swears in the match to be fined. It is after all live daytime tv! However, that would just be going over the top. Not quite sure what it is that Gibbs said exactly. But from what I gather, it really wasn't directed at anyone in particular but at those people who were behaving like animals. And quite rightly they should go back to where they came from... be it Pakistan or where ever. I wonder why nobody has put a complaint to the Pakistan cricket board for the behavior of their fans? In other sports everyone is responsible for their fans, home or away. Is cricket that different? Rahul... I tend to agree with you on the Andre Nel thing... but that is another matter :)

  • Mustaq on January 16, 2007, 13:13 GMT

    Gibbs punishment was justified, however we should treat the comment as part of competitive nature. This incident is a stem from what we these days call sledging, and I think it is getting out of control. The umpires need to have more control as to what players say to each other on the field as far as sledging goes. It should be less talking and more skills.

  • Peter on January 16, 2007, 13:13 GMT

    The Pakistan fans behaved in a manner which justified evicting them from the ground. They had been rude and abisuve ; as Gibbs stated, they were behaving like animals. This view was probably shared by most of the cricket-loving crowd and hopefully the Pakistani team as well. I find it very odd that the Pakistani team should lodge a complaint on Gibbs' comments, still more so that the ICC should go so far as to ban the player. Surely a more appropriate action would be to fine the Pakistani team for the behaviour of its fans ?

  • Rob in Aus on January 16, 2007, 13:10 GMT

    When I read all the comments like the one "Rahul" post about Andre Nel I have to laugh. He obviously intimidates the fans more than the players. Go for it Andre, piss them off big time!

  • Lynel Mendonca on January 16, 2007, 13:08 GMT

    This is right decision taken. Being international personality they simply cannot speak such rubbish things. Similar sort of decision should be taken against Andre Nel of SA. for his repeated reasonless sledging. Even it is irritating for a normal TV viewer. This is the second time he has been penalized. He will deffinatly think thrice before he does any these sort of stuff again. Also this should be a eye opener for few of the other players from Australia

  • Zeeshan Khan on January 16, 2007, 13:06 GMT

    David Smith u hit the nail on the head in your comment. I agree with JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA, this pathetic excuse of a team who call them selves South Africa, 1st of all i didn't really expect herchelle gibbs to come out with those comments as i did not think he was the type like andre nel and hall and graham smith however he's proven me wrong. It shows that deep down the Souathe African's have still the same arpathite beleifs alive within them. I also think this is a revenge like motif from the South African's from whe nthe toured Pakistan and had words with the Pakistan team memebers like Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Yousaf ( Then Called Youhana) andre nel and Yousaf both received bans and fined i think, so its still not over and i don't think after this remark of gibbs will make any difference as it will still go on throughout the series. The ICC seriously need 2 get off their backsides in Dubai and do something espeially Malcom Speed who i thnk is rascist but i cannot prove it but he's always against Pakistanis. This word sledging doesn't mean you can 'F' and blind the opposition like nel and harris do, the video reff should have heard all this and done something about well before after the match had finished, the African's should look at the way players like Freddy Flintoff sledges he's quite a comedian lol. What i'd really like to know is what Hashim AMla has to say about all this, i do feel sorry for him actually being apart of a racist team deepdown i think they even brain washed ntini whose beleiving he is white, unless im colour blinde i still think hes black am i right? and i respect Amla aswell becausehe doesn't wear the alcohol sponsors for the team on his shirt, htis is another thing which he was looked down upon by his own team.

    'You cannot get bloood from a stone', and relating to this matter the South African's will never change deep down with their views.

    Note. i dont applause what the pakistani fans did aswell their a disgrace to be called our fans, those who are going the rest of the series please don't do anything of this nature you are also representing pakistan do it in a good way.

    I am looking forward to the rest of the series as its set up 2be gripping perhaps this is going to be a good wake up call for the Pakistan team so they can take revenge by the best means only the BALL and the BAT................

  • James on January 16, 2007, 13:05 GMT

    Pity this had to happen, but for Pakistan to claim the moral high ground is not supported by cricket history...for a non white south african who knows all about racism this is a storm in a tea cup.

  • Rob in Aus on January 16, 2007, 13:05 GMT

    I see "Rizwan Ahmed" says he hopes "Shoaib plays this match and breaks a few Gibbs ribs in the process". Wake up man, Gibbs has just been banned for two matches, thats what all the fuss is about.

  • Shahid R Mehar on January 16, 2007, 13:04 GMT

    I totally agree vid Kamran and must appriciate Kamran for addressing this issue.It is shocking to know that smith is backing Gibbs for watever he said. The real essence of the game is entertainment and sportsmanship but when it comes to RSA most of the plyers use ill ways to distract the concentration of the batsman. India went back complaining Nel so as Pakistan complaining. I agree vid one of the comment made by Waseem Akram dat Nel is mentaly ill. It is the responsibility of the caption to handle his players and what can cricket lovers say if caption is backing up such issue which shouldn't happen in the game. Cricket is the game of patience. Gibbs showed tolerance while he was batting can't he show tolerance while he is on the field. He must.

  • Lgo on January 16, 2007, 13:04 GMT

    Just for the record, I notice a number of posts here referring to the fact that racist comments where made by Gibbs. This is not the fact, what he said may be wrong but in no way can that be seen as being racist. I can't help but ask myself if it was South African supporters and Pakistani players if it would still have been called racist remarks, or would it just have been called for not being in the spirit of the game.

  • Tank on January 16, 2007, 12:55 GMT

    I reckon we should just stop playing all kinds of sport if this is what happens. Sledging should be outlawed full stop. No-one should be able to speak to any member of the opposition. Any person found swearing or passing any un gentlemanly comment should be kicked off the field.

  • Rahul on January 16, 2007, 12:55 GMT

    Smith getting Shoaib banned! What a joke. The first thing SA need is a big leash and a huge whip to keep that idiot of a fast bowler Andre Nel under control. I have difficulty beleiving that someone as obviously stupid as him plays game after game in international cricket and literally gets away with murder time and again because it is "just in his nature". That excuse would probably be ok if he were 8 (which I suspect he is mentally), but being a professional cricketer, only the ball should be doing the talking. Or maybe that's where the problem lies ...

  • Rupert on January 16, 2007, 12:54 GMT

    Now now children. We all know that what Gibbs came out with is really not on but broad accusations that the SA test team is inherently racist is a bit much. As Jag said, from club level up cricket is played hard down south and I'd hate to see the "tea and cucumber sandwiches" culture creeping in at any level of cricket (anyone who's played enough cricket will know that verbals are all part of the fun). This isn't really about racism at all. Its about cricketers in the public eye behaving themselves and knowing that comments like that are not acceptable at any time. You may be thinking it but bloody hell, just don't go saying it next to the stump mike.

  • Mark on January 16, 2007, 12:52 GMT

    If Gibbs has said bloody Poms, Yanks, Aussies etc nothing more would have been said about this issue. I don't feel it was racist but it was certainly ill advised. Describing supporters as 'bloody animals' is not racist either and I have seen wildlife of a simliar ilk supporting other countries too. If you behave like a cretin prepare to be described as an animal. It doesn't make it racist. Compared to the problems we have seen in Aus over the past few years, this is mild abuse at best. When a Aussie commentator call a player a terrorist, when an Aussie player call the Sri Lankan team 'black c***s' and when a section of the Aussie crowd taunts a team using racial slurs, then this is indeed racist. Having said all that, I am constantly embarrassed by the antics of the SA team on the field when their noise levels and over the top agression gets in the way of a good game of cricket. Cut it out lads!

  • Victor, NW Kent on January 16, 2007, 12:52 GMT

    I feel that some people see evil where none is intended. I am horrified by the vicious attacks in some of these messages.It seems that some people are more interested in making trouble than they are in cricket. How can a comment on some supporters be an attack on the whole Pakistani nation? How do you know the supporters were even from Pakistan at all? Perhaps they were local people of Pakistani descent and it is they who were so being racially intolerant.

  • Graham Coulson on January 16, 2007, 12:51 GMT

    Guys people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. We all love to preach about racism because it's a convenient topic. If people are acting like animals, regardless of their colour or creed, then there is nothing wrong with calling them animals. If it had been a group of Aussie supporters nobody would care, but because the supporters were non-white, now it is conveniently racist. It would help us all if we pulled out the racist card last and not first.

  • Mohan on January 16, 2007, 12:49 GMT

    Kamran is point blank here. I think the South African Board should hold classes to their players on how to behave on the field. They are just getting away with saying its an on-field banter. Especially Andre Nel - he simply gets away without any punishment either in the sub-continent or in his own den. The blame is to be entirely on the field umpires. Of course , its human to give wrong decisions, but its in-humane to hear racial slur and not act upon.

  • tee on January 16, 2007, 12:49 GMT

    As amazing as this article is, it shows how bias the writer is to the Pakistani cause and really sounds like sour grapes. Sometimes one has to ask the question IS being agitated by and abusive crowd and reacting to this a CRIME or is getting AWAY with doping bans based on so called "ignorance" A REAL CRIME !

  • saif on January 16, 2007, 12:46 GMT

    well if "bunch of bloody animals" is all he said, then in all fairness, it's not something racist i suppose. gibbs has not been known as a man of strongest character on the circuit, with involvement in match fixing and stuff, but let's give the devil his due, this particular incidence has little matter in it. Though i think the broader issue of coming up with a clear definition of sledging, and taking out abusive and derogatory contents from it, has to be looked into. plus, calling umpires names and questioning their capability or integrity, as ricky ponting has done in the past, is totally unacceptable. after all said and done, it is a gentlemen's game in the end!!:)

  • Rogan on January 16, 2007, 12:45 GMT

    The comments from the likes of Sushil and Ammar are blantantly out of touch with South Africa and its history. What Gibbs said to the Pakastani supporters could never have been on the basis of skin colour as Gibbs himself as anyone who knows anything about South Africa is a non-white player from the previously disadvantaged side of South Africa. In addition according to the Oxford dictionary the word "animal" is defined as "...noun [C] INFORMAL an unpleasant, cruel person or someone who behaves badly." I do not see anything suggesting racism.

  • stu on January 16, 2007, 12:43 GMT

    It seems like everyone has there comments, i honestly think the stump mike should be switched off between overs or not there at all, i donot say the racial slur of which i am sure there were many from both sides and fans was right but if you are going to punish one than punish all, its coming down to you have to watch everything you do nowadays,Kamran i am sure you heard your odd bit of banter when you were playing and tell me how many were banned, i hazard a guess not many, people are human even sports people, it was a mistake and he deserves punishment but dont make a mountain out of it, its done and dusted let cricket prevail now. And the cricket authorities must start getting stricter on the shocking crowd behaviour

  • gopal on January 16, 2007, 12:42 GMT

    I don't want to talk abt any racist angle in this case.We will never know if Gibbs really intended to make any racist comments or was it a spur of the moment but the fact is and will always reamin is that there are double standards when it comes of players from the sub continent.Andre Nel always uses expletives against the opposition especially sub continent players.He always crosses the line most often and doesn't know when to stop.Ricky ponting is another idiot who thinks he is bigger than the game.The ICC has really set a bad example by not punishing these offenders who go scott free everytime they do something wrong.This has really led to disgust among the cricketing public in general.I don't agree if somebody tells me now tha cricket is a gentleman's game.

  • Withheld on January 16, 2007, 12:39 GMT

    What a terrible example of journalism. I've never seen such wild, unsubstantiated accusations printed in my life.

    If evidence is presented that justifies the authors view-point, then I will be the first to admit that its wrong. However, responsible jounalism, in my opinion, would require at least the provision of facts to back up what, to me, appears to be nothing less than slander.

    Provide the facts to substantiate your opnion!

  • Sudhakar G on January 16, 2007, 12:36 GMT

    I don't think the comment was racist. But I feel, for too long, the South Africans and the Australians have been going scott free uttering whatever they want in the field, and showing distinct signs of aggression. ICC should bring in a rule where a stare or a glare at an opponent batsmen should ban a player!! If ICC can spot a dissent towards an umpire, they can surely spot this one too!

  • Srinath on January 16, 2007, 12:36 GMT

    In a competitive game like cricket there's bound to be a few blemishes here and there. Some would say that its just a game, but if you look at the larger picture you have two teams holding back no punches in a bid to bring glory to their nation. In fact the prior series against India also had its own melodramatic twists and turns, not to forget Nel's tongue lashing and sreeshants subsequent reaction. My point is there is bound to be intolerance and racism everywhere, but the trick lies in how u combat the same and come up trumps. The proteas just engaged the pakis in some mental degradation which they sadly succumbed to. One has to be made of sterner stuff.

  • Matt van Eck on January 16, 2007, 12:35 GMT

    Gibbes is coloured, not Afrikaaner. If there were true Afrikaaners in the team they would sort him, Ntini and Prince out before turning to the opposition.

    I support Gibbes in a matter like this. The only reason he was suspended is because of the recording taken by a microphone that should have been off. OJ got off because of incorrectly gathered evidence (I think), so should Herschell.

    The Australians had the same problem last summer. The ICC should address the TV directors and ensure they follow procedure.

  • Dave on January 16, 2007, 12:33 GMT

    David Smith, by claimimg that Graeme (note the spelling) Smith and Andrew Hall are Afrikaans tells me that you don't know much about SA cricket at all. If calling someone a "Pakistani" is considered racist, then surely calling him an "Afrikaner" is the same?

  • Si Baker on January 16, 2007, 12:32 GMT

    Hmmmmmmm...as far as I'm aware, Gibbs referred to the fans in question as "a bunch of animals". To incur a ban for racism he must also surely have said something else. Anyone know exactly what it was?

    Re the South Africans' sledging: they've been doing it since time immemorial (I also watched the preceding series against India - which contained as much, if not more, sledging) & have long been regarded as second only to the Aussies in terms of the frequency and intensity of their sledging - so, really, the Pakistani team should have known what was awaiting them, especially as Bob Woolmer was the Proteas' coach for some years and would have been well aware of their predilection for on-field abuse and intimidation. But WAIT! Just how intimidating is it to be confronted by a braindead neanderthal like Andre Nel yelling "I'm all over you" the moment after you've just despatched another of his leg stump half volleys for four?

  • Rizwan Ahmed on January 16, 2007, 12:31 GMT

    I reckon that most of the RSA players are threatened by the Pakistan Team as they know these guys are capable and are naturally talented.Hense they increase thier intensity and the only way they know how is through ridicule,racist remarks and swearing.Hashim Amla should consider retirement as he doesnt mix with this bunch.I hope Shoaib plays this match and breaks a few Gibbs ribs in the process.Let the ball do the talking!

  • haroon on January 16, 2007, 12:31 GMT

    to all those saying the behaviour of the spectators was like animals, they should listen carefully to gibbs choice of words. it wasnt general and pakis had been mentioned so think before you type, he was wrong and the ban isnt severe enough.

  • Ali Imran on January 16, 2007, 12:30 GMT

    I do agree with Kamran abbasi. it was one fair and square decision by Chris board, there should be no place for such racist and i guess now something should be done for Andre Nel aswell. This guy Andre NEL looks a psycho to me and yes atlast one of the main reasons why pakistan lost the match was poor umpiring 5 clear cut outs turned down in favour of pakistan is something very very unfair with any team at any day.

  • Doug on January 16, 2007, 12:30 GMT

    "Animals" is racist now? Weird stuff - we've been calling violent football supporters and so on "animals" over in England for years, and that's been said almost entirely *by* whites *about* whites.

  • RudyC on January 16, 2007, 12:29 GMT

    I am South African and feel the punishment was fitting but it alludes to the greater problem. I think that the majority of countries will have certain players who are intolerant. This is the nature of humanity. It is intolerant of difference.

    A step needs to be made to sort it out and this could very well be it. A starting block to erradicate the intolerance. I agree that defending your team-mate is commendable but doing it in a racist manner is totally incorrect.

    We have a very diverse populace in this country, and post apartheid, we need to unify as South Africans and not see race as a factor. This is true for any country and having people, who are representing their country internationally, behaving like biggots is a far cry from the unity that is needed.

    All teams need to be tolerant of friendly on-field banter. But anything that crosses into racial slurs should be dealt with accordingly.

  • D Smith on January 16, 2007, 12:27 GMT

    My goodness me. Were we watching the same game! "The snarling--and persistent--abuse that South Africa's players hurled at Pakistan's players went some way beyond sledging. It is amazing that the umpires tolerated it." I watched all 5 days of this game, and it was played hard, and in a good spirit, by and large. I did not see/or hear, any of the 'snarling' venom that you refer to. Was there childish drivel spouted (and passed off as sledging)? I'm sure there was ... but to suggest that the game was played in 'vile atmoshpere' is rubbish, and should be dismissed with contempt. Come now gentlemen. Whilst South Africa has had a troubled past, these professional cricket are more sensitive to racial issues than probably ANY cricket team in the HISTORY of the game! They HAVE to be. That they can say stupid things, doesn't make them RACIST. Or does it?

  • David on January 16, 2007, 12:27 GMT

    Dear K Akmal

    It just seems strange when everytime there is a major incident in cricket (on and off the field), Pakistan cricket is nearly always involved. Most controversial subjects that give cricket a bad name, such as ball tampering, match-fixing, on-field behaviour and unsportman like conduct, can be linked to Pakistan cricket. Pakistan cricket is the problem in world cricket today. Every so often they seem to take the focus off the game and injure its name and the people that are involved. The Pakistan cricket team has to be handled with kid gloves or they will find something to discredit the game. Hopefully countries around the world will learn that cricket with Pakistan is not even worth the effort.

  • Faisal Shabbir on January 16, 2007, 12:27 GMT

    I wonder why nothing has been done with Andre Nell .. he was violent throughout the match, didn't anyone see that .. instead the penalty (rightly so) has been imposed on Gibbs for that one comment !

  • SammySoussa on January 16, 2007, 12:25 GMT

    Okay, not sure where to start. Lets see, Kamran. For a man with such a vast repertoire and who has a few letters behind his name, I am amused at your take on the goings on in the 1st test. For too many reasons to go into, I think, that had the test been played by 2 of the other test playing teams, any of whom do not have the apartheid history of South Africa, this whole issue would have been looked over and you would have mused on about your days playing cricket in Leeds or something just as bland (like the polititcs of cricket).Your 'expertise' in the politics of cricket doesn't give credibility to your sentiments expressed in your article. I think that's just what you intended to do, put politics into an exciting game of cricket, that Pakistan ended up losing.

    Now, onto Imran. When was the last time you came out from under the rock you seem to live? Your comments are dumbfounding!

    Agreed. Gibbs (who is a coloured South African)was a bit naive in expressing his sentiments so vociferously, especially as he is a figure young cricketers look up to. I think South Africa, like Australia play their cricket not only on the field, but in the minds of their opponents too, and other teams are too weak to match that, and as such, need to make silly complaints. Credit where credit is due though, Pakistan did stay out of the change rooms. This will not stop a 3-0 ass whippin!!

  • manish on January 16, 2007, 12:24 GMT

    Well, what can i say? Nobody can justify the action of Gibbs. But what about those hooligans who were masquerading as cricket fans? Shouldn't there be a ban imposed on them as well? wat say?

  • Stuart on January 16, 2007, 12:24 GMT

    On one hand, one can sympathise with Gibbs; true, he may simply have been irritated by (possibly also racist) barracking, but at the same time, this does not remove his culpability. Too many players have recently been disciplined, and subsequently had the punishment downgraded so far as to be negligible (one needs to look no further than the recent drugs ban). Gibbs needs to be punished for such an offence, but the problem is not institutionalised in SA Cricket. Anger drives even the most thick-skinned players to distraction and a slip of weakness should not be seen as anything deeper.

  • Mahesh on January 16, 2007, 12:24 GMT

    Gibbs, by calling the rowdy Pakistani spectators "animals", proved that he was only "human". ICC, by banning Gibbs for 2 matches proved that justice was done and cricketing rules for conduct were applied.

    Today, Strauss was clearly given out by an erring umpire Davis. Strauss, though disappointed walked back to the pavilion gracefully, without uttering a word or showing disgust. Unlike Gibbs, Strauss followed the rules, rather than being human and being fined or banned.

    Gibbs uttering nonsense was somewhat equal to Zidane headbutting Materrazzi, when provoked. But both Gibbs and Zidane are wrong according to the rules and justly penalised.

    Regards Mahesh

  • Abdullah Sheikh on January 16, 2007, 12:22 GMT

    I agree and disagree with your comments, I dont think Gibbs' comments were directed at Pakistanis in general. I think he was referring to that particular group of people (and he wasnt wrong). I do agree with you that they were provoked, the SA's conduct on the field is terrible, especially Nel! Having said that, this does not excuse the actions of the spectators. While I dont deny that racism exists, people tend to over react on these issues.

  • Graeme on January 16, 2007, 12:21 GMT

    I have seen reports stating that SA fielders were subjected to abuse and baboon chanting was directed at the 'non-white' players. That is tantamount to suggesting they are baboons which is highly offensive. Herschelle only stated that the behaviour of the supporters were like animals, not the supporters themselves - a subtle but important difference. Furthermore, it has been reported that he suggested that this is not "....ing" Pakistan (a reference to poor crowd behaviour as suggested in an above post) and that they "....." off back to Pakistan(and if they were abusing SA hospitatlity, he may have been right in his suggestion!) Now whilst I agree that provocative language has been used, I would not interpret any of his comments as being racist. Defamatory but not racist and I believe this will form part of his defence during his appeal. But then again, I wouldn't consider either 'whingeing Poms' or 'bloody Aussies' to be racist statements so I might be a tad desensitised. I also have agree that the Proteas could do with toning down the snarling and other pleasantries.

  • Gibbs Fan on January 16, 2007, 12:18 GMT

    Call a spade a spade, if a part of the Pakistani crowd acted like monkeys, I don't see the harm of calling them monkeys, and I dont see where the racism comes into it, if you act like a human being, you can expect to be treated like a human. If you act like a monkey, expect to be treated like a monkey.

    Yes imran, South Africa is formerly an apartheid nation, the key word being "formerly"

    If the ban stays all that means to me is Gibbs will have a nice rest and be ready for the ODI's and more importantly the World Cup.

  • Jay Kumar on January 16, 2007, 12:14 GMT

    Unfortunately, this issue is not as clear cut as it seems. While I agree that there should NOT be a case for turning off the stump microphones; after all cricket is supposed to be watched by the whole family, so profanity has no place on the field. However, I also think that Pakistani/Indian /Aus/(insert country here) fans can be a bunch of animals. I fully agree with Gibbs there and I do not consider that to be a racist comment (assuming of course, that was all that Gibbs said). Anyone who disagrees with me just has to go watch an international one dayer at Wankhede, Mumbai to listen to the abuse hurled at fielders standing at the boundary be it Indian players or visitors. Saying that they are a bunch of animals would be putting it mildly. I think people like Kamran Abbasi and those who overhype political correctness should step back and differentiate between real racism (a la Darren Lehmann, for eg) and perceived racism like this incident in SA.

  • Shiva.H on January 16, 2007, 12:14 GMT

    Though at present gibbs might have been banned for 2 tests, earlier Shrishant has been fined for for his behaviour, but since long time we are watching Andre Nels mis behaviour but is being escaped in the name of so called aggression. nel needs to be penalised

  • andrew schulz on January 16, 2007, 12:13 GMT

    This sort of whisper-behind-the-hands accusation of South African cricketers does you no credit whatsoever Kamran. All nations have been guilty of sledging, and the Pakistan players have made utter fools of themselves in the past by trying to denigrate players whom they could not hold a candle to. (eg telling Justin Langer: you wouldn't make our second side.) Hilarious. There are too many Test teams and journalists who are pointing the finger at others when their own house is very much not in order.

  • Tashfeen Qayyum on January 16, 2007, 12:13 GMT

    The problem is with us. We are ill behaved, arrogant and think a world of ourselves whereas we are nothing but load of hot air every where in the world. We are a problem nation and our leaders are too. We are animals and Gibbs was right. We deserve the title.Gibbs should be given a medal as he highlighted the truth.

  • Jimbo on January 16, 2007, 12:11 GMT

    I'm sorry but I totally disagree with you Gibbs should be commended - in a country plagued by aweful racism in the past it is now showing that all the hard work is paying off that a player of mixed race is standing by a "white player" - I don't understand all this "RACISM" talk afterall Gibbs only said "they" are a bunch of animals since when has the word "they" been racist - oh yeah and no one has said anything about the group of pakistanis abusing Harris being racist why is that?

  • arshad on January 16, 2007, 12:11 GMT

    this is all about what they think and their mentality.

  • NJ on January 16, 2007, 12:11 GMT

    what did Gibbs say? something about "they are a bunch of animals"... or did I miss something

  • Gazza on January 16, 2007, 12:10 GMT

    How is it that "Paki" is deemed a racist term ? You can call an Australian an "Auzzie" or an Englishman a "Pom" and they are not racist (Or a "Saffa" for that matter). To call someone an animal is also not racist - it is merely an insult much like calling someone an idiot or barbarian. Me thinks that people these days are way too sensitive about race. People should learn to stop crying about what they may be called and ...

  • Rob Nicholls - Australia on January 16, 2007, 12:10 GMT

    Akmal's comments reflect off the Pakistani team and its supporters, with weak and predictable commentary. There is no question that this racial nonsense has been overplayed. His article is just an attempt to draw attention from another poor performance by the side and another shocking display by the supporters. In any event I personally dont believe what the players have to say in the middle of the field should be under scrutiny beyond what the umpires may deem unfit. Too bad Gibbs has to be the victim but at least it will improve the Pakis chances in the upcoming matches. Get on with the game.

  • Faraz on January 16, 2007, 12:10 GMT

    I think 2 test matches ban is a bit harsh to Gibbs. I am a captain of my team based in Greenville, NC and if any of my player is abused by the crowd I will definitely lose my temper. I am a pakistani yet I am not offended by this act because you have to look at the circumstances and Gibbs is a great fighter for his team.

  • BAF on January 16, 2007, 12:09 GMT

    I believe the comments made by Gibbs were based on the behaviour of the supporters rather than on their colur, religion or race etc, Why slam and pre-judge him when one doesn't know on what basis he made those comments?

  • bob on January 16, 2007, 12:08 GMT

    You said, "it does expose a deeper problem with South African cricket." What about Pakistani cricket? None of the Pakistani players stepped up to stop their fans from abusing SA players and fans. Pakistani players also abused SA players and fans, only they did it in a non-English language that ICC administrators do not understand. That is the only reason Pakistani players escaped scot free. Your comments are so one-sided that it is worthless.

    To give credit to SA, at least they will respect the ban on Gibbs and keep him out. Unlike Pakistani cricket where players are "banned" for the use of illegal drugs/substances and they get out of it miraculously without punishment, much to the dismay of fans worldwide.

  • Steve on January 16, 2007, 12:04 GMT

    Media intrusion and political correctness is forcing a bland world onto us. We put stump mike in place so that we can hear controversy and then we slap down the provacateur as though we were all perfect citizens. Our common self righteous hypocrisy is appalling. So now there will be no talk near the stump mikes and a piece of the social nature of cricket is lost. When last did a "spokesman" ( or spokesperson now) say anything challenging or controversial. We watch talented sportsmen and women because they are exceptional not because they are model citizens. Lets accept the expression of human emotions like anger and joy as part of the game or remove our access to the folks who entertain us.

  • Mervyn on January 16, 2007, 12:04 GMT

    Gibbs is an impulsive sort of character at the best of times....some may recall a ball thrown away before it was under control - and at what cost !!...ouch! I wonder if there is any way of controling this impulse. That's not to say his behaviour under this influence should be allowed; it can be very hurtful in some situations. I must say I am fed up with the nonsense that goes on on the field in the 'honorable' name of 'sledging' many of the players and worst offenders don't know where to stop, and now the young followers of the game are getting first hand exposure to what they now believe is fair game. It's not! and those who believe that youngsters should tune this part of their game should move to baseball !

    Spare a thought for those coming into the game and the only top class example they have to follow !

    With Gibbs' heritage, he ought to know better than to adopt a racist line. His captain also needs to review his stance on how his team should behave on the field; they clearly need to be reminded at times. The instruction must be clear and forceful that they are there to focus 100% on the game, and when they're 'sledging', they risk blurring the focus !

    At least he will have a little more time to consider how he is going to get his rapidly departing form back !!

  • jeff wilson on January 16, 2007, 12:04 GMT

    Whats the worse crime - 1) a South African player passing a comment (using some colourful language, admittedly) to his on-field team-mates, about the disgraceful behaviour of the pakistan supporters or : 2) TWO pakistan players using performance enhancing drugs ? The SA player cops a two-match ban, and the drug-taking pakistani players walk away scott free!! Its an absolute joke!!!

  • George on January 16, 2007, 12:03 GMT

    In my honest opinion the remarks made by Gibbs were not racist at all it was simply a harsh statement by him brought on by the taunting from the crowd. And the comment was regarding their behaviour, NOT their ethnic background! If the same comment was made in a test match between Aus and NZ for instance and a section of the NZ crowd were called a bunch of animals, it would merely be taken as a comment of their behaviour and nothing else.

    The fact that it has been taken to such an extreme is in itself a discrace and i just wish someone had the chance to say it. Everyone is so scared of colour!

  • Arnie on January 16, 2007, 12:02 GMT

    I do not think anyone yet has all the facts to pass judgement on the Gibbs situation. For me a bigger problem is Pakistan! Why is it that whenever and wherever they play there seem to be issues? As an neutral outsider this is a real concern - one which Pakistan should be big enough to look at themselves.

  • shahid Naveed on January 16, 2007, 12:00 GMT

    Cricket is a gentlemen game and it should remain as a gentlemen game. Any attempt to destroy the spirit of the game must be discouraged. I totally agree with the decision of match refree.The atmosphere on ground should remain decent all the time and to do so strict actions should be taken by ICC.

  • Luqman on January 16, 2007, 11:59 GMT

    Dear Jag,

    cricket is just a game. We need to think in broader terms than just playing hard. After all, international players are seen as role models by many younger people. They should behave themselves accordingly.

    I remember a Germany footbal star - if I am not mistaken he was captain of the team - "Stefan Effenberg" being dropped from national team when on zenith of his career. He showed his middle finger to a taunting group of spectators. The decision was very hard but it gave a indication of ZERO TOLERANCE for any misbehaviour. He was never allowed to return to international football....

  • chris on January 16, 2007, 11:58 GMT

    "Cricket - the gentlemans game?" Never. Spectators & players of sports such as rugby, soccer and baseball are passionate people. Are cricketers and their spectators any less passionate? Emotions, tempers, adrenalin all run high and excuse the pun sometimes reach "fever pitch" level. Gibbs just voiced his opinions to his teamates (who are all of different colour and backgrounds). As regards sledging just watch a group of 8 year olds playing the game - they're no different to our senior players barring a few colourful adjectives. Too often remarks are construed as being "racist" purely 'cos someone of a different race made them. You could go as far to say to different countries playing against each other is racist! These guys get paid handsomely to entertain us. we're not watching chess. We're watching the greatest game invented. I enjoy seeing two countries battle it out - sixes, fours, quick singles, wickets, outstanding fielding and of course the odd bit of controversy. Cricket has lost some of its most colourful and charcterful players in recent months... I don't want to miss anymore.

    PS Was your recent blog of a certain Pakistani cricketer being better than a certain Australian a racist remark?

  • Graham on January 16, 2007, 11:57 GMT

    Does anyone know what Gibbs actually said as there are different versions. I have heard "bloody animals" and if this is correct how can it be construed as racist as he has not mention race, colour or creed. If it is something else I would love to know exactly what.

    We must remember that Gibbs is a so called "person of colour" himself so how can we call whatever he said racism. If one Pakistani called another Pakistani a "bloody animal" would it be racist or just an insult. If he said the same thing about Australian or English supporters would it be racism?

    We know he definitely retaliated against the scum who started the insults, but it was not a racist remark.

  • raj on January 16, 2007, 11:57 GMT

    I guess, it was in the heat of the moment, I feel he was provoked into making a rude/racial statement. Needless to say 90% of human beings would react in a similar way. Neverthless, it definitely calls for an action from the authorities, though I would say Gibbs should be asked to apologise to those few spectators and even those spectators should make a public apology to the south African team.

  • bill mccai on January 16, 2007, 11:57 GMT

    Offensive, yes, but racist?

    I don't understand how calling a roudy group in a crowd "animals" is related to whatever race they may be.. surely it's a comment on their behaviour.

  • SALIL on January 16, 2007, 11:56 GMT

    hats off to SA for this short sharp shock to Gibbs and to the Icc in recognising the gravity of this offence.However the irony is not lost as this was against Pakistan, a country not noted for equal or (even cival) treatment of its own women ,let alone its minority groups ! Do whats worthy of thee and not whats worthy of me. Also why do so many Pak players use the religious card as a prop? eg; yousef wants to be captain of Pak so bad he cant utter any comment about cricket without a quick mention of his faith!

  • Abid Siddiqui on January 16, 2007, 11:54 GMT

    Great Article.

    Previously SA themselves were complaining about Racist ramrks from Australian crowd but now they are facing same Racism in their homeland too, that means there must be something wrong in South African Cricket team.

    Why every one attack only SA team or Why not any other team?

    Or

    SA is the only team who is making hue n cry of this.

    -Peace!

  • ron on January 16, 2007, 11:52 GMT

    I think these days,its is part of the game.Pakistan miss players with atitude like Javed Miandad,wasim and waqar.You need to have atitude and strong enough to compete with Australia and SA,you need to give it back to them,look direct in their eyes.My advise to the Pakistanis,please start drinking some beer or wine like Shoib Akhter then no one would dare to do that to you ever again otherwise keep losing!

  • Dot Dot Dash on January 16, 2007, 11:50 GMT

    Why is that racist and why is it that it has to become a racist coment. The problem is people in the media such as yourself that turns petty instances like this into one of race and it is you that should take a look at your self and not judge others. If this comment was hurled from one South African to another it would be offensive but not racist, like wise in the case of Pakistan. The media I am afraid are the ones looking for a story. Please get the facts straight and not every incedint has to be about race!!!!

  • Gerard Gleeson on January 16, 2007, 11:49 GMT

    It's shameful really. The spirit of cricket is in very poor shape indeed if such things are being debated at all.

    Racist taunts have no place in cricket, or life in general. Sledging is a healthy part of the game, we all had a laugh at Shane Warne and Paul Collingwood's exchange (also captured on stump mic incidently), because it was good, clean, witty sledging.

    The punishment should stand, and some further investigations need to be conducted, to ascertain the apparent need that certain players (in many nations) have to vilify opposing sides based on race or creed, and stamp it out quickly.

    All this debate over the place of stump mic's etc. is all very reactive. The problem is still a problem, even if it's not heard by the masses.

    "teams like Pakistan have to be strong enough to give back as good as you get.. or get on with the game" It's attitudes like this that fuel the flames. Why should anybody be forced to put up with racism? And furthermore, why is it that only the Pakistani team should be offended by racism? The issue here is that the ricket watching public around the world were offended. This incident went far beyond sledging, into something entirely more ugly.

    A sad day for cricket indeed

  • Azfar Shahzad on January 16, 2007, 11:49 GMT

    I want to direct this on to the Jag's comments! Being the victim of racist comment in Australia does not give South Africans the authority to pass the same on to Pakistanis. Allow me to say that the next logical step after sledging is racist comments. If you allow sledging to continue, you are gonna end up with these kind of issues. Why do you want to make cricket, a gentleman's game, soccer. Peace to all! Azfar Shahzad

  • Malik on January 16, 2007, 11:48 GMT

    I dont know what "racist" remark Gibbs made but i think Pakistan Cricket team is becoming too soft under Inzi the Cuddly Bear! We should fight fire with fire. Ask sreesanth how he dealth with Andre Nel.

  • sajid on January 16, 2007, 11:48 GMT

    I think it was not a cool thing to do. The S.African's should behave like a host team. But may be its not common in that part, that when someone individual or group come to your country, how you should treat them. Its not only about the game, but its just presenting yourself and your country. It matters a lot....if one think. Its not about winning or loosing, but behaving.

  • Ken on January 16, 2007, 11:47 GMT

    I'm no fan of sledging, and I really would like to see it toned down a lot (Andre Nel is close to shameful). But, this is different. Those supporters _were_ supporters from Pakistan, they _did_ behave like animals (no offence to animals), and they _should_ go home. So now we're upset with Gibbs because he said so.

  • Chetan on January 16, 2007, 11:46 GMT

    What Jag has indicated is good, but meaningless. Remember - under ICC's unwritten laws that are meticulously followed by its adjudicators, if Indians / Pakistanis / Sri Lankans sledge, they are indulging in behaviour that brings disgrace to the game & must be penalised. However, the same or larger offence from cricketers of England / WI / SA / Australian origin is OK. Remember - the same ICC that banned Inzy for 4 one-dayers on a charge of showing dissent to an umpire's decision & bringing the game to disrepute have taken no action against Brian Lara of West Indies who BLATANTLY abused ICC's umpires on the field when baby Brian wanted Dhon's wicket & umpires gave India 6 ! Was Lara's action not showing dissent ? Was Lara by showing such dissent not bringing the game to disrepute ? What is worse - ICC have ignored formal reminders from me questioning them about why no action was taken against His Highness Brian Lara, and the adjudicators who chose to take no action against Mr. Lara.

    That leaves us Indians & Pakistanis believing that ICC's tournaments are meant as a show-case where ICC-favoured Australia, SA, WI & England must win by fair means or foul. Their cricketers may show dissent as Lara did, abuse cricketers of other teams as Gibbs did. Look at the SA manager's comment - ban the stump microphone. What happens with that - If Pakistan complain, Hooligan Gibbs from SA can be assisted by umpires who will feign ignorance to the entire incident. Unfortunately, the presence of the mike has meant that the umpires cannot lie .

  • K Naresh Kumar on January 16, 2007, 11:45 GMT

    Racist comments from cricketers have always been a part and parcel of modern cricket. The very fact that it is an unequal world underscores the tension that is present when two fiercely competitive teams are at the middle. What is intriguing is that erstwhile sledgers and abusers have occupied international satellite TV network commentary boxes and are now preaching better behaviour. Before this recent series of Pakistan, the Indian team were subject to a lot of tongue-lashing by known offenders from the South African team, Andre Nel for example. But it was only Sreesanth who got fined.

    This ban imposed on Gibbs too is at best a white man tokenism, aimed at ' ensuring' that everything is fair in the world of cricket. If the data on similar punishments is tabulated, many offenders would emerge from the non-white teams in comparison to the WASP ones. Such eyewash surprisingly is continuing even when the Indian sub continent is singularly responsible for keeping this white man game alive all over the world with its fanatical crowd support, energetic media coverage and above all eye-popping sponsorship and media valuations!!

    I take a vicarious pleasure alright but I suppose fans need to take on the erring players in the middle once a while to prove that they are human too and immune to the diplomatic positions taken by the ICC big bosses.

  • Francois on January 16, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    As a South African I'm more ashamed of the thousands of SA supporters that allowed the Pakistani supporters to get away with it. I promise u it will not happen in Cape Town or PE. I urge the Pakistani supporters to try it again.

  • Brooklyner, Good Ol US of A on January 16, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    I was looking at Graeme Smith's reponse to Gibbs actions..i found it very weird what Smith said was that pakistanis have a broad support all over the world and the security should be tight...wht u mean by that?? wht about thoese south yellow africans fans when they go to england and australia and do sh** all over the cities. thanks God america is not a cricket playing nation or we would have thoese freaky thin accent south yellow africans come over in our town in america and do c**p.

  • Khurram Malik on January 16, 2007, 11:42 GMT

    I just dont understand one thing even Gibbs accept it that comment he made were racist. As a professional cricketer Gibbs should have shown sportsmanship but i guess he went out control with croweds remarks. Ban for 2 Test is good one. Next time he will know how to react when it comes to racism.

  • Surinder on January 16, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    Verbal abuse of any sort should be outlawed in cricket. It is not ok to sledge, be abusive to another player/umpire or spectators. The sooner ICC sort this out the better it will be for cricket, otherwise we will go down the same path as footballers where F'ing at umpires will become the norm when the umpire does not give the required decision.

  • lsmith on January 16, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    For all his faults, Hershall Gibbs -for rather obvious reasons, is not likely to make a racist comment. he called the supporters "....animals". i can't see any race connotation in that. Any badly behaving set of supporters risk getting called that and probably deserve it.

  • Naan on January 16, 2007, 11:40 GMT

    As a black South African I do not condone what Herschelle did. I do understand though. I was there, at Centurion Park. The Pakistani supporters went after the SA players from day one. It is a miracle that he was the only one who cracked - and that it took him four days to come to that. The situation was not good. Shame on you Herschelle, shame on you Pakistan supporters.

    Naan

    Pretoria

  • Anant on January 16, 2007, 11:38 GMT

    I think racism is not limited to players only; it extends to referees and the umpires also. During the recent India-SA series Andre Nel kept on behaving like uncontrolled bull by sledging every thing 'brown’ in sight on the field. Through out the one- dayers and the tests no umpire or referee raised a finger. But in the last test when finally Srisanth decided to give it back to him suddenly the umpire remembered that cricket is a gentleman's game and a complaint was lodged to Dravid against Shrisanth. Now, isn’t racism of the worst kind??

  • Oupa on January 16, 2007, 11:33 GMT

    Just have a look at the names of those who wish to crucify Gibbs,and then decide who is racist

  • Yassar on January 16, 2007, 11:32 GMT

    I think everyone unanimously agrees that there is no place for racism in sport or society in general

    The first thing that needs to be acted upon is the abuse the players suffer from these so called fans. The Pakistani fans that abused the South African players and apparently even hit one of them need to be condemned and banned from attending sporting events. I even think if they have been identified then legal action of assault should be taken against the individual(s) who did this. These people are not Pakistani fans, they in-fact are not even cricket fans because if they were they would appreciate the talent of these players. As fans of the opposing team you don’t have to cheer the opposition but that doesn’t mean you have to abuse them either. This therefore is the first thing that needs to be rooted out of sports as reactions from players to certain sections of the supporters is often initially incited by abusive and intolerable crowd behaviour. Players can not always turn a blind eye or pretend to be deaf when this amount of un-necessary abuse is directed at them...and what exactly for.....doing their job!!?

    The second point I would like to make is regarding the behaviour of South African players towards their opponents. The behaviour of some and in particular Andrew Nel was appalling. Cricket is a tough sport and requires players to be tough physically and mentally. I am all for sledging but even that has to have a limit. Yes… two sets of players are competing against each other but at the same time these teams need to have a healthy respect for each other as professionals and more to the point as human beings.

    Some of Andrew Nels outbursts were well out of order and I applaud the Pakistani players for staying cool and not responding in the same manner

    One of the comments above suggests that Cricket is a mental examination as well as a physical one and Pakistani players have to deal with it. I agree with this but only to a point. It is a mental examination in the sense that players have to deal with different pressures within the changing situation of the game, keep concentration levels in order to perform, dealing with certain expectations etc… BUT NOT to put up with verbal abuse from fellow professionals. As I said sledging is part of the game...but only to a limit where it does not get racist or abusive.

    The type of sledging that I condone and what I think is acceptable and I would even say adds a certain amount of character and humour to the game is the one displayed by Flintoff towards Tino Best of the West Indies when the latter was batting. I’m sure most of you are aware of the incident I am referring to.

    I admire Andrew Nel for his commitment to South Africa and his aggressive nature in bowling but he does not need to follow through after every delivery with a torrent of abuse to the batsman. Most fast bowlers are aggressive and that is part of their armoury but the actual manner in which they display this aggression needs to be checked.

    On a lighter note…perhaps someone should tell Nel that very few of the Pakistani players probably understand what he is saying anyway.

  • Dave on January 16, 2007, 11:32 GMT

    It is unfortunate what has happened and not right but everybody who opens there mouth against Gibbs can answer this question. Have YOU ever made a unfair comment about anybody else whether religious/political? Be honest, examine yourself

  • David on January 16, 2007, 11:32 GMT

    If the fans who abused the South African players on the boundary were acting like animals then Herschelle was simply observing a fact. That is not racist, although the way he expressed it was vulgar, especially with respect to the swearing. But show me someone who doesn't swear when he's angry... The South African team consists of whites, coloreds (Herschelle), blacks and Indo-Pakistani descendants (Ashim) and must be the most multi-racial team in world cricket.

    My question is: Are these people supporters travelling from Pakistan (who I cannot imagine would be so ugly towards our players) or 2nd gen Pakistanis living in SA with no sense of loyalty or style?

  • Stewart Swift on January 16, 2007, 11:31 GMT

    Kamran refers to the sledging by the South Africans as 'The snarling--and persistent--abuse that South Africa's players hurled at Pakistan's players went some way beyond sledging', does Kamran watch Shoaib Akhtar, desperate to show he is a genuinely scary bowler by constantly getting into 'conversation' with batsmen ? If Kamran has a problem with the SA sledging and says it needs to be addressed than it needs to be addressed globally, no team is innocent of sledging.

    Just accept it as part of the game!

  • Charley (RSA) on January 16, 2007, 11:31 GMT

    Let's not forget it was the drunken, abusive spectators who started the problem...

    And let's not confuse this incident with the sledging between players, which is another matter entirely...

    And I hardly think Gibbs' comments, foul-mouthed and ill-judged though they were, come anywhere near racism...

    I'm not suggesting he should be let off, but the degree of censure and the sanction imposed should be far more appropriate to the level 1 offence that this clearly is.

  • Keith on January 16, 2007, 11:28 GMT

    I'm sorry but I totally disagree with your article after all what did Gibbs say that ? "They're a bunch of animals" thats not racist thats just pointing out the fact that a group of people abusing another person are idiots no matter what race or religion they are. Worse things have been said to so called "white" supporters and no one ever got upset - I do agree that there is no room for racism but lets not get silly if someone is abusing you you have a right to defend yourself no matter what the colour of their skin.

  • robert moult on January 16, 2007, 11:27 GMT

    Although I think from what I heard, a tiny section of Pakistani surporters were abusive. The ground officials DID chuck two offenders out of the ground. So something was happening. That being said I find it rich from the South African camp complaining about the ICC's ban on Gibbs. I watched a lot of the SA/India series and the stump mike was on the whole time and the behaviour of the SA team was at times awful. Personal jibes aimed at the Indians were the order of the day and it has continued against the Pakistanis who are a very competive side and tend to fight fire with fire.

    Cricket SA better wake up fast to this problem. I am not saying they should be choirboys. After all this is competitive as it gets in sport when you are playing test cricket. But some players in the SA team go way above acceptable heckling. Andre Nel sometimes has no control of his outbursts which are oftern personal. The captain appears to condone all this and I know a few South Africans who find the team's behaviour out of order. They seem quick to point out other countries misdeeds, notably Australia. But when they themselves are caught in the act they come up with comments like you can't handle the heat. And this has to be said usually this is said against Asian sides.

    The treatment Gibbs & co got against by some Pakistani surporters was poor, but the SA team response was worse and CricketSA have clearly a lot to do still with the attitude of some players in our national set up. This is going to damage SA cricket if it is not addressed. Let us hope this doesn't ruin this tour for as far as I am concerned the Pakistanis, both team and fans, are most welcome to bring their special cricket to us.

  • Kevin on January 16, 2007, 11:26 GMT

    Pity this article is so one sided. Asif had a lot to say to the South African batters as did a few other Pakistani players.Gibbs was wrong and has been punished. A few others on both sides could have also ended up in a hearing. You basically are saying that the South African players are all racist and the Pakistani players are all Angels. Pull the other leg it has bells on it.

  • Naser on January 16, 2007, 11:24 GMT

    Jag says The reason the crowd were agitated was becaus SA plays their cricket hard, .....he carries on..teams like Pakistan have to be strong enough to give back as good as you get" Well Jag I suppose the "Hard" criket SA plays is evident by their test ranking, Pakistan is number 3 SA is somewhere down the bottom, I suppose with enough slurs and sledges to take the oppositions mind off the game, they will get to top 3 eventually.

  • Azizul Haque on January 16, 2007, 11:24 GMT

    Gibbs deserved this punishment.Racism is the worst thing that could occur in International Cricket.Gibbswill get a very fitting lesson in this regard after this punishment.The action of ICC is appreciated here.Let us play fair Cricket.

  • mike on January 16, 2007, 11:22 GMT

    What an embarrassment on the ICC due to the complete power the asian countries have over the game. Hershelle Gibbs described the section of the Pakistani crowd as acting like a pack of animals, due to there non acceptable(yet it was accepted) and grotesque abuse of an inexperienced(28 years old but in international terms) national player, and what a assessment it is. Gibbs should not have even been close to a reprimand but because of the power that is weilded by the asian nations a team member of a western nation is vilified, questioned about his racial morals, embarrassingly made to retract on his comments and banned from the game he makes his income from. As usual it is made out like the asian countries are always the victim and are treated like an endangered species. The Pakistani supporters should have been fined, ejected and quite possibly banned from attending international fixtures in the future. All the talk during the ashes series reguarding venues was the absoulute intolerance of any sledging of players and the threat of fines against racial abuse. Australia learnt its lesson after the South African tour with tight new measures introduced and the test with the ashes crowds in mind were passed with excellent crowd behaivior and friendly interaction with the players. Monty Panesar become one of the superstars of the summer, but with a genuine feeling from australians, and this a player with a strong asian background and the same situation for Sajid Mahmood. Gibbs is firstly a genius, one of the most brilliant players of a generation(strong words from an Australian too) but too a person of colour, and it should be remembered that he in all likelyness has suffered racism, it would seem strange that he would racially slur a pack of Pakistani's, with the harshest comment being his statement that they were a pack of animals, the ICC should look in there own backyard before concluding hershy is a racist

  • DC on January 16, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    Bit sour in my opinion from Kamran. The ban was correct but saying the SA abused the Pakistan players beyond sledging is unacceptable. Are you trying to say that the Pakistanis did not sledge at all as well beyond to what they could do. What Gibbs said was not racist at all...people who swear at people like the Paki fans did are animals regardless of their race , gender etc. Reporters just like to sensationalise things and that's what Kamran is doing. BIASED!!!

  • eddy on January 16, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    yes Kamran i hate racism like most of us right minded people. i myself am of mixed heritage so i understand racism in its various forms. Was Gibbs' commment based on the behaviour or race of the crowd? would he have been banned if he called the abusive aussie crowd animals or for that matter the lager guzzling barmy army? i think not.

  • Uzma on January 16, 2007, 11:19 GMT

    Jag you and the lady have probably totally missed the face and body languages Gibbs let others watch throughout their fielding. Dont just ignore the masses who watch cricket with close focus of sports channel. thats no matter of single statement but media spectators who saw him on screen abusing Pakistani players on each second ball. Was that something else which no other cricket fan can understand than SA and you 2 ppl. Dont say excuse of playing cricket with strong/ weak team is what agitating SA to blurt out whatever they can. if thats the case then opponent should have equal right of abusing right on their face as well. Either SA was abused in Australia doesnt give SA right to do the same with utmost honesty. Cricket is for everybody who loves cricket. Unruly spectators were those too who poured open Juice packs on Aqib Javed in Banglore and Kolkata. Can somebody remind me the year!!

  • Iqbal Khan on January 16, 2007, 11:18 GMT

    I know that the Aussies sledge a lot but I have never seen an Aussie bowler being as provocative as Andre Nel or Jaques Kallis who both swear obscenities to the Pakistani Batsmen. SA must re-look at their behaviour. Yes the game is tough but your character needs to be impeccable in the gentlemans game. Gibbs neede to be punished harder

  • Tony on January 16, 2007, 11:16 GMT

    Racism cannot be tolerated and obviously Gibbs needed to be punished,whatever he intended, as the cricket field today is a stage. Kamran is niave if he thinks that the South Africans are over the top in their sledging. Cricket at this level is as much a mental game as a physical one, the good players manage to shut out opposition comments. Incessant appealing when the ball clearly pitches outside leg is also not part of the 'gentlemans game', but then anyone who remembers those days is clearly delusional, or has never played cricket. Kaneria almost proves this - he certainly has a high level of skill, but does not get inside the head of the batsman nor does he positively influence umpires like Shane Warne. Until he learns to dominate the stage with his presence he will remain a good but not great bowler.

  • Fredda on January 16, 2007, 11:15 GMT

    "SA themselves were subject to much racist taunts from crowds in their last tour of Australia" Not this old line again ??? How many Aussies can speak Afrikaans ? They were subject to racist taunts by EX PATS living in Perth !!! I'm tired of these accusations by the media and Graeme "All Talk, No Action" Smith. Both of whom claimed that Monty Panesar would be subject to such a torrid abuse of racism that his tour downunder would be an absolute living hell ! Well what a load of BS that turned out to be .... Monty was the #1 favourite of the Aussie fans, both he and KP can play for the Aussies anyday !!!

  • Frank Nunan on January 16, 2007, 11:15 GMT

    My apologies to Mr Abbasi for calling him "Mr Akmal". Unfortunately, I took my cue from the posting above from "jag". Getting someone's name wrong is unforgiveable for any journalist, even a former journalist like myself!

  • Imad Uddin Chishti on January 16, 2007, 11:12 GMT

    I think it was the right step to ban Gibbs, cricketers are professionals, representing their respective countries, they should be more careful in controlling their emotions on and off the field. I also think that Nel should also be observed carefully/closely as he offends alot as evident by few closeups from recent match.

  • steve on January 16, 2007, 11:10 GMT

    nonsense...it wasn't racist.

  • mike on January 16, 2007, 11:09 GMT

    Kamran why is it that any time an Indian or Pakistani is insulted it is all of a sudden racist. Those spectators WERE behaving like animals, in fact that's an injustice to animals. As far as the on-field sledging goes, let the umpires deal with it. But just because it's chirping doesn't make it racist, my friend

  • Phil on January 16, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    I must have missed many of his comments as the only one that I read was in reference to them being like animals. Surely this is in reference to their behaviour and not their race. Was their behaviour animal-like? Clearly there were many other things that were said that weren't printed.

  • Ritesh on January 16, 2007, 11:01 GMT

    Well Kamran , you have raised an absolutely valid point .There are two standards in world cricket - one for Asian teams and one for Goras.

  • James on January 16, 2007, 11:01 GMT

    It is very difficult to judge Herschelle Gibbs without knowing exactly what was said. All I have heard is that he referred to supporters who were hurling abuse as 'animals' and that they should be in a zoo. Offensive, maybe, but how is that racist in any way? Hooligans do behave like animals, after all. Did he make some other comments referring to their race?

  • CuddlyJuddly on January 16, 2007, 10:59 GMT

    The only report I have read was that Gibbs commented that some of the spectators were behaving like animals. This is surely not racist and it seems to be accepted that some of the spectators were ill-behaved to the extent that they were evicted from the ground. On that basis banning Gibbs for two test matches appears very harsh

  • Kp's Skunk on January 16, 2007, 10:56 GMT

    SA were right to highlight certain sections of the crowd that racially abused them in Australia. However Jag if the excuse was that SA play hard cricket how come they have played poorly for the past couple of yearsand are a middle ranked Test playing nation ?

    Racism is part of the fabric of all nations but ibbs of all people should have known better. How do we know that other racial epithets haven't been used toward players on the feild after all Mickey Arthurs said what happens on the field should stay on the field.

    Racism is racism there are no excuses

  • Suryakant Patel on January 16, 2007, 10:56 GMT

    Agree with much of what Abbasi has written: but to brush off the behaviour of Pakistani fans so lightly is quite surprising. For many of them, attendance at cricket matches is more a matter of faith than a sporting event. It is for them as solemn as going to a mosque and what we witness is a deeper problem with the need to wear their faith on their sleeves. They are equally bad in England and elsewhere : a loss is an insult to the faith especially when they lose to Infidels.

  • Richard on January 16, 2007, 10:55 GMT

    Sorry, I think there was a typo in my earlier submission, what I tried to say in the 1st line was that "What Gibbs said was stupid, regrettable, unprofessional, etc."

  • Mike on January 16, 2007, 10:53 GMT

    Excuse my ignornace but does anyone monitor what the Pakistani's are saying in their language? I seem to remember many times last year that on certain forums, fans were confirming repeated comments from Danish Kaneria heard on the stump microphone to Kevin Pietersen as "come on white boy" in his native tongue, yet this was never brought up, presumably because most of the watching public don't speak Pakistani (excuse my again as I don't know the name of the language)

  • mezz on January 16, 2007, 10:53 GMT

    i dont understand what the big deal is over gibbs calling the pakistani supporters that were swearing at harris "animals" and telling them to "go back to the zoo" the fact of the matter is gibbs called them animals because they were behaving badly, it's not an insult based on race its an insult based on behaviour and i think that the authorities have completely misjudged the situation

  • Clint on January 16, 2007, 10:50 GMT

    The decision was a good for H Gibbs got a approiate slap on the wrists. We must not however forget that it is the nature of cricket that there will be sledging but racist comments have not place in cricket. Lets just play cricket!

  • Naleem on January 16, 2007, 10:50 GMT

    Paki spectators are a nuisence in every part of the world - Like in Australia other countries must have strict laws for spectators and if caught must be banned from entering grounds in future - remember the Paki spectators taunted our very own Inzi in Canada so unless they are kept behind bars (like in India and Pakistan) they behave like animals !!! (but Gibbs cannot call them animals).

  • Richard on January 16, 2007, 10:48 GMT

    What Gibbs said was no stupid, regretable, unprofessional, etc. but not racist. The level 3 offence carries a 2 to 4 test match ban, and would be reasonable if his comments were racist. They were nothing more than tasteless observations, and no doubt no worse than other comments passed on the field. A fine or max 1 test ban would have been appropriate, but to call it racist and make it a level 3 offence is absurd. Mr. Broad certainly over-stayed his welcome, no wonder the Asian test playing nations voted him into early retirement.

  • Tahir Malik on January 16, 2007, 10:47 GMT

    Hold on a second here...something doesn’t add up. Gibbs is a player of colour himself. Lets face it, he has been at the wrong end of racism himself while growing up. Would he be hauled over the coals for being in breach of the ICC's racism laws for calling a group of white SA supporters 'bloody animals' if they had behaved as our supporters had? I doubt it! Unfortunately, the powers that be are once again oversensitive and quick to pounce on any incident that can be misconstrued to be remotely racist just in case they may come across as complacent. Herchelle was angry at the way a certain portion of the crowd had abused, and indeed tried to injure, members of his team, he reacted verbally to his team mates calling them ‘a bunch of bloody animals’. I am sorry but to me, there is no reference to race or religion but to the fact that animals behave in this manner with no respect for others…and that is coming from a person of Pakistani dissent. In my opinion, this is a witch hunt performed by individuals trying to right the wrongs of the past hoping their actions are noted in order to glorify themselves. This wasn’t racism, this is a man (of colour himself) describing the bad behaviour of a few people that just happened to be of Asian dissent. If they had been white, not one person would have complained. And just in case any of those individuals brandishing pitch forks and flamed torches are crying racism on my part, I am of Pakistani dissent, BORN AND RAISED IN SOUTH AFRICA studying in England and I support Pakistan. I am not biased in any way, but have the benefit of living on ‘all sides’ without the chip on my shoulder! Shame on those that choose to ban Gibbs, and shame on those who are too closed minded to see this for what it is.

    As for sledging? If you cant run with the big dogs, stay on the porch! Everyone does it, Pakistan have the mental strength to mix it with the best both verbally and cricket wise. Funny how the people complaining are not those fighting it out on the playing field but those people off the field of play, maybe they’re there for a reason!

    Thanks for a great website and for allowing a forum to express ourselves and our different views.

    Tahir Malik

  • Chris on January 16, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    I was at the game on Saturday and had a chat with a few Pakistani supporters who were a great bunch of guys. The SA fans have massive respect for the Pakistan team and its unfortunate that this incident of a hand full of people puts that into a different light. I'm sure the slurs by Gibbs were in the heat of the moment. He has been punished. Lets just leave it at that.

  • Shakes on January 16, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    I'm waiting for someone to explain to me which part of his comments were racist.

    Reverse the roles completely. We're touring Paki and some south african supporters are acting stupidly in the crowd and Younis Kahn gets caught saying they're acting like animals. I guarantee you that the word "racist" wouldn't have even been heard by now.

    The race card is being played FAR too often these days. They were compared to animals, because they were acting in an unruly way....behaviour comparable to that of an animal. End of story. No mention of race.

    I'm pretty sure worse things were said of the Barmy Army when they were here.....never heard of any of that, why could that be?

  • S J on January 16, 2007, 10:44 GMT

    Are you for real Kamy? Of course we know of the underlining racism there is in SA cricket but lets not forget that the pakistan side are some of the biggest sledgers in the game and their constant appealing and putting pressure on the umpire when Kaneria is bowling is a disgrace. Lets just all accept that both these sides are as bad as each other. We have the racists of south africa against a team of cheats from pakistan.

  • Tariq Ali on January 16, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    I was not clear on one thing about Gibbs' comment: was he referring to the specific fans in question or did he direct it all Pakistanis and, perhaps, by extension, all South Asians? There is a world of difference between the two. In one case, it is an insult to fans who were, after all, insulting them. And, in the other, it is a clearly and blatantly racist remark. I wonder if someone could clarify?

  • Abdemanaf on January 16, 2007, 10:42 GMT

    Andre Nel is one soul who has escaped punishment continously. It is a coincidence that the audio in the stumps were able to record Gibb's slur but no less serious is Nel's behaviour with the opposition team. His conduct is outrageous. Its high time that umpire's and match referee start noticing.

  • Pied on January 16, 2007, 10:41 GMT

    "The snarling--and persistent--abuse that South Africa's players hurled at Pakistan's players" ? What? I think you should take off your Pakistan goggles. The amount of times that Pakistan bowlers threatened to- or even did "hurl" the ball at the batsman's stumps was somehow also "persistent". I presume the constant threat of physical violence is ok for all the world to see? There was only one frustrated team out there.... By the way, Gibbs' comments were about the behaviour of the problem group of spectators, it had nothing to do with racism.

  • Go Proteas on January 16, 2007, 10:41 GMT

    I disagree with the ban. If the crowd can't behave and treat the players with respect then I dont blame the players for re-acting the way they do. After all we are suppose to be civilized. I have noticed that the minute Pakistan are doing bad in a match their supporters become aggressive.

    I stand next to my TEAM....through thick and thin.

    Go SA

  • Karl Slingblade on January 16, 2007, 10:39 GMT

    Gibbs hurled those insults at a section of a crowd that was being abusive it seems he called them a "bunch of animals." How is that racist? How is that hurting anybody's religious sentiments? Its amazing how the subcontinent people keep on hurling insults at the opposing teams from S.A., Australia, New Zealand, England and even the Caribbean but if given the same treatment, they all cry racism. I have sat thru a one day match between Pakistan & West Indies where Pakistani fans were constantly screaming the "N" word at the West Indians. I suppose thats accepted behaviour. If punishments are being handed out, let them be handed out to everybody involved and not just to a selected few.

  • Anton on January 16, 2007, 10:38 GMT

    Get a life! The world has become far too hyper-sensitive and people can't think rationally any more. If you heard or read the simple comment, “They are behaving like animals” can you honestly know that such a comment was directed in a racial way? How would the reaction have been if it was the Barmy Army that was behaving poorly and Gibbs made the same remark? I guarantee nothing would have ever been said! Anyone – black, white, red, yellow, green, pink – anyone, who behaves in an unruly manner can be said to behaving like an animal. It is not the South Africans that should feel embarrassed.

  • Jason on January 16, 2007, 10:38 GMT

    There is no hint of racism in referring to the fact that some unruly spectators were acting like wild animals. If it had been intended for the barmy army or australian supporters it would have been summarily dismissed. Its just ironic that certain teams evoke controversy wherever they play... I fully backed Pakistan in the whole DaryL Hair affair, but am beginning to wonder how wrong i might have been...

  • Valavan on January 16, 2007, 10:37 GMT

    Since Gibbs made his racial remark in english, and it fell on mic, everyone understood, but dont you think asian teams makes racial abuses in their own languages inside field especially Shoaib Akthar and Co, who will punish them??? I'm not defending Gibbs but before Gibbs, many should have been punished.

    If such punishment rules would exist in 80s or 90s, Javed Miandad would have a cutshort carrier

  • ET on January 16, 2007, 10:35 GMT

    I think two test ban is not sufficient. SA and Australia specialize in unleashing slurs of all kinds on other teams. I am still shocked that Andre Nel gets away with what he does all the time on the field. I do believe that cricket is still regarded by ICC as a white boys game and team from the sub continent are consistent victims of discrimination and double standards

  • nasir on January 16, 2007, 10:32 GMT

    This is in response to the message posted by JAG. South Africa is a team that can dish out verbal abuse but can't take any (proven by Graeme smith on their last tour of Pakistan). I agree that sledging is part of the game but there is a thin line between being aggressive/in the face of opponents and totally disrespecting them. South Africa cross over into the latter a bit too frequently.

    As for the test match, South Africa were brilliant. I don't see pakistan coming back into the series unless we get the likes of Muhammad yousuf, umar gul and even shoaib akhtar back into the side for the second test. Our bowling attack seemed totally impotent. We only had one world class bowler in the team and that was Asif. Whatever people might say, i refuse to accept that danish kaneria is world class. He is good and on occassions very good but world class he is not.

  • Riyas on January 16, 2007, 10:32 GMT

    Mr Jag

    however much the crowed incensed Gibbs there is no excuse. If he cannot control his emotions on an international Test cricket pitch he should not be there. If the crowd was too excesseive he should have complained to the authorities like SA did in austrailia not join them.

    please dont give racists and excuse for their actions. and like you said SA was at the receiving end in Austrailia and i'm sure SA gave as good as it got on the field, but it still doesnt excuse the austrailian crowds behaviour as it shouldnt Gibbs'.

  • Dylan on January 16, 2007, 10:31 GMT

    I think the punishment hand down wasn't really a fair call since it really wasn't a racist comment, he was just describing the fans that were harrasing harris, i'm pretty sure gibbs didn't even know their race so how could he be racist?

  • Deezo on January 16, 2007, 10:29 GMT

    The behavior of a section of the crowd at Centurion Park on Sunday was pathetic.The horrendous racist slurs directed at Paul Harris prompted Gibbs(a Black member of the SA team) to react.One does not condon what was said by Gibbs,but it was a knee-jerk reaction to the vile obscenities directed at his team mate.The punishment certainly does not fit the crime! Those so-called Pakistani fans whose behavior fueled the incident should be banned from all cricket grounds in SA.

  • Dr.Syed Rafat Ali Jafri on January 16, 2007, 10:26 GMT

    I think the incident has clearly surfaced the racist and biased attitude of South African Players and the arrogance of Gibbs is not padonalbe at all. Andre Nel , Smith,Pollock and company are representing a team which uses sleding as like calling names and that to a honorable country like Pakistan is not acceptable to us. One could also hear as he said "fucking Pakistanis" Now what is that meant? I think south africans have not accepted the post apartheid era and still living in the era where we used to see "Blacks and Dogs are not allowed" in the bar. I think their behaviour in itself shows that they are themselves the bunch of animals.

  • Ghulam Haider on January 16, 2007, 10:26 GMT

    The ban imposed on Herschle Gibbs is good but I wonder why the two umpires, match refree, ICC and all those concerned with the game of the gentlemen are unable to spot the persistant bad-mouthing by South African fst bowler Andre Nell. Sledging has been used by the fast bowlers but to me Mr. Nell seems to have some serious problem with his attitude. He is no more than an ordinary bowler but pretends to be higher than Himalayan. He should be snubbed forthwith or shut out of the game because he is turning out to be more than a monster.

  • Varadan on January 16, 2007, 10:25 GMT

    It is a sorry sight to see that teams from the so-called subcontinent(pardon me that itself is a derogatory colonialist expression) being the subject of oversledging indulged in by Andy Nell, Gibbs and his band of blockheads!The gentlemen in white as well as the match referee seem to be more than indulgent when it comes to tolerating such disgusting on-field antics!Pakistan had every right to complain and one appreciates the forthright manner in which the team projected this problem.

  • Andrew on January 16, 2007, 10:25 GMT

    I agree with most of the sentiments expressed both in the article and in the majority of the comments.

    The comments made by Gibbs were uncalled for and should be punished. However my main objection is that the stump microphones are simply left on during the game. Personally I don't want to hear the expletives of dissapointed players nor the more abusive sledging. Whilst these may form part of the game they should not be broadcast and certainly should not be part of watching the game. As I recall the umpires immediately spoke to Gibbs and possibly there the matter should end although, if as it appears in this case, a law is broken and further action required then the umpires should report the matter to the referee and the disciplinary process followed. So too should Nel and others have been called to order by the umpires and this process followed. I agree that racism or other offensive behaviour needs to be acted upon whether broadcast or not but I don't agree that these scenes should be played out in our homes where what should be pleasant entertainment will soon carry an age restriction for foul language. The broadcasters need to take responsibility too.

  • Zahid Mahmood on January 16, 2007, 10:24 GMT

    In my opinion, the actions of Pakistani spectators were a direct result of comments and actions of South African players especially Andre Nell towards Pakistani players but anyhow I cannot justify their actions. Whatever they said or did cannot be appreciated and the stadium authorities did the right thing by asking those folks to leave. However, I feel that the reaction showed by Gibbs in this particular case was not justified at all and I feel that the defense used by him, his manager and captain is also shameful - that these comments that he made were for ears of his teammates - what about the Pakistani players that were in the field? What about their feelings? For what I can gather is that the SA team feels that it is ok to say whatever they want to Pakistani players as long as it is not heard over the stump microphone. This is abislutely ridiculous. I am also surprised that the Pakistani team has not complained about the attitude and comments made by Andre Nel after almost every single delivery - especially to Younis Khan. This matter should also have been reported to the Match refree and should have been investigated thoroughly. Anyhow, I hope that CSA can put some sense in their team before next match and they demonstrate professionalism and avoid racist and abusive comments towards others. South Africa should take concrete steps to discourage such actions given their history and they have a first hand knowedlege of racism related issues.

  • Tariq salman alvi on January 16, 2007, 10:23 GMT

    Cricket used to be a gentlemen game and both players and crowed used to have excellent behavior, which is not the case now. I wish that this game should stay the old way but over the year this has changed first due to the fast bowlers behavior who started acting like a bully boys not in terms of their bowling but their behaviors. It is good that ICC has issued a code of conduct for the cricket to improve those behaviors. The punishment are always helpfull in reducing this type of behavior. I prefer that referees should also interfere if they hear or see such type of behavior in the field although Derrel Hair affair has provided new twist to the whole issue as they are the white coat men in control of the game, so they must be unbaised in their judgment. The puishment is appropriate but crowed should also be monitored and the culprits should be thrown out of the ground and legal action should be taken against them, so that they do not provoke the players who are there to provide them entertainment. One should always look at the root cause of any such problem and these should be sorted out from its root.

  • jimmy pitt on January 16, 2007, 10:23 GMT

    A typical anti-South African rant. South Africa is a FORMER apartheid country. It is now a multi-racial, tolerant society, where players of all colours (including, let it not be forgotten, the coloured Herschelle Gibbs) and creeds (witness Hashim Amla) play together. Pakistan's so-called fans are a disgrace wherever the game is played and its players cause problems wherever they play. Unlike India, who have just concluded a tour to South Africa which was notable for the excellent spirit in which it was played. Perhaps Pakistan's cricketers and fans should look at how Rahul Dravid, his team and their fans behave on tour, instead of whinging and whining about sledging (Gibbs was not sledging, he was talking to his team-mates), poor umpiring, and the rest of a sorry bunch of excuses. Likewise, the PCB could emulate CSA's firm response the next time a Pakistani bowler is found to be a drug cheat or ball-tamperer. Get your own house in order before hurling racist abuse at South Africa, Mr Abbas.

    For the record, I am not South African.

  • Kevin Maeka on January 16, 2007, 10:22 GMT

    While I think the punishment to Gibbs was deserved, I wish to point out that South Africa is hardly the worst offender - be it their fans or players. I have seen and heard worse things on Australian cricket grounds. Thanks to Cricket SA and the ICC for taking such swift and decisive action.

    Kevin Maeka, from Harare, Zimbabwe

  • nanda soobben on January 16, 2007, 10:21 GMT

    i am an indian south african.this is just the tip of the iceberg.this is what we go through in everyday life in this country.people ask us why we dont support the proteas.imagine us supporting someone like nel!? an insult to the pakistanis is taken as an insult to all indians nanda

  • Slazie on January 16, 2007, 10:20 GMT

    I was shocked when I heard the comments over the tv when I was watching the 4th day and, along with the commentators at that time, hoped that what I heard wasnt what I heard...but it was.

    I've played some cricket matches myself and know how anger caused from various situations can cause you to react differently to how you normally do, but at International Level you should know how to control the situation around and not let it get to you, specially if you are not the person, in this case, being abused by the crowds.

    I think it was a disgrace to both Nations - for the Pakistan fans in the crowd and the South African Gibbs. Sledging is important in a game of cricket to see which side has the strongest mind set...but there is line to be drawn! And there was and Gibbs has been punished for it.

  • prakash on January 16, 2007, 10:19 GMT

    well said. this has happened during the India - SA match as well. Poor Sreesanth got fined but not Nel..I am not sure how international cricket tolerates A. Nel. For that matter, Flintoff, Ponting, Shane Warne are not far behind...

  • Raahim Malik on January 16, 2007, 10:18 GMT

    Dear Kamran Sad thing happened in the first test between South Africa and Pakistan.We Pkistanis have a great respect for South Aricans they are good cricketers and good representives of their country.We have seen in the past crowds in Australia and England passing such remarks.Cricket is a gentlemans game.It shows alot of character and patience which Gibbs couldnt show. I think he shouldnt have lashed harsh words specially when due to improved coverage facilities could be telecasted and were heard clearly on TV.The ban was simply unavoidable in such circumstances. We hope that this insident doesnt harm the remaining matches.

  • Usha Ballal on January 16, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    Arrey yaar everybody know how the SAfricans, the Australians, etc., abuse us. Best soulution for this is let the stump microphone be ON all the time for viewers to hear. All the racists will be more worried about losing match fees and advertisment deals.

    Usha Ballal, Mysore, India

  • Graham on January 16, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    I agree with Jag, I do not understand how stating that a section of the crowd is behaving like animals is racist? This has nothing to do with their race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethic origin but concerns their behavior which was obviously pretty bad as two were ejected from the ground. As for this blog once again in this PC world of ours we do not make individuals responsible for their actions but blame it on the SA team for playing hard cricket!

  • Tahir Ashraf from Indian Occupied Kashmir on January 16, 2007, 10:16 GMT

    I completely agree with ur views,Kamran.sledging may be acceptable when it only involves friendly banter but today it is used for intimidating the opposition by swearing and racist taunts. The issue is not confined to Gibbs alone., just look at what Nel had to say to Imran Farhat during Pakistan's second inings...

  • Paul on January 16, 2007, 10:15 GMT

    Since when is referring to people behaving badly "as animals" racist?

    If it were Shane Warne in SA saying that the crowd hurling abuse at his teamates behaving like animals would that then be racist as well? C'mon get real.

  • Arup Ratan Dey on January 16, 2007, 10:14 GMT

    its very bad attitude for south african cricketers.I think GIBBS should have banned more then 2 matchs.

  • M Akram on January 16, 2007, 10:13 GMT

    Had no action been taken, whether right or wrong in Pakistani or any other nation's perspective (as you may now read views from supporters of both sides in this thread of debate), this kind of attitude from either side may have continued in the rest of the tour. The decision would definitely shake both the crowd and the SA team for being overzealous or 'arrogant' in their attitude! .... or else no one learns a lesson.

  • aj on January 16, 2007, 10:11 GMT

    SAs behaviour was evident in the series agaisnt india too. Non-stop.

  • Salim Sachedina, Toronto, Canada on January 16, 2007, 10:11 GMT

    I did watch (on TV) a great deal of the first test between Pakistan and SA. I am not too sure if some of the Pakistani crowd was not reacting to the rant and perhaps abusive outrage of "crazy" Nel. I am astonished that the umpires did not take any action of throwing Nel out of the game. If Nel did that in, say, soccer, he would be out of the game. I think the problem with Cricket is that it has not evolved fast enough from its colonial past when there were the elite (England, Australia and White SA and the weak NZ) and the ruled (India, the WI and Pakistan, before Sri Lanka and now Bangla Desh joined the major test community. Granted, lately, there are attempts at "balancing" but I'm afraid, not fast enough. How do you, otherwise, explain the dictatorial attitude of Hair in officating the final Oval test between England and Pakistan? I don't agree with the notion advanced by the SA coach that certain comments -on the field - should best be left to the privacy of the players. If Nel's tantrums are not acceptable to man like me who watches the game from thousands of miles, I am sure they would be unacceptable to the crowd who are watching it live, and certainly, it should be unacceptable to a player, I believe was Younis Khan, at whom most of it was directed. All such "uncivlized" behaviour is not Cricket. Whatever happened to the slogan "Cricket is a gentlemen's game"? Perhaps it was a convenient slogan when the colonial rulers dominated the game.

    Salim Sachedina, Toronto, Canada.

  • Kamri on January 16, 2007, 10:11 GMT

    Lets be fair…Gibbs’s ban is totally ridiculous!!! Where did he make racist remarks??? The crowds were behaving as animals with no respect to players or the game it self… He didn’t say they were animals (not that even that would have been a racist remark, yes it would have been a derogatory remark and totally not acceptable), he said they were behaving like animals. In other words they were behaving without manners or respect for others…. If the South African team took sleging too far the, surely the umpires would have picked it up and would have taken action. My fellow countrymen in the crowds disgraced me, Gibbs rightfully commented on how they were behaving and now he is banned and branded a racist… REALLY NOW!!!! You might be able to go as far as to say Gibbs’s remarks were derogatory but call him a racist is really going to far…

  • Kees on January 16, 2007, 10:11 GMT

    Maybe I am missing something, but I do not see a direct racist association in Herschell's comments. What I read in the press reports is that a comment was made along the lines of "they are animals" and "go back to the zoo". It refers to a section of the supporters who behaved disgracefully. Where is the racism in there? As far as I know he did not say "Pakistanis are animals". From what can be deduced that he was commenting on their background and not their actions?

    Not that I argue that players should not be reprimanded or sanctioned for insulting sections of the public, even after having been on the receiving end of taunts and, according to newspaper reports, physical abuse. As professional cricketers they should stand above it. It is just that introducing racism where there is no clear link, and using this to impose a stiffer penalty, is wrong.

  • Manas on January 16, 2007, 10:07 GMT

    Right punishment for Gibbs.Do not forget he was involve in match fixing.These people are destroying the game of cricket.Now NEL another fellow should be punished for his not required comments on field.

  • Kev on January 16, 2007, 10:06 GMT

    Please can you elaborate on what the players said to the Pakistan players that cretaed "vile atmosphere." What did they say? Why was it more than sledging? I watched much of the game and I never saw anything "unusual". It's not as if they were cheating by using drugs or scuffing the ball on their zip pockets.

    I think the quote that Gibbs got done in for was "bloody animals" Why is this racist? The supporters, it could be argued were behaving like animals.

  • Zobs on January 16, 2007, 10:06 GMT

    There is a fine line between "playing hard" and playing "fair". Cricket is losing much of its "gentle" side for this "hard" plays... just my thought!

  • Mike on January 16, 2007, 10:05 GMT

    This is the height of absurdity. There is way too much political correctness ruling the roost here: Had Gibbs referred to similar behaviour by, say, Australian spectators as being "like animals", there would not have been a case to answer. But because Pakistan's management jumped into a situation in which they had no business, action had to be taken. To call the response over the top is to misrepresent it. It is hopelessly inappropriate. And, to cap it all, Gibbs is, of course, so-called "coloured"... and has been the victim of racism himself. It's a joke, and those pompous idiots at the ICC AND CSA know it...

  • Aly.Mohiyuddin on January 16, 2007, 10:05 GMT

    The decision was good,what Gibbs said it is totaly wrong,thats way it will not happen anymore in rest of the game.thanks.

  • Jawad on January 16, 2007, 10:04 GMT

    Gibbs remarks reminds me of South Africa's history. They have some deeper problems with the race and color in the past. and that problem still stays in them. No one heard about the crowd comments. No one says anything bad in crowd, their is no proof and after all its the south afria home ground. But the only proof we got is that SA player Gibbs made the comments that showed SA team over all attitude. and that is very shameful.

  • Marco on January 16, 2007, 10:04 GMT

    I'm all for matters of racism being addressed and punished, but this seems one step too far. The only allegations I have read or heard is that the words 'They are like animals' were used. Now if Gibbs used these words to describe Humans that were acting like animals, where is the racism in that? Why associate this with colour? His words describe actions not coloour. something is amiss in all of this.

  • Ian - United Kingdom on January 16, 2007, 10:02 GMT

    It has finally happened. The PC loving politics of today's day and age has now crept into the gentleman's game. The world has finally gone mad.

    Isn't it ironic that the very people slapping all South Africans - now of all colours - with the broad racist brush, and the very same people bleating that all Muslims should not be slapped with the broad terrorist brush. I abhor both examples to the full.

    It is too easy these days to play the racist card and soon - to all our collective detriment - nobody will want to listen to those crying wolf. If Gibbs had made the same comments about those boorish Australian fans when they taunted them in Australia would the same ruckus have occured? I daresay not. And one needn't be a brain surgeon to figure out why.

    The South Africans played with grit, drive and determination, not once allowing the Pakistani side any respite. This is how good, modern-day Test cricket should be played. Have a look at the Australians; they have turned it into an art. Now this South African side, with four players of colour (one of them now ironically banned for racism), have come to the party and decided to get tough in a tough game, and the whole world is up in arms. C'mon Mr Akmal, let's leave political aspirations alone, and get on with the greatest game of all. And forget the flowery dresses at home - this game is for the srtong of heart, mind and spirit.

  • gats on January 16, 2007, 10:01 GMT

    Well whats new! One can see the double standards in the way ICC operates as well.. Sreeshanth says something he is fined, Andre Nel... well its just banter and good for the game.. Apart from this topic, another thing I saw was the no.of bad decisions against pakistan.,. are they supposed to be neutral elite umpires? elite , definately not! they are crap. neutral, I dont know coz the same thing happened against India as well.. they decisions are always in favor of non-asian teams

  • amyn lakhani on January 16, 2007, 9:59 GMT

    Comments like this are common occurance on the ground in all forms, such as verbal and non verbal. The issue is the stump mike (kept on) which threw on-the-ground thrash to our drawing rooms. I agree and think Gibbs deserved to be punished.

  • Vijay on January 16, 2007, 9:59 GMT

    The aussies should be the first to be punished. to be blunt, we are afraid of white skinned cricket playing countries PERIOD. Otherwise what can you say of Shane Warne ?? If Gibbs' is a start then it is OK. Actually Sleging also should be banned. After all wasn't cricket a Gentleman's game ? Are there no more GR Viswanath and Zaheer Abbas's kind of people among the Geeeeeeeentleman (White) ??

  • Bryan on January 16, 2007, 9:59 GMT

    Shiraz and Imran, you guys are laughable. Imran, you especially. I agree with some of the other comments. The root cause of all of this were Pakastani supporters behaving like pigs. Gibbs comments were not acceptable, but they were not racist. He deserves punishment and any South African excuses are not acceptable. However, you all talk about race and it's sensitivities in South Africa as if you are entitled too. You are not, a small point to all of you, Gibbs is coloured. Unless I have missed something (which I may well have), his comments were more offensive than racist. I think the context of the original post was more about sledging and not racism. To pin this as a wider problem of South African cricket is off base as well. There are a lot of other teams who behave in the same manner. Match referees and umpires are there for a reason and if they do not see the need for further action then let's get on with playing the game.

  • Dave on January 16, 2007, 9:59 GMT

    This is just a thought thats worth noting here but I think the self righteousness of this piece and the consequent highmindedness of the replies is full of delicious irony. In fact the entire situation is. What Gibbs said was inexcusable but in the same sense understandable if one has ever had experience of the kind of abuse a section of the Pakistani supporters hurled at Paul Harris. I have been to many games involving Pakistan and some of the behaviour of their supporters has made me sick to my stomach. If a player does well against them, instead of their fans congratulating him, the player is subjected to vile personal abuse. Ive seen it happen. Watching a Pakistan/India cricket game I could not believe my ears when I heard the kind of abuse that was thrown at the Indian supproters, it was extreme racism that even Neo-Nazi's would find offensive. It seems to be a group mentality thing were a few supporters become extremely agitated at Pakistan's position and resort to verbal abuse as a way of retaliating, in that context it is almost a primal urge and I have seen it taken to such extremes that I left the match I was watching because I was so disgusted. Look at the effigies burnt of Hair after Ovalgate, you're telling me Gibbs' "zoo" comment is more offensive than that?! The rabid support of some Pakistani supporters is unacceptable, it is racial, unruly, radical and has no place in the game. Gibbs made a silly mistake but his throw away comment was nothing in comparision to some of the abuse hurled at Harris on the boundary. Dont generalize on an isolated incident about racism in South Africa, that is not within your field of expertise, rather perhaps an eye should be cast over the radical element within Pakistani supporters groups and a plan made to stamp it out.

  • Anum on January 16, 2007, 9:59 GMT

    Banning Gibbs for two test matches for racial slur is the correct thing to do. It was not an insult to the Pakistani sprectators but the entire nation. The match referee must also conduct an inquiry into Andre Nel's behaviour because he constantly sledges the Pakistani batsmen yet the umpires tolerate it! And yes, some Pakistani supporters MUST learn to act like human beings.

  • Trevor on January 16, 2007, 9:58 GMT

    Being a South African, I agree fully with your response and am of the opinion that the 2 test ban is too light a punishment for Gibb's. If one could translate the verbal gestures made by Andre Nel to opposing batsman, it would be an embarrasment to our rainbow nation and probably demand bans much more stringent than that metered out to Gibb's. In my opinion, there is still a measure of racism in the SA team and I see this by the gestures and mannerisms of players such has Kallis, Boucher, Gibbs and Nel. It is sad that the gestures of these players force me as a South African to support cricket teams other than SA. The cricket team needs to take a feather from the soccer team and represent the true spirit of our nation.

  • Arrow on January 16, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    I think SA Captain is part of the problem as well. Thats what he says on bbc: Captain Graeme Smith said he could not condone Gibbs' action". Then he says "The worrying thing is that Pakistan always have a large support base around the world. Security needs to be looked at." He surely is part of the problem. Somebody tell them that the aparthied is over and they can't continue with their racist antics anymore.

  • gc on January 16, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    I would be interested to hear what the actual comments were. It is reported that Gibbs used a phrase like 'bunch of animals' if so how is this racist? That kind of phrase could apply to any racial group and does not single oy race or creed. We surely need to be careful that we address the the deep seated racism problems ( eg. lack of opportunity, different treatment etc) rather than go the way of a 'politically correct' reaction to comments made to a group ao team-mates in the middle of a cricket pitch!

  • Trevor on January 16, 2007, 9:56 GMT

    Being a South African, I agree fully with your response and am of the opinion that the 2 test ban is too light a punishment for Gibb's. If one could translate the verbal gestures made by Andre Nel to opposing batsman, it would be an embarrasment to our rainbow nation and probably demand bans much more stringent than that metered out to Gibb's. In my opinion, there is still a measure of racism in the SA team and I see this by the gestures and mannerisms of players such has Kallis, Boucher, Gibbs and Nel. It is sad that the gestures of these players force me as a South African to support cricket teams other than SA. The cricket team needs to take a feather from the soccer team and represent the true spirit of our nature.

  • Lesego on January 16, 2007, 9:56 GMT

    Has anyone actually heard the comments Gibbs made? There was nothing racist in his remarks per se. He basically says the Pakistani supporters are a bunch of animals who should go back to the zoo and that South Africa isn't Pakistan. I've heard racist taunts and that is far from one. The crowd was behaving in an unruly manner, abusing the south african out-fielders and it was fair comment for Gibbs to compare them to misbehaving animals. Since when was calling someone an animal racist? We're all animals anyway.

    As mentioned correctly by JAG players are human too and can't operate like machines forever ignoring the immature abuse of the opposition fans, it all eventually has to burst out, as i'm sure many players do in private, Gibbs just made the unfortunate mistake of speaking his mind near a stump mic.

    The SA coach is 100% right. What players say amongst themselves on the field of play should stay there. Gibbs did not direct his comments at anyone a la Eric Cantona, he didn't target anyone, he just said it aloud amongst himself and his colleagues.

  • Tim W. on January 16, 2007, 9:54 GMT

    Throughout this whole affair, I’ve wondered... can someone please tell me how calling abusive supporters 'animals' is racist? They acted like animals, so they deserve to be called just that. What else should SA players refer to the as? Whether they are black, white, yellow, red, gray or whatever should make no difference - I hardly see any racism present in such a remark. (I should note though that I have not heard about other comments made. I very much hope that the 'animals' comment is not the primary issue. Otherwise it is an incredibly stupid verdict detrimental to the game, and yet another instance of reverse-racism.)

    By the way, I find it completely unbelievable that the competitive nature of the SA side should be an excuse for supporters to racially abuse SA players. Despite that Mr. Abbasi claims that SA players' 'snarling' at Pakistani players should not be seen as an 'excuse', he still wants it to acknowledged that this 'contributed to the agitation', which of course is tantamount to excusing it. The further comments by Mr. Abbasi leave us in no doubt of which party he supports, but let it be known that the whole affair asks one central question - as it did in Australia not so long ago - why do nations allow such supporters to even enter a cricket ground? Is it because such behaviour is in fact even implicitly encouraged in a cricket-crazy country like Pakistan? I should hope not, but talk is cheap and I see far too little evidence of concrete actions to the contrary.

    Okay, I’m being a bit rough, but I think this mess calls for it.

  • Dazza on January 16, 2007, 9:54 GMT

    Ah for goodness sake, sledging is part of the game and if the players can't handle it, retire, go home and dry their eyes. This is a game for men, not children, Aussies sledge, Pakistanis appeal for anything that hit the pad, even though we can see all 3 stumps, is that not vile too????

  • Khalid on January 16, 2007, 9:54 GMT

    Some sort of punishment should have been given to the captain also.The conduct of players in the field is the responsibility of captain

  • Craig on January 16, 2007, 9:53 GMT

    Personally, I think Herschelle was correct and the supporters abusing him were behaving "like a bunch of animals". If people want to be respected, the should behave like human beings. I don't think it was a racist remark, merely a statement of astonishment and fact on Gibbs' part.

    Every team in world cricket sledges, thanks to the Australians - some just do it better and harder than others. I wish they would have the stump mikes turned up all the time - perhaps a world wide audience might embaress players into behaving with some dignity.

  • Jayanth on January 16, 2007, 9:53 GMT

    You have addressed a very pertinent issue regarding the behaviour of the South African team. It is hard to understand that a team containing players like Pollock, Kallis, Ntini, Prince & Amla can also have people like Nel, Boucher, Smith, Gibbs, etc. Whatever they do is cloaked under the garb of (natural) aggression whereas the same for others is categorized as code violation. It is high time CSA addressed the issue and considered appointment of a primary school teacher to teach them basic manners. Surely, they can afford to have one more addition to their already bloated team of support staff.

  • David on January 16, 2007, 9:53 GMT

    I couldn't agree more. I think the ban is extremely lenient. I am from the UK but live in South Africa and am appalled by the way Cricket South Africa have tried to cover this up and let Gibbs get away with it. I would like to think that if this had happened at a Test match in England the offender would be given a proper ban and hauled over the coals by the press. Contrast this with Rodney Hartman's deplorable column in The Star in Johannesburg - "He was offering a private view in between overs which was not intended for public scrutiny. The players were in their office, remember, but no one seems to care about that... Gibbs becomes the villain in the eyes and ears of the world. It is not right." Disgrace.

  • The Judge on January 16, 2007, 9:52 GMT

    The pakistani crciket board should also take responsbility of their own supporters.Racism is in the blod og the Pakistani people. If you place some more microfoons in the field In a match against India in Pakistan then the result would be that you have to ban 80% of the Pakistan Eleven. But what will the ICC do against the the agressief Pakistan supporters. I will be in the West-Indisch visiting the worldcup games and i also want to feel safe when teams and supporters playing against Pakistan.I would like to know if the ICC have also made plans to Ban supporters from the stadiums and also to charge them bye the law of the country.

  • Oliver on January 16, 2007, 9:52 GMT

    There is no justification for rascist abuse to enter dubious world of sledging. To excuse such behaviour by implying it was for the ears of my team-mates or initiated from crowd behaviour does not justify being a closet rascist.

    If Gibbs had an issue with the crowd, why was it not reported to the field umpires. Secondly, the racial abuse meted out to the South Africans in Australia was down to their own ex-pats.

    Thirdly, the only team which dishes and takes sledging is the Aussies. The springboks attempt to play their cricket hard, yet scream when at the end of it...i.e. Sreesanth much maligned for his reactive behaviour....what did he do wrong?

  • Red on January 16, 2007, 9:51 GMT

    Please get your own house in order. Your national team is a disgrace, full of cheats and liars. At least the SA board publicly agreed with the ICC, unlike the ridiculous pcb and their disdainful attitude towards the spirit of the game. To hear Pakistan fans accusing ANYONE of racism or injustices to the game is utterly insulting.

  • The Judge on January 16, 2007, 9:51 GMT

    The pakistani crciket board should also take responsbility of their own supporters.Racism is in the blod og the Pakistani people. If you place some more microfoons in the field In a match against India in Pakistan then the result would be that you have to ban 80% of the Pakistan Eleven. But what will the ICC do against the the agressief Pakistan supporters. I will be in the West-Indisch visiting the worldcup games and i also want to feel safe when teams and supporters playing against Pakistan.I would like to know if the ICC have also made plans to Ban supporters from the stadiums and also to charge them bye the law of the country.

  • hneyb on January 16, 2007, 9:48 GMT

    I'm an Asian and when I hear news of this nature I'd be inclined to go "Serves him right!" But on this occassion I think Gibbs was hard done by. I didn't see the game but I can only go on what I have read afterwards. Unruly crowd behaviour whether its Pakistanis or not should not be tolerated. If the reports of racial abuse at Gibbs on the boundry has any substance I'd think that the crowd did act "like animals" and I don't think Gibbs' comment had anything racist in it. If I was subject to abuse like that I might make the same comment irrespective of what nationality the crowd was. If they did behave "like animals" I don't see anything wrong in saying it. Having said that I wouldn't put it past SAf players to make racist comments. They are well known to go to any length to get under the opposing players skins and while playing hard cricket on the field is acceptable, Authorities need to keep tabs on anything beyond that. Racism should not be tolerated on the field or off it.

  • Iltaz on January 16, 2007, 9:48 GMT

    One should learn in this fast moving world that there should be no white / black / brown - coloured - one just needs to see celebritites like Madonna and Brad itt & Angelina Jolie adopting children from Africa..........High time the South Africans learn that they should leave as a single country post apartheid and see that the beautiful country South Africa is tends to remain same for its infrastructure / beauty and nature and above all mixed people still mingling together except for some hard core nuts. Pakistani fans also should control themselves.

  • Confused on January 16, 2007, 9:46 GMT

    I fully agree that racism should be stamped out.. but I am not at all convinced the comment "they're a bunch of bloody animals" has anything to do with their race.. The word "they're" in this sentence describes a group of fans insulting our players, not a racial group. I agree that Gibbs should be punished for verbal abuse, but not for racism.

    Unless more was said, I'm afraid I just can't see why this is considered racism.

  • Paul on January 16, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    While Gibbs' comments were unacceptable it is incorrect to say they are racist. Pakistan is not a race, it is a nation or a country. To classify is comments as rascist therefore is to deliberately raise peoples hackles using a well known buzzword.

    Similarly, if someone says something against South Africans or Australians bases on their nationality, that is not racist. That is not to say that it is acceptable, of course. In the same way it is not acceptable to insult someone on the basis of their age, religion or class.

    As far as the on field comments between players is concerned, the Pakistani's have to learn to put up with it and to find the mental strength to deal with it, s long as such comments are within the acceptable norms of sportsmanship. The on-field umpires have to be the judges in this case.

    Andre Nel is a tough competitor, sometimes sometimes even embarrasingly so. He would do better to channel his frustration into more accurate and faster bowling.

  • Razia on January 16, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    Dear Kamran

    It's all very well to say Gibbs should be banned - you are right,racism should not be tolerated. But your articles are always biased in favour of Pakistan. Perhaps you should attempt to move outside of your team. If the players cannot take the mental pressure, they should give up their spot for someone else.

  • akb on January 16, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    S. Africa and Australia are great teams but a great part of their game is the sledging, abuses, snarls, glares, gestures. Whoever said that cricket is a gentlemean's game? Watching the likes of Andre Nel would make you wonder about their upbringing, cultural background, general team discipline and the attitude that victory is all that matters. The umpires and match refrees should come down very hard.

  • Cereal-killa on January 16, 2007, 9:44 GMT

    Gibbs comment was not racial he was refering to a section of the crowd that was behaving like animals it had nothing to do with colour, but people will always look for racial undertones in everything said to somebody different to ones self.

  • Rogan on January 16, 2007, 9:44 GMT

    The irony of the Gibbs saga is that he himself would have been subject to many racial slurs as a person designated as 'coloured' growing up in Apartheid South Africa. With this type of background it is difficult to believe that Gibbs' comments were meant in a malicious way and he was simply maintaining the team unity by supporting his new team member, Harris, who was copping abuse from the crowd. I believe the ban is far to excessive. I agree with Jag's comment that SA plays hard and only extremly sensitive spectators and players would view matters as racist. It is always a cheap shot to accuse South Africans of being racist and I feel that Broad has not help by taking such a hard line.

  • Jase on January 16, 2007, 9:43 GMT

    A very one-sided opinion if I ever saw one.

    You talk of racism as though it is a South African invention and that other teams/countries are free of it. The Pakistani supporters (as always, a minority) demonstrated that isn't the case. Instead of being so concerned with the image of the Rainbow Nation, perhaps you could spare a thought for the problems Pakistan has with its own neighbours and at times, the wider world. You see, we all have issues to deal with.

    I think a bit of balance is needed instead of villifying the SA team. The ICC are right to take a stand in these cases, but they also need to come up with a strategy for managing crowds. It doesn't help punishing the players when the agitators in the crowd go free.

  • de villiers on January 16, 2007, 9:43 GMT

    I do find it interesting how controversy and sensation dogs this Pakistani team where ever they play. Somehow they are always the poor victim. The Pakistani supporters behaved poorly and deserved the tongue lashing they received, if you behave like an animal you should be told so.

    Rather comment on the fact that 2 confirmed dopers are allowed back in the Pakistani team by the PCB, now that's a disgrace.

    If you can't take the heat Pakistani's, get out of the kitchen and get over your victim mentality while closing the door, Mr Abbasi.

    Judging by the nonsense you have posted on this site during the last fortnight it may be time to take a breather.

  • Nas on January 16, 2007, 9:42 GMT

    Rainbow nation...Or Not... for Jag comments,"SA play their cricket hard..." The comment is racist and he need to accept it.

  • one south african fan on January 16, 2007, 9:42 GMT

    Gibbs comments were wrong, even though I believe he would have said the same thing had it been a bunch of white South African fans behaving in that way. But it was an ill-advised comment, and he has paid the price.

    But Mr. Abbasi, I take serious offence at your accusations of "vile conduct" leveled at the whole South African team no less! There is a differance between hard, aggressive cricket and vileness. To me it seemed a good atmosphere, with the Pakistanis often sharing a smile with the bowlers, even with the often maligned Nel. Aside from the Gibbs comments you have no proof of your accusations. To me your article reeks of sour grapes and attention-seeking inflamatory writing.

  • corc on January 16, 2007, 9:42 GMT

    We whole heartedly support Gibbs. It was another PC move and we believe the wrong person was punished, this is being used as another international soap box and people are falling over their own feet to condemn others for the very same thing they do. The question is; are the finger wavers pure as the driven snow?

    The Pakistani supporters are the ones with the racial problems and should be banned from the two remaining games. This country does not need or want attitudes as they have.

    If you're afraid of the opposition dont turn up for the game neither try to defile S.A. victory.

  • AHMADM MALIK on January 16, 2007, 9:39 GMT

    Dear Kamran ... wht have been given to H Gibbs Is very much rite he must have been ban ..and the should be looking deep about Nell As every one can see the way he reacts when get beaten by some one ..he strats bouncers and abusing the players ..making faces and stuff...thanks Allah Hafiz

  • sam parkar on January 16, 2007, 9:38 GMT

    I have said it many times before & now i am really fed up.When is the last time danish kaneria won Pakistan a test match.Again in this test match on a turning wicket,how many wickets did he get.none.Paul harris in his 1st test match was more effective & difficult to play.The guy who should be playing was sitting in the stands.(Mushtaq Ahmed).Bowling coach.he still has a lot to offer Pakistan cricket & he should have been picked as a player.The other Pakistani player that i am not to keen on is Faisal Iqbal.Surely pakistan must have better players then him.surely.

  • Fahim on January 16, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    hi there kamran i do agree south African players did cross limits but pakistan players also have some voices i have seen faisal Iqbal teasing and talking batsman before i dont know why was he not doing this time these are all tactics of the game calles cricket its no more a gentelmans game i do beleive with shoaib and yousaf in the team pakistan team would be mre energetic and vocal especially shoaib he doesnt give any respects on the feild to the batsman we need aggressors on the feild medium pacers cant be too aggressive i do beleive that these kind of racial comments are given by the aussies

  • Rehan Aslam on January 16, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    Gibbs ia rightly punished. but its not only him, other south african players are also involved. look what Andre Nel does. Passion to do something for his team is something to understand, but its way beyond and simply not acceptable. He should let the ball do the talking. His face expressions should be part of a comedy serial.

  • usman niazi on January 16, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    i simply think kamran abbasi is only a teenager.

  • Pienk Zuit on January 16, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    Oh please! Gibbs merely refered to a bunch of people acting like animals, as animals. It had nothing to do with race, everything with behaviour. It's rediculous that drug cheats like Akhtar are allowed to play, and Gibbs is banned for 2 tests for using a metaphor to describe unruly behaviour.

    Pakistan must not let the chip on their shoulder make them too paranoid and think everyone is always against them.

  • Brad on January 16, 2007, 9:35 GMT

    I agree with the ban Gibbs was given in light of his comments. I however disagree with Mr Abbasi's comments about SA players creating a vile atmosphere and hurling constant abuse at the Pakistani players. This was simple sledging and was not of a personal nature, if you cant take it get out of the playground.

    I would love to have a translator available when opposition teams tour India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan and hear the abuse that players take on the field. When the home teams "chat" in their native language I am pretty sure its not about what they're going to have for dinner when they get home!

  • harry on January 16, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    Seems that the racial problem has infused the wonderful game of cricket too. Lets not confuse sledging with the above. However it should not tolerated be it any team in the world. I guess mr.gibbs did not mean it but then again one should also realise that Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Bangaladeshi supporters are no angels either.

  • Rich E on January 16, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    Guys ... fully with you on the ban racism ... but who knows ... SA cricket might find a loop hole soon that can vindicate what was obviously a bad decsion by one of there cricket players ... we may yet see him back in the near future ... Truth is drugs are no less of an offence!!

  • Sean Kelly on January 16, 2007, 9:30 GMT

    Gibbs is a bit of a hothead and needs to be reigned in somewhat. The ban is generous.

    While I disagree with the "f*&^%$# Pakistanis" slurr, I believe you should be able to call people acting like animals exactly that.

  • Harris Iqbal on January 16, 2007, 9:27 GMT

    Gibbs and SA have gone too far. This is a sport, played for entertainment. And SA have take this way beyond. They forget that hundreds of thousands of young children worldwide watch them and idiolize them as their role models. These children are not stupid. They see exactly what is going on. And it MUST damage their morale and their confidence in their heroes.

    As for SA, it is not only Gibbs who has gone too far but Nel as well. The way Nel charges at bastment, the language he uses and the antics he displays are totally unacceptable. Then I hear absolutely pathetic comments from the SA commentators that this is a "mans" game. If you want to do MEN STUFF the go fight on behalf of the UN against terrorist and get shot. This is a GAME. It should be played in the right spirit. Abusing, insulting, offending, humiliating and de-grading people is NOT the way to play this game. If I could have things my way, I would BAN Nel for life from ALL forms of cricket. He is an absolute nusiance and a disgrace to the game we all love so much.

  • Manoj Nair on January 16, 2007, 9:27 GMT

    Well, it is indeed not good for cricket supporters to misbehave and trigger such incidents. It is sad to see that once a gentlemen's game has reached to stupendously low levels. ICC is equally responsible for this chaotic approach and the mess they continue to create. Umpires and Umpiring is no longer the same after the Hair incident. Field umpires cannot keep quite and tolerate. The match referees seems to be there for fines. Andre Nel is one character who is conistently getting away. Indian fast bowler Sreesanth was fined while Nel got away. ICC pro-actively practices double standards and it is time someone got them think of their role of protetcing the spirit of the game.

  • ian on January 16, 2007, 9:26 GMT

    Gibb's comments can't be condoned, but remember that he responded to some pretty hostile and innappropriate remarks from Pakastani supporters

  • Jason on January 16, 2007, 9:26 GMT

    Hi,

    Agreed - there is no room for racism in cricket - but maybe of Pakistan's fans were better behaved, things like this wouldn't explode in this type of aggression? I've never heard of South African tourists behaving so disgustingly overseas....we've had it in Australia where our players were abused by the crowds with racist taunts, but no stories of SA fans carrying on like children and hitting players with flags - so Gibbs should have known better.

    Whey can't Pakistani fans act their age?

  • Chris on January 16, 2007, 9:25 GMT

    2 points: 1. So-called sledging is out of control as has been demonstrated in the recent Ashes series and now here. Players are resorting to outright abuse and insult and have not been punished for it. Doing something about it should be a priority. 2. I wander how many racist insults in the crowd and n the field go unnoticed because referees and umpires do not understand the language used? We know they all understand English. It just occured to me that insults, racist or otherwise, often go on in the club cricket I play here in London but because they are in a languauge none of the white players really understand nobody gets upset...until afterwards when my team mates translate!

  • Nico on January 16, 2007, 9:24 GMT

    I think that Kamran made some very valid and pertinent points about the behaviour of both Herselle Gibbs and some of the Pakistani supporters. Clearly Gibbs had to face some form of punishment for his unacceptable outburst. It was also right that the abusive imbeciles in the crowd were removed from the stadium.

    However I think it is stretching credibility a little to suggest that the behaviour of Graeme Snith and his team in anyway contributed to the agitation of idiots in the crowd.

    Part of embracing non-racism is accepting and tolerating difference. The reality is that both South Africa and Australia have a different cricket culture to that of other nations. It is direct,aggresive,upfront and brutal and yes it involves sledging. However it is the cricket culture of these nations and therefore to censure such behaviour is surely racist in itself.

  • Mike on January 16, 2007, 9:24 GMT

    Kamran does indeed point to a deeper problem in cricket - what is an acceptable level of verbal intimidation? The South African team use it as a tactic like most other international sides? Unfortunately, when it is visible to the public it is hardly an attractive sight.

    Gibbs deserved his punishment. One trusts that the PCB will follow up and ensure that justice is fairly done, by identifying and banning the individuals who perpetrated the incident in the first place. I'm sure the persons who were ejected from the ground are now known to numerous people. If this is not the first time that travelling supporters have racially abused a home side, then one wonders why the PCB have not done anything about it. Soccer has managed to tighten up on this sort of behaviour. Unfortunately cricket needs to do so too.

  • suohman on January 16, 2007, 9:24 GMT

    Gibbs is a human.why did not this happened in India series...was it because the crowd was polite? whom to blame...? public or the players...

  • Warren on January 16, 2007, 9:23 GMT

    First off, I am a South African. I was born in the apartheid era and have lived through the changes out country has gone under, so please unless you are from here and understand everything, leave that era out of this. Do not listen to what the media says about that, they twist stories to make them interesting otherwise, you and everyone else would not read their articles, watch the news and buy the papers.

    Second, If this happened in Australia by an australian, the issue would be swept under the carpet and a slap on the hands for those involved, and NO, this is not a complaint, but fact - see the past.

    Third, If the monkeys who ran out pathetic SABC television station in South Africa did the job they are supposed to do half as well, the microphone would have been off and this would NEVER have come up.

    Fourth, everone now wants to persecute Hershelle Gibbs over something that was said. I can guarentee you the Pakistanies would have said much worse in retaliation to hearing Gibbs's comment.

    Fifth, to bat a player over sledging, this is utter BULL. Simple, bar Gibbs, bar everyone. Then remove sledging from the game and we never have to play Australia again. YAY!

    Six, sledging is part of the game, and surely if the umpires has a problem they would have brought it up. Did the umpires bring this situation to the public eye. NO! Grumpy, Old Men like Bob Wolmer, who couldn't stand loosing to his old team, ran to the public and started flapping his gums. Listen, Bob, You lost, face it. We loose and do not go running to the press with big problems that happened on the field. If anyone watched the Indian tour to SA Shreesanth and Andre Nel had a go at each other numerous times and this was NEVER brought up. WHY? Simple sledging is part of the game - tests your mental toughness. Remove sledging and you remove the challenge of INTERNATIONAL TEST CRICKET. Remove sledging, remove the crowds as well, they sledge. I know, I once told Glen McGrath to go "SHAG A SHEEP MATE"

    Seven, I agree Gibbs was wrong, the crowd got to him. But, remember, we as the public can sit back and accuse everyone on the field of anything without knowing the full story. On the news that night we saw nothing about what the crowd was doing, they just went on and on and on about Gibbs. The media sux. They do what they can to destroy a person and then bitch and moan when they do not perform.

    Eight, Pakistan are just trying to throw spanners in the works of SA, the same as Australia do. Pakistan need to wake up and realize if you play cricket like they did in the first test, THEY WILL BE CRUSHED BY ANYONE, YES, even Zimbabwe. Play proper cricket on the field and leave the crap controversy alone. Are they so desperate to win, they want to emulate Australia.

    Nine, if anyone knows about rascism in SA it is Gibbs. When he was first selected, all we heard in this country for months was that gibbs was selected on racial quota. The man went through a tough time just because he's a good player. Blunly put, Bob Woolmer is scared. Notice him when the TV cameras show him on TV, a pathetic attempt at a nervous smile.

    NOW can we put this crap to rest and return to the test series.

    Thank You

  • Grant Robbins on January 16, 2007, 9:23 GMT

    Kamran,

    While you are entitled to your opinion, I find your generalised analysis of the events that unfolded at Centurion deeply flawed and offensive. While no-one can condone the overheard comments made by Gibbs to his team-mates nor the behaviour of a few Pakistan supporters who were ejected from the ground for their trouble, it is wrong to suggest that this is "part of a deeper problem with South African cricket". The only inference that can be drawn here is that because of an previously oppressive regime - which few either side of the colour spectrum supported - all South African are and remain inherently racist. This couldn't be further from the truth and no country has addressed it's racial and religious problems with more zeal and transparency or success. I speak as a white South African, now working abroad, whose parents were heavily involved in the anti-Apartheid movement and who counted among their closest friends many of the civil rights and unionised members of the far left who ultimately landed up on Robben Island. Your suggestion is akin to painting all Pakistani people as racist because of a few idiots at a cricket match, when it is patently not the case and the majority are peaceful and cricket-loving enthusiasts. Also, do not confuse aggressive, in your-face-cricket - what Wasim and Waqar practised for many years remember - with racism. Another point, there is more than a little irony when, after Cricket South Africa had earlier announced their own internal disciplinary hearing would be conducted by a high-ranking judge, Pakistani officials took it upon themselves to complain to Chris Broad, the ICC match referee, forcing his hand when they had no need to get involved and effectively rendering the South African inquiry compromised. Surely, they should have left the South African authorities deal with the matter in the same way an internal PCB panel investigated and found Akhtar and Asif guilty of taking a banned steriod, although an appeal committee bizarrely overturned that decision. The PCB can't have it both ways. Finally, to question the conduct of the Proteas is laughable. Sledging/banter call it what you like, is part of the psychology of the game - just ask the two W's who were very good at it and a reason why Australia are the best in the business. It is up to the umpires to decide whether it is excessive or not and I believe Pakistan gave as good as they got. I note, too, that you make no reference to Pakistan's blatantly excessive appealing on the last day - putting unneccesary pressure on the umpires when the ball is no where near the bat or pad. Again this is part of the mind games that makes the contest so consuming. I look forward to your response.

  • AJM on January 16, 2007, 9:22 GMT

    Cricket is a gentlemen’s game, or at least it was supposed to be at one time. It is not the matter of one getting so out of control and shows such behavior such as Mr. Gibbs has shown, it is the mind set these so called ‘Caucasian’ descent nations have toward the other races. We from the subcontinent give such respect and treat these visiting western teams with such hospitality when they visit the subcontinent, which by the way is acknowledged by them also, but the treatment we receive while visiting these countries not only by their press, general public, also in the grounds, is totally outrageous and insulting, which is quite evident from the first test where one viewer could easily notice the arrogant and silly behaviors from majority of the SA players.

    In response to “Jay” comment “The crowd incensed H Gibbs, not the other way around Mr Akmal. The reason the crowd were agitated was because SA plays their cricket hard not necessarily because they were being racists...teams like Pakistan have to be strong enough to give back as good as you get, or get on with the game.” From his very statement, what does Pakistani cricket team had to do with the so called behavior of few disgraced Pakistani spectators with such bad taste. If that’s the case than every white person in SA should be accountable for what their ancestors did during the apartheid days.

  • D on January 16, 2007, 9:22 GMT

    Gibbs has proven by past actions he is not the brightest spark around therefore has anybody considered the option that he was refering to that section of the crowd as "a bunch of animals" had more to do with their behaviour than with their race.

  • Shaz Amin on January 16, 2007, 9:21 GMT

    I think the punishment for Gibbs was correct. You must have a zero tolerance to racism. It was probably the ground authorites fault, they should have stepped in sooner and prevented the abuse to Harris and Gibbs. On another point how Nel gets away with his antics is beyond a joke. The worst think his he is just an very ordinary bowler, as his match analysis shows.

  • Jayaprakash on January 16, 2007, 9:21 GMT

    I don't why Nel is being left for whatever reason it might be.He is been carrying that from India series,instead bowling he keeps talking and provoking.I request one of the players from PAK to smash his head.I thought Sreesanth would smash him on that fine day but...,Roshan(match referee) was afraid to summon him for whatever he did and still he doin the same thing.And I don't think it gentlemen game.Is anyone listening?

  • Serenityuk on January 16, 2007, 9:20 GMT

    SA Cricket needs to look at themselves, the shoe is now on the other foot. (If) They were subjected to racial taunts down under gives them no excuse to act in this mannor. Also, someone please put a leash or at least a muzzel on Nel as his attidue on during every over is a disgrace.

  • Henk on January 16, 2007, 9:19 GMT

    It is clear that the problem was the constant taunting and racial verbal abuse (and even physical attack) on the South African players. I cannot blame anybody for not being able to stay calm under such constant harrassment. The natch referee also clearly stated that the outburst was brought about by the constant verbal abuse of the Pakistani supporters (and it was not only those two that was removed)What I dont agree with is that saying some people is monkeys when they act like monkeys is racial abuse. There was no racial connotation. Irrespective of what race, if people act like animals, or act like monkeys, call them animals, call them monkeys, because by their acts they show that is what they are. To summarise: I dont believe any action should have been taken against Gibbs and much harsher action against the Pakistani supporters. I think the reactions will show that is probably just Pakistani's that will support Kamran's opinion. I do not see him criticising the Pakistani supporters conduct. Is he maybe identifying himself with their conduct?

  • Nathan on January 16, 2007, 9:19 GMT

    So, if I tell a pakistani cricket fan to "go back to the zoo" for acting like an animal it is racist. If I tell my brother to "go back to the zoo" for acting like an animal, is that also racist? He is family, so possibly not, and he is a New Zealand European, so few would label me such.

    What about if I say the same to my uncle, who is New Zealand Maori. Would that make me racist. Presumably, by the standards Gibbs has been held to. But what about if I said to my brother and my uncle together to go back to the zoo. Perhaps that would make me half racist. More likely the only acusation I would be guilty of is forgetfulness of the historical connotations of insults such as monkey and "go back to the zoo" when applied to non-Europeans by Europeans.

    I certainly understand the historical signficance here of such terms and I am not trying to beliittle the ongoing struggle to stomp racism out of this world, of which the cricket pitch makes up a tiny portion.

    Maybe Gibbs is a racist. Maybe he really does believe non-Europeans belong in a zoo, and maybe he only used those words because he was expressing his deep-seated belief that pakistan's fans should be behind bars eating peanuts and not sitting watching crickets. In which case he should be banned from the game and made to go live somewhere like ur, um South Africa.

    Or perhaps he was just expressing his belief that the fans were acting like animals and that they should go back to the zoo. If he had said such things about Australian supporters, would he be banned today. If he had said such things about New Zealand supporters in recent years he would have probably been hailed.

    This is the most insidious form of racism of all when such insults we would normally throw around without thinking get immediately labelled racist because they have been entrenched in our consciousness as such.

    Context is obviously extremely important in this case, but as cricket fans we have only had access to snippets of Gibb's comments. Perhaps he is a racist, perhaps he is not. But sadly, due to the way this has played out he will forever have the label attached, and racists the world over can celebrate having had another high-profile sportsman added to their ranks.

    If Gibbs really is a racist, the ban is not long enough. If he just made a hair-brained comment, no ban should be entertained. Either way a stronger comment needs to be made from the ICC, detailing why what he said was racist. Gibbs has been left to hang. They owe it to both him and the fans to show us the rope he has been hung by.

  • KC on January 16, 2007, 9:19 GMT

    well ICC is full of ppl like gibbs and so are the 4 memembers NL, AU, UK, SA, if these four cricket bodies arnt quote on quote racists then why is it that 99% of the time they vote for one thing and rest of the permanent members of the ICC vote against them, so if cricket bodies have that kind of "attitude" then players like gibbs and ponting cant really do anything about their racial behaior, and yeah GO Yankees

  • Matt on January 16, 2007, 9:17 GMT

    Since race plays such a vital part in the selection of national teams in SA, the players will have to cope with racist remarks from time to time. I am not supportive of the remarks, but I do understand the frustration of many supporters. This does not necessarily cover the behaviour of the crowd at Centurion, but players like Gibbs must accept the situation and get on the game. They get paid the salaries of celebs, so they will be treated as such. What would happen if Brad Pitt have to respond to every negative comment made about him?

    Another point. The SA team may be shining at the moment, but lets remember the Pakistani's is far from full strength. The Indian also don't have a good away record, so the last few results certainly don't tell me that SA is plaing excellent cricket.

    Graeme Smith is the most childish captain in the world. He certainly does not deserve to be the captain of the team winning the World Cup. Although I doubt if SA is capable of that.

  • Resham Sathideen on January 16, 2007, 9:17 GMT

    I think that the ban is fair. I think that there is a lot of sledging that happens that is a foreign language to the opposing team so it is sometimes not noticed. We shouldn't ban Gibbs as we need him to win the World Cup !

  • Matt on January 16, 2007, 9:17 GMT

    Since race plays such a vital part in the selection of national teams in SA, the players will have to cope with racist remarks from time to time. I am not supportive of the remarks, but I do understand the frustration of many supporters. This does not necessarily cover the behaviour of the crowd at Centurion, but players like Gibbs must accept the situation and get on the game. They get paid the salaries of celebs, so they will be treated as such. What would happen if Brad Pitt have to respond to every negative comment made about him?

    Another point. The SA team may be shining at the moment, but lets remember the Pakistani's is far from full strength. The Indian also don't have a good away record, so the last few results certainly don't tell me that SA is plaing excellent cricket.

    Graeme Smith is the most childish captain in the world. He certainly does not deserve to be the captain of the team winning the World Cup. Although I doubt if SA is capable of that.

  • Joe on January 16, 2007, 9:16 GMT

    Kamran, you and every other cricket writer absolutely miss the point in this whole Herchelle saga. I did not perceive his commnets as racist but rather a description of unruly people. I think his comments would have been made regardless of race. I'm sure many South African players referred to the Australian crowds last summer as animals because people who abuse swear and insult others are "animals" if you ask me.

    Trust me as a South African Indian, I know what racism is and what Herchelle said was not racist.

  • Rudi Delport on January 16, 2007, 9:15 GMT

    I'm 'n proud South African who detests racism. It is tearing our country apart every day.

    However, since I'm sitting in China at the moment I'm not fully aware of what happend. From what I could gather from the article on cricinfo, the fans aggitated the players and Gibbs then made the comment of "Bloody Animals". That comment has been made regularly in many different circumstancs around the world when people misbehave themselves. Except if something worse was said, the two match ban is harsh.

    About the comment that Arthur made, he hasn't exactly had a lot of respect from SA fans since he started and saying silly things like that aren't really helping.

  • Tim on January 16, 2007, 9:14 GMT

    Couldn't be more opposed to Mr Akmal's claim that this is part of a bigger problem and the whole team is involved. That is a very narrow minded and quite frankly a rather pathetic synopsis of the situation. To pull the good old race once again, is getting rather tiring, when will people get on with the future instead of living in the past.

    In my humble opinion there were no racist undertones in Mr Gibbs comments, and I can almost gaurentee that he been referring to an unruly section of the crowd that were exclusively white africans there would be none of this ridiculous aftermath.

    One also needs to take into account the level at which these guys are playing at, and the degree of pressure which they are placed under in order to be successful. I wonder if Mr Akmal would be so kind as pinpoint one of the reasons as to why the Aussies are so damn good.... Apart from their skill it is their ability to mentally unnerve their opposition via the grand old technique known as sledging. It is part and parcel of the game, and as they say if you can't handle the heat get out of the kitchen.... Another simpler solution, turn of them stump mikes, as sledging has and always will be good for the game.

    Definately think this entire matter has been blown out of proportion by a few overly sensitive individuals, who should rather be focussing on getting their team to play to their true potential rather than creating racial issues were none exist. To even suggest that the proteas sledging agitated the pakistani supporters is another extremely inept point from Mr Akmal, do you not think that they were just slighty frustrated with a rather poor batting display by the pakisatnis, the fact that there team were clearly second best in this match, or god forbid they were slightly intoxicated and thus required no provocation as they were indeed the aggressors.

    Just a few thoughts from the peanut gallery!!!!

    Have a good one, Tim

  • s ray on January 16, 2007, 9:14 GMT

    I dont understand why sledging should also be allowed. In any workplace, bullying is a serious crime, then why not in cricket, after all it is the profession of those who are playing there, and by bullying you can potentially destroy one's career. Sledging should also be banned in cricket.

  • Sal on January 16, 2007, 9:11 GMT

    What Gibbs did was wrong. However i feel that and have witnessed it myself that Pakistani Fans in Eng, SA and Aus are a bit racist and can give teams a hard time.

    Where as Pakistani fans in Pakistan, treat all overseas teams like superstars. Anyone remember when India came to Pak after a long gap, they were treated like heroes.

    I feel that Pakistan as a nation is not racist, but Pakistani's living abroad are a bit racist.

    The overseas pakistani fans need to know when to draw the line. There is no point saying that other fans do it to. Why should the Pak fans abroad follow suit.

  • Mike Borchardt on January 16, 2007, 9:11 GMT

    It is obvious that Mr Abbasi is smarting at the defeat handed out to the Pakistani's by the South African's. All national teams around the globe sledge their opponents in one way or another...it is part of the game. Rightly or wrongly it has been around for many years and I dare say will be for many more to come. Clearly the comments made by Gibbs were accurate in describing the behavior of some very boorish people and should really only offfend the innocent animal sector who were linked to these idiots. Why people must always play the racism card to get their way is beyond me as this is obviously a desparate ploy by the Pakistani's to weaken the opposition by any means possible.

    Shame on you Pakistan.

  • Philip on January 16, 2007, 9:09 GMT

    It's amazing that 99% of the persons agreeing with this idiot are also Pakistanis. Bad losers!!!It is known worldwide that your supporters act like animals and even your cricket players who love to cheat. How many times have your team member been banned for cheating or ball tampering??? Theres nothing wrong with a bit of verbal competition... Rather try and play better cricket....Sorry losers!!!

  • Tony on January 16, 2007, 9:09 GMT

    Why is Smith trying to accuse the TV stations for the microphones not been turned down. The spectators are taken out of the ground when they are caught abusing while they have paid for their tickets. The palyers paid for the matches and are hidden from been caught by keeping the microphones off. If the spectators are melted with one procedure, enen the players shoud go through the same law.

  • Gavin on January 16, 2007, 9:07 GMT

    Kamran, a very lopsided viewpoint! The Pakistani players are no angels when on the field. The reality is that all the teams do it. Please do not tar all South Africans with the same brush!

  • RaghZ on January 16, 2007, 9:06 GMT

    Yes, i agree with your article. Just look at A.Nel, and his antics when the Indians toured SA. Part of the problem also lies with our Asian teams. We take the abuse lying down. If we start giving it back, and avoid being cowards, then people like Nel and co. from foreign teams wont dare to do it. Its ridiculous that color is being used as a base for judging the punishment. When sreesanth gave it back to the Sa players, he was reprimanded, while Nel went scottfree and he is continuing his stupid sledging against Pakistan. If you appear weak, You will be squeezed. If you fight back, you are the winner.

  • Mushtaq on January 16, 2007, 9:05 GMT

    I see that you're upset that someone finally said something about Pakistan supporters, the most odious bunch in the world. They have a higher proportion of morons than other groups and, like their team, can't stay away from trouble. I believe that Gibbs called them "a bunch of animals": well, he just spoke the truth. There was another group of animals who abused Sajid Mahmood last year, the type that drive around at Eid with the Star and Crescent hanging out of their windows. So hears some advice: stop using the words "gora" and "kala", they are not terms of endearment, and no, Makkah is not just next to Rawalpindi.

  • Dean on January 16, 2007, 9:03 GMT

    Although I found the comment unacceptable, I don't believe it was a racial comment. I believe that the same would have been said about Australian fans or the Barmy Army had they treated the players in such a way. As Jag indicated above, it was the crowd that insulted Gibbs first. The supporters in question were upset because of the way that Pakistan played. This type of behaviour occurs in all sports around the world, especially games like football, and needs to be addressed. As you indicated in your blog, this can only result in a no win situation. How many slurs and insults from fans and players alike does it take before someone snaps back. Everyone needs to calm down.

    Whatever happened to the gentlemens game?

  • Dan on January 16, 2007, 9:02 GMT

    Wasn't this a veiled threat to the rest of the SA team about their on-field sledging? Gibbs is the scapegoat because practically any comment against a player gets ignored but a punishment for involving the crowd is a sop to demonstrate cricket's renouncement of racism.

  • D on January 16, 2007, 9:02 GMT

    Not really Jag. The last time Shoaib said something to counteract Nel's mouthiness and Hall's physicality he was banned. And lets face it, what Shoaib had said paled in comparison to what Gibbs said

  • Zed on January 16, 2007, 9:01 GMT

    Before we criticize the South Africans for sledging, let's look at Australia first. They've practically patented the process. They should be condemned for sledging before any other country.

  • Ali Sikander Tahiri BC, Canada on January 16, 2007, 9:01 GMT

    hmmmm!! Now a days playing Cricket is getting a bit tricky. All of the spectators don't only see ball and bat in your hands but also surveil whatever is on your lips. Surely which should never be over looked, specially by the Refree. Agreed Gibbs uttered something unacceptable but Why only him was punished? What about the all time big offence on the face of cric the aussies...poor gibbs was caught on microphone.. I wonder someone would suggest Southafricans to hire a lips reader in the 2nd Test to catch Pakistani players sledging. Finally to the Gibbs 'Your welcome but away from phones OR speak Zulu ;) coz the reactions are instinctive.' They say 'do, but dont get caught'

  • christopher bartlett on January 16, 2007, 9:01 GMT

    Wahey! Let's all jump on the Racism Bus. Gibbs, for your information, is a player of colour in South African terms, he is not white. Since when is saying someone is behaving like an animal racism? Is saying that a person eats like an animal racism? Should all similes be considered as racism? Is "X sprinted after that like a cheetah" racist? Or "he showed the strength of a bear". Yes it was a derogatory remark towards some rude and idiotic spectators. And please don't bring a regime that was ousted 13 years ago into the debate when the player concerned is coloured.

  • Wim on January 16, 2007, 9:00 GMT

    South African here: I would also rather that the SA team beat the opposition with their mouths shut ... wouldn't that be refreshing!

  • John on January 16, 2007, 9:00 GMT

    Ok, how is referring to a group of the crowd who are misbehaving as "bloody animals" racist? There is no mention of skin colour, there is no mention of religion, there is no mention of nationality. Some people in the crowd were behaving badly (and got evicted) and gibbs referred to them as animals. No idea where you got the racism in all of this.

  • Rashid on January 16, 2007, 8:59 GMT

    A good decision by the Match Refree.

    When others (Australian) did it to South Africans then it was racism and when South African (Gibbs) did it to Pakistanis, WHY NOT RACISM?

  • Craig on January 16, 2007, 8:58 GMT

    Well done to CSA for taking action against the racial comments made, however it seems that SA are one of the only countries that takes action against there players for wrong doings(e.g. Hansie Cronje saga, doping issues).

  • Jim on January 16, 2007, 8:58 GMT

    It would seem that controversy, acrimony and general distaste seem to follow the Pakistan team and its 'supporters' wherever they are. Again and again they love to fly the racism flag and are perpetual victims. Thye have the most aggresive support base in world cricket and players have a right to respond under such provocation. Would Gibbs have had the same punishment if he had referred to English, Australian or NZ fans in the same manner. No.

  • Shadab Manzar on January 16, 2007, 8:57 GMT

    Its shame for cricket what has happened.

    ICC has zero level torelance regarding verbal abuse or conduct "on the basis of race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin." Its good for cricket that Gibbs has been punished under this law.

  • Rob on January 16, 2007, 8:54 GMT

    My problem lies not with the ban, but with ICC's continued double standards. How does Shane Warne get away with calling Ntini 'John Blackman'? Yes, Warne did say the reference was not to Ntini's skin but to an obscure Aussie comedian, but the ICC's code is clear: "...any language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethic origin”. Warne's remark insulted Ntini. It doesn't matter whether the rest of Australia think Warne is a good bloke and Ntini is oversensitive. It doesn’t matter whether they all point out, but, gosh, Ntini is black, isn’t he??? What matters is that Warne made a statement that insulted Ntini, on the basis of his skin colour – he could’ve referred to Ntini as Dickie Knee, which I’m told is the character’s name. And in the same way, Gibbs could have referred to the crowd in a different manner. Gibbs and Warne made different comments, for different reasons, but both amount to the same thing: racially insensitive statements. Yet, Warne escaped a ban. Gibbs got a two match ban. Either ban both, or let both off the hook with a warning.

  • Vince on January 16, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    I don't think that the real issue has been addressed here. This is really all about politics and not about sledging. We all know that sport and politics should not mix. What sort of punishment will be given to the unruly spectators? A two match ban? I think this is just about keeping a touring side happy and Gibbs is the scapegoat!!

  • Hannes on January 16, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    Unbelievable turning of a blind eye here. Fair enough to punish Gibbs for being caught, but persisting that he made a RACIST remark? Get off it! The issue here is that he used the word PAKIS. Forget about the f**** and animal part. He was punished for calling the spectators Pakis. This is exactly why no-one wants to play you boys anymore. Every game turns out a freak-show. Get your act together Pakistan!

    Btw, whats all this about the "The behaviour of South Africa's players created a vile atmosphere" and "snarling--and persistent--abuse". Kamran, were you actually watching the game!?

  • pks on January 16, 2007, 8:51 GMT

    The 'snarling persistent abuse' can be bad if the intention is to hurt and ridicule the opposition. But on the cricket field, these comments can be very pre-meditated, and not 'heat of the moment'. The sledging, if done with the intention of getting the player out, should be allowed. If the 'abuse' were to happen off the field, on the street, that is unacceptable. but on the cricket field, its ok. As far abusing the supporters, Gibbs should have controlled himself. professionals go out to win, no matter how provocative, retaliating to spectators is not right. Gibbs job was to play cricket. In that light, I'd rather he sledge one of the Pakistani players, than the spectators.

  • KM on January 16, 2007, 8:51 GMT

    I guess that it would be pretty much easy for a few us to jump on the bandwagon and talk about racism, but do we all know as to was actually said?

    All said and done, I would uphold the ban (maybe a bit too harsh) ... but not for the claims against racism but as a reminder to all players on and off the field that with the development in technology, their freedom of speech and action shall be curbed (a price of being an icon).

    Has it not been thought that the behaviour of the crowds needs to be considered ... right since the unruly actions at Calcutta during the 96 World Cup finals ther have been cases of such incidents, put yourself in such a situation standing at the ropes...being insulted...you walk back to your mates ... would you say "oh they are just a few disturbed people who are otherwise sweet!"...come on.

    It all comes back to each inviduals behaviour and attitude, no offence meant.

    Peace KM

  • Dougie Banks on January 16, 2007, 8:49 GMT

    The completely unjustified banning of Gibbs underlines the racist attitude of the Pakistan Cricket Board and the ICC as Pietersen of England has made worse comments in the press without punishment, the fact that Pakistan are fielding two players GUILTY of taking performance enhancing steroids and that Asif was just as guilty of sledging only highlights the poor state of affairs on your own doorstep. Gibbs has done no wrong in this instance and his comments are justified, it is a shame that CSA feels the need to investigate it further lets hope common sense prevails and he is found to be what he is innocent of any wrong doing.

  • Chris McGoran on January 16, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    I'm really sorry, but is it just me that can't see any racism is calling people a bunch of animals that were acting like a bunch of animals? The other comments Gibbs said have not been reported anywhere - if they were worse than that maybe he deserved it. But if that's the worst he said, where is the line going to be drawn on what can be said? Are people going to banned for saying somebody is a nasty chap? What about an unpleasant fellow? Grow up people. This is still a man's game.

  • Peter Sithole on January 16, 2007, 8:46 GMT

    Sledging should be banned altogether. The chief intent of sledging your opponent is to psychologically defeat them, so to achieve this end, players then become offensive, racial or other. Otherwise there will be no point in sledging if you say something that wont have strong impact on their emotions. I strongly dislike sledging. I find it offensive all the time,even when its not racial. I come from Zimbabwe and I watch matches where all players will be black. Sledging undertones get to things like social, monetary and family status, backgrounds, tribe,and a whole load of other degrading bull. So people must not say non-racist sledging is ok. All sledging is bad. If someone wants to sledge there will always have something nasty to say, racial or otherwise. Sledging is against the spirit of cricket and sport. Stop it.

  • Rohit on January 16, 2007, 8:45 GMT

    Hi,

    Well I would beg to differ with Jag here. Just because SA suffered racial abuse doesn't mean they have the right to dish it out. The south african problem might run a little deeper than just this.

    On the recently concluded Indian tour, Andre Nel was seen sledging his heart out - even to Sachin and Sreesanth. The motive and logic behind this escapes me. Here's someone like Nel who is still a novice compared to somebody like Sachin trying to "unsettle" him. I'll be damned if it makes a difference. A wicket will probably force a closer examination - both personal as well as in the media.

    When the frontline bowlers tell the tailenders - "I can smell blood" it's really quite unnecessary. What Nel hoped to achieve by saying that is anybody's guess. If your main bowlers do NOT smell a wicket - that would be surprising !!

    Additionally, it does not make for good viewing. With little children watching, expletives and this sort of sledging might send out the wrong message. Pat Symcox was very right in asking that would you want budding talent to think that this is the way to take wickets.

    There is also the fine line between abuse and sledging which makes it difficult to police. Different people respond differently to sledging. If you want to get abuse out of the game, get rid of the sledging part. Make all unpleasant exchanges between opposing players as violation of code of conduct. Then the umpires will have no leeway in their tolerance. Whoever sledges is out - irrespective if it's abuse or not.

    I say this not because of the fact that subcontinental teams are the recipients - but because it breeds an attitude which might ultimately lead to the ruin. Gibbs has faced disciplinary action in the past as well. I wonder what message the CSA is trying to send out - no matter what a player does - we'll still play him in the team ?

    I think it's worthwhile to remember that a snorting Holding bouncer and a raised eyebrow did more damage than a bucketful of expletives and being smashed for six over long-on by Sreesanth.

    Cheers

  • saba on January 16, 2007, 8:44 GMT

    i think afredi want to one chance to prof the im playing very well he have three opction to play cricket he is allrounder i think he play under prectur is last time i want to see in world cup . i think he is a good opner hiter he play to 15 overs and score gos to 150 i think so plz give in a chance to rick the play in world cup life men rick to tu udhana padta hai .

  • Ali Memon on January 16, 2007, 8:43 GMT

    Thanks for reporting this incident. I live in U.S.A and have played club cricket both in Karachi and in Houston. Any person who has played club level or higher cricket would be aware of the heat, intensity, wildness and pressure during a game. I dont agree with stump microphones 100% but they do make sense at times. As for the ban, i think it is not a harsh one. I wonder what would have happened if a Pakistani or an Indian player would have been in place of Gibbs and if this would have happened in UK or Australia. Double standards are everywhere and this is not a harsh ban at all. I dont recall any white player being banned recently in the last few years.

  • Don on January 16, 2007, 8:42 GMT

    The South African team has had numerous racists in their team. From McMillan to Fanie DeVilliers all the way to Gibbs. You don't hear cricketers from other nations racially abuse their counterparts. They obviously intimidate them verbally but not through racial abuse. Shane Warne is a great example...always at a batsmen or fielder but never has anyone complained about him being racist. There is a difference.

  • Jag on January 16, 2007, 8:41 GMT

    The only reason H Gibbs comments were reported was because the stumps mic was WRONGLY turned on after the ball was delivered, allowing his jibe to be aired. It is meant to be turned down by the broadcaster after each ball...makes you think, how much racist sledging is going on without raising the ire of the public's eye..

  • Asghar on January 16, 2007, 8:41 GMT

    Kamran,

    Does anyone really know precisely what Gibbs said? What has been indicated is that he said "They are a bunch of wild animals". I think that was directed at the spectators who were by all accounts were behaving like animals. If it was directed at the Pak team or if he said something that was actually racist, then the two match ban is very light. But even as a Pakistani supporter, if the only thing said was "bunch of wild animals" to a section of Pakistani supporters who were not behaving in the true spirit, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    Lets get the facts clear before we all judge Gibbs on this issue.

  • Paul on January 16, 2007, 8:39 GMT

    I believe it is a reasonable comment that the current South African team is one of the most racially integrated teams around. Gibbs himself is of mixed decent and is unlikely to be truely racist. His comments (along with those of his team mates) were those of a justly angered group of individuals. This does not mean that their reaction is acceptable or should be tolerated; merely that the position that there is 'a deeper problem with South African cricket', is without basis.

    The South Africans do play their cricket hard, and usually they play it fairly too. It is sad when the competitiveness spills over into abuse; but it issadder when a commentator of the game attempts to create a problem where one doesn't exist.

    Paul

  • Andrew on January 16, 2007, 8:39 GMT

    I strongly disagree with Gibbs` suspension. He was stating a fact, the supporters were cursing and making monkey noises. Gibbs stated to his team mates that they were acting like animals. Now, were they or weren`t they? It`s irrelevent that they were Pakistanis as if they were South Africans making monkey sounds they too would be acting like animals.

  • sugandh on January 16, 2007, 8:38 GMT

    I thght pakistan should have played a better game after being racially abused.

  • Jester on January 16, 2007, 8:37 GMT

    It's typical that we slag our own as South Africans.Are we moving forward here or not,forget what was the circumstances before.Herschelle got his punishment & so did the fans evicted from the stadium,justice done,problem sorted.....MOVE ON!!! Agreement with Jag, its all part of the game and all teams sledge, comment and chirp....the only problem is that when it comes from the SA team,surrounding nations go into the history books & want to bring it back to life. Get on with sport as nothing is greater than any game itself. Lets face it, Gibbs is part of our quota so was it really mal intended. So as South Africans lets support the team and realise that they are not super humans, just talented sportsman and also have a personality that has anger, patience limits, irritation etc. Well done SA on your victory!!!!! Keep it going!

  • Shahzad Ahmad khan on January 16, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    Not only GIbbs abused Pakistanis but Nel and Polluck were also using slang language ( it is not their first time.. they abused Indians in last tour too ) ...South african board should Ban Nel as well .. if they did not then in 2nd Test pakistanis will be be offensive .. akthar will shatter their heads .. i think Nel is considering himself a real fast bowler but he is just a medium pacer ... now 2nd test will be quite interesting .. cuz Yousuf, gul and Akthar are likely to play .. i hope they will give tough time to saffie players

  • Senthil on January 16, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    Racism in any part of the world, against any team in the world should be banned.Sports is one of the few things where talent becomes the important aspect.Its so sad that someone as talented as Gibbs has put the foot in his own mouth.He should be treated harshly banned atleast for 6 months.I wonder why Darenn Lehmann,Gibbs are treated with a light punishment whereas Inzamam and sachin (Ball Tampering) where punished heavily,It doesnt look like a coincidence . Sledging in the name of aggressiveness(including Australians) is not acceptable. If ICC feels that they are here to protect and manage cricket they ought to step in and educate the International players about ill effects which happens because involving in stupid acts

  • Shahzad Ahmad khan on January 16, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    Not only GIbbs abused Pakistanis but Nel and Polluck were also using slang language ( it is not their first time.. they abused Indians in last tour too ) ...South african board should Ban Nel as well .. if they did not then in 2nd Test pakistanis will be be offensive .. akthar will shatter their heads .. i think Nel is considering himself a real fast bowler but he is just a medium pacer ... now 2nd test will be quite interesting .. cuz Yousuf, gul and Akthar are likely to play .. i hope they will give tough time to saffie players

  • Khurram [ Perth -Australia ] on January 16, 2007, 8:34 GMT

    If we look at the broader picture some really surprising results will be revealed. No one can forget the auzi fans-sledging to Mark Boucher and other South African players, on their last tour of Australia, and reaction of all SA side can easily be seen in the papers next day. If one cannot tolerate bad behaviour from one then they should'nt involve themselves in a situation where you can easily pointed out by the normal people. Sledging is definitely a way which makes the game far more interesting but it should be used only to divert the temperament of the player and must be done within limits, and I am pleased that sports organisations are taking good care of it [e.g. FIFA slogan and now ICC and other association are against racism activities]. Action taken by Broad against Gibbs is a good example to set in the chain of events happened recently like ban on Dean Jones, ban on Darren Lehman, etc. And I'll end on a clarification note for "Sherry", we are living overseas and we should behave as we are the ambessadors of our country, when two teams come infront of each other one of them is supposed to lose but by setting a supporting environment as spectator we just build their moral and backup and InshaAllah if we keep ourselves in this way no one will look down on us and even after that someone do then its disgracefull and requires strict actions.

    Thanx. AH. K

  • Boz on January 16, 2007, 8:34 GMT

    I think the ban is ridiculous. It seems that what Gibbs said was to his teammates, and was directed neither at the Pakistani players, nor the spectators per se. The fact that the comment was broadcast is neither here nor there: all individuals are entitled to an opinion, and all individuals should be allowed to express these opinions in private, albeit that "private" is in the middle of the cricket pitch. How would the Pakistani players feel if a similar frustrated comment by one of their players were broadcast after being covertly recorded in a change room or bar? You don't need to be a lip reader to know that almost every player in the modern game uses obscenities on the field of play; I can’t imagine that worse is not uttered in private.

  • Arjun Vikram-Singh on January 16, 2007, 8:31 GMT

    The sub-continentals have been a soft target for the umpires and cricket administrators, be it penalisation for appealing, over rates, ball tampering, displays of emotion or dissent. We all watch the game and are its students, but the "other" blokes - be they Australian, South African or English get away with near murder. It is all very well to say " as long as it is not abusive or racial it is OK" but taking a look at Nel or Klusner or even Pollock - it is/was NOT OK. certainly, being around the Aussies is not either.

    Maybe the stump microphone SHOULD stay on if the administration is serious about clearing out the rot. Lets make cricket the gentlemans game it was - and leave the yahoo's for football.

  • Muhammad Naeem Sarwar on January 16, 2007, 8:30 GMT

    Its all what we were expecting but also a lesson for others that look this is a genltman game and don,t indulge yourself in such racism matters. God created man and every one should respect eachother.Hoping in future such things should not be appreciated.

  • C.Ramachandra on January 16, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    If Gibbs had used those words to describe the Pakistani team,then he should have been banned for more than two matches. However he made these these remarks against spectators who as he claimed were no better than animals as shown by their behaviour.This remark was said to his team mates . He did not shout it at the Spectators.Where is the racial slur? Why should the Pakistan team complain ?I think Gibbs got a raw deal.What do you think the crowd reaction would have been in Pakistan if South African supporters came to Pakistan and abused home players?The Pak team had no right to complain about Gibbs.C.Ramachandra,Colombo

  • Gary Smith on January 16, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    Two issues - if you can't handle the heat, get out the kitchen. If pakistani batsmen find verbal agression so overwhelming, they should take up a less demanding sport. On the subject of Gibbs - sadly, he is punished for saying what we all think - animals. Iyts not about race, its about louts that are a problem in every country Pakistan tours. Instead of finding ways of defending these idiots, Pakistani's will be better served condemning them and getting them out the game.

  • Rajiv on January 16, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    Now, Gibbs was punished because of comments made on field of play which were picked up by the microphone. Was he punished because he made those comments or because they happened to be heard over the microphone. If I suggested here that he might have been given a more lenient sentence had it not been caught on the microphone, would I be way off the mark? If I would not, then his being given a sentence whose harshness derives from factors out of his control seems rather interesting. To be fair to him and all those behaving with dignity on the field, shouldn't the mics always be uniformally on or off, and not reflect the whim of the producer. International sport is tough, and a lot of chat happens behind the scenes, especially in the vicinity of the pitch, and this byplay is an integral part of the storyline and has been from the Big Bang of cricket. Putting a microphone on the pitch may help in increasing the theatrical value of the sport but impacts the game by being too intrusive and reducing the byplay. Surely, everyone does not need to hear everything from the stump microphone. Yes, Gibbs was outed through the use of the microphone but the mic was not supposed to be on - what was the plan on catching the abuser (Gibbs here)? There must surely be other means of catching on-field other than having the stump mic broadcast uncensored. Obviously, all the umpires must have access to the stump mics, and this can be used to monitor and censure the players when things get out of hand. The TV audience does not need to heard the mic when the action is not on. In any case, in the interest of fairness to Gibbs, everyone who does the same thing as he does deserves to be punished as much as him, and so there has to be a consistent policy about this. Also, isn't it just a little strange that the mic happened to be on just when Gibbs was shouting his mouth off? Surely he deserved his due and got it (or some part of it) but how come it was on just as he started his rant - Am I on a wild goose chase here?

  • Garth on January 16, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    On Sunday I went to Centurion to watch SA and Pakistan. I was struck by the abuse which Pakistani supporters hurled at the SA team. For example, everytime a SA batsman hit a boundary, there was a round of boos and racial epithets. It was also cowardly because they found strength in numbers--what a lousy lot of louts!!! I even remonstrated with some that this was unsportmanlike and was similarly insulted. I fully sympathise Hershelle Gibbs and the Proteas..

    Garth from Johannesburg

  • grovil on January 16, 2007, 8:28 GMT

    I'm not oopposed to Gibbs' two match ban, what he said, although possibly justfied in the context of his abuse on the boundary, should not be heard by young viewers.

    However, as far as the other comments about the "South African Players creating a vile amosphere" are just ridiculous. If the same aggression were to be shown to the Aussies, you would probably commend them for the competitive spirit. I think just because there is a racially sensitive team playing against South Africa it doesn't mean that SA should change their tactics.

    We play hard, and thats why we won. I can find no fault in that.

  • Naseer Ahmed on January 16, 2007, 8:28 GMT

    I think the Ban for 2 tests s Justified, South africans are very vocal and sometimes say very offensive things during the play, this is not new I remebre hearing very clear abuses directed at Pakistanis on the 3ed day through the Stumps Microphone. I cant write it here but did anyone else heard it as well ?

  • Johnno on January 16, 2007, 8:28 GMT

    This judgment and the punishment meted out by the ICC is scandalous. Spectators supporting the Pakistani team at the first Test behaved in exactly the fashion described by Herschelle Gibbs, for hours on end. This judgment implies that Test cricketers, plying their trade whilst themselves being subject to racial and offensive tirades from these louts, are not allowed to make any comment at all. What rubbish. They are human beings, like the rest of us, and they get angry and respond in the way most people would. Herschelle's only crime was that he was overheard. Malcolm Speed, Chris Broad and the band of ineffectual goons at the ICC should rather turn their attention to isolating the real racial abusers, the use of drugs in their sport, and consistency in umpiring.

  • sumanth on January 16, 2007, 8:27 GMT

    It was indeed naive on Gibbs part to utter those words standing close to the stump mike. Having played a lot of international cricket, he should have been aware of the mike being there in the vicinity. Also if the words were only for his teammates, he should have waited till the luch break and said those in the dressing room, specially when the comment was made a few minutes before lunch. I feel cricket is not just about how you play it physically, you should be strong mentally. And Gibbs prooved that he is not that strong between his ears. Hope Andre Nel too gets his due one day.

    Cheers!

  • Muhammad Usman Aslam on January 16, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    I believe South African cricket is a true reflection their society which is on the verge of its boiling point ... While its commendable to see people from different religions and races playing together.. but at the same time the attitude of the south africans makes a mockery of this so called bright side of their society..

    Last tour of Sa to Pakistan saw Andrew Hall getting into an ugly verbal brawl and it was stunning to see the captain Mr Grame Smith run from mid off and swear at Muhammad Yousaf..

    Gibbs attitude and his team's behaviour too is a latest addition to this growin problem in cricket. Sledging is one thing but arrogance and hate so evident in every Sa player is another...

    I have many SA muslim friends and their tell tales also depict the same hatred among the whites of their society... its despicibale and needs to be dealt with.

    A hot headed and extra emotional captain like Graem Smith makes it worse.. Mark Boucher is one fine example of a settled and blanced personality. Sa cricket need him , not lunatics like mr smith and gibbs.

  • Alib on January 16, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    Gibbs said "bunch of bloody animals" and "go back to the zoo"...excuse me, how is that racist? If Lara said that about the Barmy Army would he be banned? And yes Andre Nel's behaviour is at best a joke, at worst embarrassing, but vile atmosphere - come on Cricinfo, a bit more objectivity in what you publish please!!!

  • Michael on January 16, 2007, 8:24 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    The South African players were verbally, racially and – in the case of the peaceable Makhaya Ntini – physically abused by spectators of Pakistani ancestry. This is not akin to verbal sparring between fielding sides and batting sides. To compare racial and physical abuse to the verbal (not racist or physical) sparring that takes place between opposing teams in world cricket is tautological and tantamount to comparing apples with oranges. And to compare swearing directly at an opposition batsman with swearing about the unruly behaviour of obviously disrespectful spectators? Give me a break.

    The definition of racism as defined in the ICC’s code of conduct prohibits using "...any language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethic origin". To say, in a provoked moment of anger, that someone is behaving like an animal has nothing to do with that person's race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethic origin. If we want to get technical about the remark than surely it is speciesism (showing intolerance towards members of another species) as opposed to racism.

    Seriously though, I think that this has all gone a little too far. Sooner or later our obsession with politically correct behaviour will take the very essence out the game we all love so much. Passion and fire are necessary ingredients and not unwanted by products of competitive sport.

  • Tom on January 16, 2007, 8:24 GMT

    Did Gibbs actually say anything racist?

    What exactly did Herschelle Gibbs say? No-one seems to want to publish exactly what was said but referring to people as animals because they are behaving atrociously is not a racist comment and does not amount to "hate speech". If it is then several of my secondary schoool teachers are guilty of the same crime, but of course they are the same race as me so it was perfectly acceptable. I am not saying that Gibbs was right, as an international cricketer and a representative of his nation he should have known better and I believe his punishment is warranted, however from what I have read and seen reported Gibbs was reacting to the crowds behaviour, not their race or ethnicity. This issue seems to have been blown out of proportion simply because Gibbs is a different race to those he was referring to. Have we truly reachecd an age where one can only insult people of ones own race? Surely by focussing on the racial differences in this case and not the true cause of the issue, unacceptable behaviour by crowd and player alike, the ICC is making the problem worse, not better. Is every confrontation between two people of different race an issue of racism? I'm sorry to say that if this is the case then those in judgement are themselves racist as they are unable to see past the races of those involved and deal with the true cause of the confrontation, bad behaviour.

  • Shahid on January 16, 2007, 8:22 GMT

    How extrordinary that it is always Pakistan, the team who reverses drug bans, the team which claims to have been mugged when they were infact visiting a brothel, the team who stands by while it's supporters hit a South African bowler over the head. This is the team who is always whiter than white and totally innocent while every other team is at fault. Gibbs was angry about the taunts directed at his team mates, but he did not go whinging to the match referee and make an official complaint against Pakistan (perhaps he should have) Every single time Pakistan plays here they cause trouble. Please do not come back.

  • Colin on January 16, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    This is a joke! Why is racism always involved? Those supporters were behaving like animals... end of story!It has nothing to do with racism! If Gibbs had made that comment about aussie supporters, nothing would have come of it. Please just get off this racism horse, it's so sad!

  • E.Subramanian on January 16, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    Sledging epitomises the way cricket is played today. Racist slurs can be curbed with more stringent laws. ICC,Please wake up!

  • Rajesh Mehta on January 16, 2007, 8:19 GMT

    I am a kenyan of Indian origin living in Nairobi. I entirely agree with your view that Gibbs is part of a wider problem. Andre Nel's antics verge on a steep precipice. I even wrote to the commentators yesterday that it was appaling to see Paul Harris, in only his second Test, giving lip to Pakistan batsmen. Just to rewind a bit, the collective chatter of SA fielders during the Durban Test against India was nothing less than an ugly fish-market scene.

    I am afrid the South African commentators also do not help. Their commentary is totally onesided and at times it is as if only one side is playing. THey need to be reminded that there is a thin line between patriotism and jingoism! I would like to forward that email of mine to you for your views. I should be grateful if I could get your email address.

    Thank you

  • Mark Naidoo on January 16, 2007, 8:19 GMT

    I think this whole thing is ridiculous, we are too quick to label people racist and use it to detract from the real problems. The decision to ban Gibbs is ridiculous, I really don't think justice has been done here. I go to many international cricket matches and am quiet perturbed by the amount of Indian / Pakistani flags that fly in South Africa when South Africa are playing these other countries. Where is ones patriotism? We are too quick to fault South Africa and South Africans but turn a blind eye to the injustices in other countries. Being a South African of Asian decent, I think its high time people stopped behaving like they are immigrants. To those Pakistani supporters in the crowd that caused the hassle, I have played against alot Pakistani nationals in South Africa and hence know how much you love your cricket and how good you are at it, however it is unfortunate that these few caused all this trouble. I would like to state that South Africa can't be all that bad, if so many people come here from all over the world to make a living, Pakistanis included. My advice to you is support your team and your country, be part of the solution in this country and not the problem.

  • Vinod Ranganath on January 16, 2007, 8:19 GMT

    Dear Kamran, I agree with you completely. the problem is much wider.. when India toured South Africa recently Andre Nel's outbursts and intimidating tactis were there for the whole world to see annd hear but when it came to punishments it was Sreesanth who was handed out one for his gesture of ridiculing Amla when he got out. where as Sreesanth deserved what he got, what about Nel? when indians were appealing exessively on the last day of the 3rd test the umpires rightly called over the captain and complained that exessive appealing leads to initimidating tactis.. fair enough but what about what Kallis and Nel gave VRV Singh in the first test when he went hammer and tongs at them? there seems to be a different set of rules governing Asian cricketers and those from S Africa, Australia NZ and UK.. its really high time that the ICC has a serious look at these instances.. if the umpires had controlled the players on field then i am sure the Pakistani fans would have not got down abusing the S African cricketers.. in Today's Times of india.. Sunny Gavaskar has made a shocking revelation about Barry Richards making similar racial remarks on TV.. saying that The South Africans are showing indian tendencies.. Shameful a comment coming from a celeberated cricketer.. If Dean Jones was penalised for his off the cuff comment on Amla what about Barry? Its time that the authorities who govern the game come out strongly againts such practises and discrepancies when it comes to handing out punishments.. if they don;t something now.. it could boil down to a huge controversay.. because we Asians and especially Indian and Pakistani supporters are highly emotional lot.. when the said countries come to tour the sub continent .. the images of their bowlers abusing and intimading the sub continent players will not be forgooten by the fans and then they will have a torrid time while fiedling at the boundary in front of huge crowds here in the sub continent.

  • Diwakar on January 16, 2007, 8:18 GMT

    You are correct, Kamran, that racism is the lowest level to which man can stoop. While agreeing that Gibbs' punishment is necessary - and apt - is it not time for organisers worldwide to take action against spectators who think that just because the players are in the middle of a field, they are deserving of abuse? They are not gladiators and most cricketers play their cricket with honour and pride. If any member of the public - paying or otherwise - thinks that the mere fact of the players being public figures attracts unpunished abuse, such member should be charged with a criminal offence and thrown in prison. And then do the same for the players too.

  • marthinus on January 16, 2007, 8:18 GMT

    pak's are plain bad losers. i wonder what could have happened if they did won the test?

  • Ayub on January 16, 2007, 8:18 GMT

    As I recall they did this to the Indian team and fans too. The South African coach appeared to be condoning the action of Gibbs...et al. No doubt it was all a ploy by them to unsettle Pakistan. Which they did successfully. Arthur claims that no Pakistan player were targeted for the abuse, as if that is meant to be ok. I am sure when their fans are being subjected to such abuse within earshot of them, the team does get affected. I am fairly sure a stronger Pakistan team will put up a better fight in the next test.

  • Kishore on January 16, 2007, 8:18 GMT

    South Africa are probably the team with worst on-field behaviour of all nations. Even worse is their attitude to cry and make issues when they are at the receiving end. SA made a big issue of Aussie crowds but are trying to say that Gibbs made those comments out of anger.

    To Jag, there is a difference between playing hard and playing cheap. I think most times SA fall in the second category. You could clearly see how the SA players behaved against India during the series. They are continuing to do the same against Pakistan. Would you see them doing the same against Australia?. Dare say, they wouldn't because aussies would humiliate them with their playing. Is SA a weak bully or do they have serious issues against asian countries?

  • Shamik on January 16, 2007, 8:18 GMT

    I fail to see what this has to do with Pakistan giving it back in equal measures, if there's one team you can count on responding ten fold, it's Pakistan, I fully expect them to turn the series around and win it 2-1. Don't change the subject here, this is purely to do with Gibbs' slur towards the aforementioned fans. Racism cannot be justified, ever, regardless what sort of profanities he put up with, he thoroughly deserved his punishment. I'm sure when/if Shoaib comes back, you will witness a prime example of "give back as good as you get" when dear old Nel, who purely sledges to make up for his lack of quality in certain areas, and probably because he has some serious issues, gets one in between the eyeballs. That will indeed be one to look forward to.

  • Zoheb Khan on January 16, 2007, 8:17 GMT

    what did gibbs exactly say

  • sal on January 16, 2007, 8:16 GMT

    If i was the captain of pakistani team, i would unleash shoaib akhtar on south africans!!!

  • Vin from Auckland on January 16, 2007, 8:16 GMT

    Well said Kamran. I think more than half of the SA team should be banned from playing cricket. They deserve the treatment from the crowd whether it's Aussie or Paki. I just can't beleive that how umpires tolerate Andre Nel. Not every team has Srishant to nail him down.

  • paul on January 16, 2007, 8:15 GMT

    Let met put it my two cents... I think punishment was rather harsh, and perhaps should not haven been considered under the racism law, but the obscene or abusive language law. For, how far are we willing to let the definition of racism go? What did Gibbs say, exactly? Did he say 'that group of Pakistan supporters are behaving like animals? Well, if he said that, my first remark would be that he perhaps should not have said that. It is abusive and not in the spirit of the game, but is it racism? I am not South Africa, but grew up there, and am currently lining and doing research into multiculturality in Holland. While this is not a reason to agree with me, I have thought about this issue a lot.

    Racism, and discrimination in any other form, is deplorable and should be stamped out. But not being able to air grievances, or make distinctions is going to far. Gibbs did not say that all Pakistani's are animals, but that a portion that happened to be Pakistani were. Would he have been banned if he'd said the same thing about a group of South African supporters that were abusing players?

    Racism is a blight on human society wherever in the world you go. But racism (or discrimination in a wider sense) is only racism (or discrimination) if it indiscriminately targets groups of people who happen to be of a particlular nationality, cultural background, sexual orientation, without an individual being judged as a person for his or her actions or utterances. If we agree that this is racism, then what Gibbs said was not racist since he was addressing a group of people behaving in a certain way. Choosing the term 'animals' was regrettable, but in the heat of the moment, well, ok.

    Don't forget, before we all get to far up our high horses, that we all say things that look a whole lot like what Gibbs said.

  • Vleis on January 16, 2007, 8:14 GMT

    Can someone please tell me exactly what Gibbs said that was racist. As far as I can tell he did not utter any racist remarks...perhaps rude...but probably not as "animals" is too kind a word for the fans in question. Also, before anyone jumps on the 'SA-whites are all racist' bandwaggon, please remember that Gibbs is non-white. Thanks heavens, or his career would probably have been terminated over this storm in a teacup. Finally, the ICC are a joke. They act with supreme speed over this minor incident but allow two drug cheats to continue plying their trade without so much as a one match ban.

  • Imran Khaliq Malik on January 16, 2007, 8:14 GMT

    yes ICC gives a suitable decision to the person who involved in match fixing and other crimes. it is time to stop that racist to do so. why they r afraid from Australian supporters during their tour to Australia while their players do the same. i think CSA must give more penalty to Gibbs and make him example for others. World hear and see who is real "like animals" on the screen and the real "animal" punished. that's great. i would also like to say that Andre Nel can also be treated by same code of conduct and must be punished. thanks

  • Niz on January 16, 2007, 8:12 GMT

    As a South African who like a fair bit of the "formerly disadvantaged" population always supports the opposition when playing against SA, this further reinforces my view that while a lot has changed in SA since isolation, the mindset of many South Africans leaves a lot to be desired.

    I wonder if the comments would have been differnt had the supporters been from England, Australia or New Zealand???

    I do agree with Jag that taunts of any kind from spectators are uncalled for and should be stamped out.

    SA spectators are not innocent either....I have seen unsavoury taunts hurled at Pakistan players in the nets at Newlands during their last tour of SA in 2002/03. Kamran Akmal at the time did well to ignore it.

    We wait to see what Cricket SA will do about this

  • Glit on January 16, 2007, 8:12 GMT

    Your comments are misplace Imran. Gibbs is not white.

    And do you think the PCB should be fined because the pakistan fans were out of control?

  • Henry on January 16, 2007, 8:12 GMT

    This thing is being blown out of proportion. How can the term "baboon" be interpreted as racist? What if he called the Pakistani supoorters sheep, cows or wolves? Have all animal names now become racist? Surely this is going too far? We should stop this pettiness please! Yes, the comment was abusive, but definitely not racist. The race card is being played far too easily in the world these days.

  • waqar hashmi on January 16, 2007, 8:12 GMT

    gibbs desirve what he did...i hope SA check what nel was doing on the filed, he was playing like a school dropof bad boy....

  • Jay on January 16, 2007, 8:11 GMT

    Jag, the moment teams like Pakistan or India "give back as good as you get..or get on with the game", they are fined by the ICC, who turns a blind eye to the vitriol launched on cricket fields by people like McGrath and Nel. Come on, I can't imagine any Pakistani behaving like Nel and getting away with it. Sreesanth was fined, when Nel was equally culpable. All of us play our cricket hard, till it is sought to be stamped out by people who believe that only the no-Asian teams have a right to display aggression and "play their cricket hard" whatever the heck that means.

  • bILAL on January 16, 2007, 8:10 GMT

    ryte. the coach needs to go as well or atleast warned. several times in the match andre nell approached the batsmen and uttered comments. at times i was able to make it wat was being said but the umpires and sorry to say one being the senior most did nothing. had this been done in pakistan against SA things would have been totally different. several of the key players would have been banned including a warning for the coach. racism and discrimination is not just limited to the circket field. it has found its ways into the elite controlling body as well. I do agree that SA players have been victims themselves of such abusive comments but is that suppose to mean that they take their anger out by passing on such comments onto other teams...?absolutely not. cricket is a game of gentlemen but i am really really really sorry to write that it has now become a game of everyone but a gentleman.

  • Richard on January 16, 2007, 8:10 GMT

    Is Abassi seriously suggesting there was no sledging from the Pakistanis or is sledging in his opinion the preserve of Aussies and South Africans only? It's unfortunate that these "alleged" racial problems seem to follow Asian teams in particular and that much of the problem is orchestrated by Asian spectators with their overly-aggressive attitude. We won't mention the excessive appealing either, much of which borders on abuse of the umpires but remains unpunished. It's absurd that a spin bowler should pitch a ball a foot outside the leg stump and then bellow repeated appeals when a negative response is a certainty.

  • Shahzad on January 16, 2007, 8:08 GMT

    Jag why are you dragging Pakistan cricket team here? Because the punishment Gibbs received isn't due to Pakistan cricket team complaining about his behaviour! Its due to what he said to the crowd. I'm sure almost every single player gets to hear some nasty comments from the crowd while they're standing near the boundary line but they don't get abusive in return. I think Gibbs deserved it and I just hope his punishment would teach other players a lesson.

  • Michael on January 16, 2007, 8:07 GMT

    i personally think the situation is being blown out of preportion. if you want to act like an animal then you will be called an animal. take for instance the matter when amla was called a terrorist would it have made an upheavel if lets say jaques rudolph was the fielder under the helmet? i believe we are looking for something racist in everything that is being said. i am from south africa and i believe what gibbs said was fair and just, it wasn't said because the supporters were pakistani, but to such behaviour in general. he shouldn't have apologised or gotten a ban.

  • Prash on January 16, 2007, 8:06 GMT

    this is utter nonsense. i DEFINITELY agree with the handed out to H Gibbs. He foul language and disrespect for human beings is DISGUSTING. His ban does not do justice for the offence he comitted. This is not the forst time that he has been banned. He was banned in 2001 on dopping charges and then he was also involved in the match fixing scandal in India.

    I feel that a player with these attributes and character needs to be banned COMPLETELY from the game of cricket. Who cares about the sledging. That's ok and normal but when it's carried out to the extent that Gibbs did, it brings the entire game into disrepute.

  • Adeel on January 16, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    Credit to Cricket South Africa and the Match Referee but not to the umpires. One more observation Graeme Smith made such an issue of his visit in Australia last year but turn around and do the same at their home ground, a bit too two faced to me.

  • Haroon on January 16, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    Good day to all, being South African born indian this kind of abuse is not uncommon at grassroots level in cricket and sport in general. South Africa as a country has done well to incorporate all cultures and races, but the few rotten eggs, Gibbs included, make it impossible to forget the past oppressions and tend to stir up emotions. Granted he and his teamn mates were provoked, but being an icon to some / many, his words were inappropriate and hurtful and Cricket South Africa should make an example that such behaviour will not be tolerated at any level in sport, in South Africa or anywhere else in the world. A mere slap on the wrist is not enough!!!!

  • P.Satish Kumar on January 16, 2007, 8:04 GMT

    Point well made and it does seem for the first time the boot is on the other foot for South African cricket.

    In their last series versus India, Andrei Nel and Jacques Kallis were downright abusive uttering the "f" word with a frequency which would have made a Hollywood hunk proud. The lousiest part of it all was that Kallis lost his marbles because he could not get the No.11 VRV Singh out!! Nel anyway doesn't seem to have any...marbles that is!!

    They were hardly even called up for a reprimand but Sreesanth was quickly hauled up and fined when he gave Amla the good-bye. Whether Amla is a good guy or not is immaterial but Indians were just giving it back.

    The issue with the Match referees and Umpires when it comes to dealing with some countries is not about being racist or such like. In fact, it is about inconsistency, the bane of any profession.

    Umpires and Match Referees and should report and act against any abusive language directed towards palyers, and the crowd. To swear after playing a bad shot, bowling a poor ball or dropping a catch is understandble as it is directed towards oneself.

    As usual, the ICC does a sterling job in doing nothing!! They hardly want to act when it comes to cleaning up the game.

  • Jayesh on January 16, 2007, 8:04 GMT

    We have somehow overlooked the deeper problem that has engulfed the cricketing world ever since Australia have taken over the top position from West Indies. However great the current Australian team maybe but they are a blot on this excellent game of gentlemen. Their form of gamesmenship (I call it blatant cheating) is encouraged by the ICC and ICC appointed Match Rafrees (this is evdient from the very light punishments meted out to them if atall) and thus this is being followed by other nations as well. Isolated punishments only adds money to the kitty and doesn't have any other effect. The current way of playing the game is 'do as the Austrlians do' if you want to win. I think that ICC either should encourage the game to be played in the gentelmanly fashion or make it a 'freestyle' game and do away with this sham of match refrees.

  • jono on January 16, 2007, 8:03 GMT

    It looks like Pakistan are finding playing with grown ups a little harsh. I am sure that no such complaints would have happened if they won. Unfortunately there were no allegations of ball tampering, bad actions or any other cheating. The way that Pakistan treat foreigners is well known with very little respect. This is just sour grapes and the Pakistan team are playing the victim really well. THERE IS STILL NO EXCUSE FOR GIBBS COMMENTS AND THE PUNISHMENT IS WELL DESERVED

  • Habib A. Chaudhry on January 16, 2007, 8:03 GMT

    Its good to be physically & mentally strong in sports, but it should not be shown in any form of aggression on opponents. A true sportsman spirit is what players a lacking. Let the game be a game and it should not become a post bowling action of Andre Nel

    Regards & Take Care

  • Umar on January 16, 2007, 8:03 GMT

    Its part of the parcel. That's how the Aussies and the S.African's play - mental disintegration as Steve Waugh called it.

    Perhaps its time to learn to play short pitched bowling rather than dwell on comments on field. After all, Pakistani cricketers dont exactly set the standards in on field behaviour (expletives) particularly with their "preferred expression" related to "siblings" - a reference used to celebrate good times and bemoan worse times!

  • Javed Ahmed Khan on January 16, 2007, 8:02 GMT

    I think this punishment is not too harsh. I dont agreed with the comments by South African Coach that stumps microphone should not be used. But we should consider what Dean Jones had said about Hashim Amla it is not from Stumps microphone. If you are international player you should take the responsibility u r not part of the crowd. U are picked amoung the great south african nation. Be Responsible Gibbs

  • Lasse on January 16, 2007, 8:01 GMT

    Granted, gibbs comments werent for the faint hearted. However, I feel that the CSA misunderstood the context in which they were used. Remember the Inzi incident in 1997? Right. Remember that because of the history of South Africa we have a tendency to slap a racial tag on any dubious event. I know this because I live here. Was the inzy incident called a racial issue? I dont think so... Everyone has a breaking point, and when gibbs got pissed of he didnt run in and whoop ass. Pakistan supporters need to be more disciplined throughout the world.

  • Annoyed on January 16, 2007, 8:01 GMT

    Mr Abbassi

    You seem to have an extremely intimate knowledge of want went on on the field in Centurion. I found it extremely annoying how people can point fingers and claim that the sledging was terrible (was THAT picked up on the stump mic too??). The thing that eeks me is that players must accept the abuse on the field without batting an eyelid yet, when a player make a comment about the fans (not necessarily Pakistanis) were behaving like animals, there's a massive outcry! They were unruly and should've have ejected because of their unsportmanlike behaviour. So please, acknowledge the fact that "those" fans (whoever they were), WERE behaving like animals and even though I don't condone racism in sport, Gibbs' comment was valid.

    Grow up dammit. If this is your attitude towards sledging then PLEASE don't tour Australia, rather take up sewing - I hear the "on-field antics" are much more subdued....

  • John on January 16, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    I am afraid I have to disagree with your comments. To label Gibbs' commentas racist is ridiculous. The fact of the matter is the crowds behaviour was appalling. If the supporters where white would it have been "racism" as well? Not to mention that Gibbs himself is not white either. I think what incencensed Gibbs and most South Africans is that these supporters are born and bred South Africans who support Pakistan.

  • Patrick on January 16, 2007, 7:56 GMT

    SA "hurled" "snarling" abuse at the Pakistanis, creeating a "vile" atmosphere in the test match? Emotive writing indeed, Kamran. Perhaps you could make your points with facts instead of this sort of rhetoric.

    Whether this alleged abuse could have been heard by the Pakistani supporters (as would be necessary for it to have contributed to their abuse of Gibbs, as you claim) is also questionable.

  • Umar on January 16, 2007, 7:54 GMT

    Its part of the parcel. That's how the Aussies and the S.African's play - mental disintegration as Steve Waugh called it.

    Perhaps its time to learn to play short pitched bowling rather than dwell on comments on field. After all, Pakistani cricketers dont exactly set the standards in on field behaviour (expletives) particularly with their "preferred expression" related to "siblings" - a reference used to celebrate good times and bemoan worse times!

  • Ash on January 16, 2007, 7:54 GMT

    I agree why is it that there is always the excuse "what is said on the filed stays on the field". The incident in the 1st test demonstrates a much wider problem in cricket, the the main culprits being Australia and South Africa. The great West Indies teams of the 70's and 80's could win without foul language and ridiculous intimidatory tactics. Cricket has degenerated into a forum for obscene language and juvenile behavior. The blame for this lies squarely at the feet of the administration they are inexplicably unwilling to implement a code of conduct that would put cricket back in its proper position as a bastion of proper etiquette and good manners. Only then we will once again be able to say "Thats not cricket".

  • Kamran on January 16, 2007, 7:51 GMT

    I'm South African and proud to be associated with everything my country has to offer. I do however feel that Gibbs should be banned for life for this.He is a proffesional sportsman and should know better. One would expect him to have the wisdom and knowledge to know where we come from ie. racial turmoil!

    Jerry

  • Andy on January 16, 2007, 7:51 GMT

    I think the ban is sufficient. I am a South African and i totally don't agree with racism, period! But you must remember that Herschelle was provoked, and if no one had provoked him he wouldn't have said anything. I don't think those specators are a good image to Pakistan. Gibbs' comment was wrong though, but provoked!

  • Ryan on January 16, 2007, 7:51 GMT

    I agree with you there Jag. Its not a sissy's game and the way Pakistan have played their cricket in past years doesnt really earn them much respect. They are always under the spot light for one reason or the other and I think their oposition must be getting fed up with it.

    Politics should stay out of sport and stump cams should be used for the umpires ears only. The umpires are there to manage the games and to insure the situation doesnt get out of control. They know when the players are getting to much abuse.

  • Rashid on January 16, 2007, 7:51 GMT

    I do not see why this comment from Gibbs is racist. The problem with Pakistan is if anyone says anything to them then they take it as an attack on the whole nation. The soccer hooligans from England in my opinion are also animals. Does this now make me a racist as well. This is ridiculous. If people behave like animals(swearing at professional players), they earn the right to be called animals. It does not matter what colour their skin is. This really was a poor blog. When Pakistan players swear at white players, is this then not also racism. Please look up the definition of racism before you post rubbish on this blog

  • Morpheus on January 16, 2007, 7:51 GMT

    Jag : We've heard this before " xxx plays the game hard" - nothing but an excuse to play unfairly to upset the batsman's concentration with non-stop sledging. If that's the only way these teams - SA, Australia, NZ - can play then they should play in their own league. The supporters reflect the attitude of the players - in Australian when the team's winning everyone is all smiles - but when the team loses like they did when India played them, Indian supporters are subjected to racist abuse and even assaulted outside the stadium. According to your philosophy, this is all part of the "game" that's played "hard" right?

  • Murray on January 16, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    ..... and I suppose Pakistan playing with drug tainted players is OK?

  • Farhat on January 16, 2007, 7:48 GMT

    It is simple , would the australian or english cricket board have acted this quickly about one of their players. NO, why must south africa always be the ones to prosecute their own while the othe teams just mop everything under the carpet. the comments were made about the crowd not the players he was playing against. If Inzi was abused for a whole day by a soutafrican supporter i'm sure at one stage or another he would go to one og he's mates and say something about it. when some body gets under your skin you do have a tendency to act. And fortunately for the stump mic it was there. we all can sit here high and mighty and say we would never do this or say this, you don't know u ntil you are there. Remeber thinking it is just as good as saying it to all you angels out there

  • Greg on January 16, 2007, 7:48 GMT

    Please would everyone dry their eyes and put this incident behind them. I personally feel that the biggest problem with the whole matter is that once the press and or a specific racial/religious group get hold of a matter they are like a dog an animal with a bone and don't leave it alone and move on. I agree that racism is unacceptable but i think that had the supporters been white english supporters from the Balmy army i think the whole matter would be looked at in a very different light.......................

  • AbrarAhmed on January 16, 2007, 7:47 GMT

    Does anyone know what was actually said (picked up on the mic). In my opinion, calling a group of pakistani supporters a bunch of animals does not amount to racism, imho.

    Glad to be put right by anyone.

  • Ian Goggin on January 16, 2007, 7:47 GMT

    The ban on Herschelle Gibbs is one thing, but what about the racist louts whose comments lead to the situation in the first place? Yes, some of them were evicted from the ground and rightly so, but isn't about time that the cricket authorities got tougher on people such as this? South Africa has lost a player because, ill-advisedly, he responded to these taunts in defense of a team mate, but these louts will be back at the next game and will no doubt be making similar comments. Until they are prosecuted for their actions, this sort of behaviour will continue unabated. Surely, what is good for the goose should be good for the gander! Come on cricket, if you are serious about stamping out racism, which I agree with, then make sure that every proponent of it is treated the same and not just the players and cricket officials!

  • Muhammad Ali on January 16, 2007, 7:46 GMT

    I Belive Gibbs should have been handed a harsher punishment because on their tour to Australia they were complaining about racist remarks by the Aussie crowds. Now they themselves are doing it, this is not acceptable at all.

  • Kay on January 16, 2007, 7:45 GMT

    Ridiculous to call this racist . This shows a poor understanding of the context . In South Africa it is common to call someone or a group acting wildly as "animals" .It is simply "slang" and not meant to mean anything similiar to "not human" , or in anyway have any race connotations . I have no , to little doubt that these same choice words would be used to drunken , badly behaved members of any crowd regardless of race or creed . So to accuse Mr Gibbs of racism is absurd .

  • Ali on January 16, 2007, 7:36 GMT

    I think the south-africa caption should also be banned for not controlling his players. specially gibbs.

    One think more why haven't you mention Andre Nel. His attitude and behaviour in whole test was ridiculus and poor. Why were the umpires tolerating him so much. We all see on TV what kind of stupid things he was doing on the field. Even Ramiz Raja describe him as having Mental Problem.

    Shame on south-africa. Dame Shame this is how you play cricked and win matches.

    I think Pakistan Team should next bycott the test-field if gibbs, or andrel nel or any other south-african player behave in such manner

  • Shiraz (from Phoenix, AZ) on January 16, 2007, 7:31 GMT

    Well said Kamran, very well said indeed.

  • karl on January 16, 2007, 7:22 GMT

    What was racist about Gibb's comments? If referred some spectators as "animals" that counts as an insult, not a racist insult.

  • Owais Ahmad on January 16, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    I agree, there should be no tolerance for whatever H Gibbs did. But there should not be any tolenrance for bad/unruly crowd as well. I will agree with you that the section of crowd that was involved in this episode is a disgrace to Pakistan and PCB should be very strict in spelling out zero-tolerance from unruly crowd behaviour. I also think comments from Micky Arthur and Greame Smith were also harsh one way or the other. A racist comment is "always" bad wether meant for bunch of team mates or for the whole world. I think stump mikes are important and should be turned on all the time so that we know what exactly this "sledging" is all about. If there is something like accepable limit, than they better let us hear that out and if it's not, it's not and we have a proof against the offender. Finally Greame Smith was pretty Pakistan-specific in his comments and just two series ago, his team was talking about Aussy crowd and giving it back to them when they visited SA. I think being a captain G Smith should try to be a bit diplomatic while making such comments.

  • Zafar on January 16, 2007, 6:46 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abbasi, your entry blog regarding SA sledging is much appreciated, but I guess you were too diplomatic. Andre Nel's crazy antics go well beyond sledging but because of PCB's spineless attitude nothing has been done to stop the nonsense.

    As regards SA's performance pls. remember that they were actually playing with 13 players including the two empires. Again Bob Woolmer and the team admins are too cowardish to do anything about that too.

  • Babar on January 16, 2007, 6:17 GMT

    Well, I think Pakistani crowds are not famous for making racist taunts anywhere in the world , what made them furious was probably Andre Nel's behaviour throughout the match

  • Haider Mahmud, Rawalpindi, Pakistan on January 16, 2007, 5:34 GMT

    I would like to commend the Match Referee for punishing Gibbs. You just cannot get away with abusing a race no matter how big the provocation is. Wasnt Inzamam insulted even more by the Indian supporters in Toronto. Match Referee Chris Broad also needs to seriously look into Andre Nel's conduct. I understand that showing respect to opponents is not part of Graeme Smith's approach but Nel goes a bit overboard. Once in a while these gestures and words do not spoil the spirit of the game. But Nel just doesnt know when to stop. We just cannot accept this as a part of his behavior and keep ignoring.

  • Omar on January 16, 2007, 5:33 GMT

    I am not defending Gibbs' action here but I still want to point out that the players have enough on their minds already, and to answer the racial onsluaght from the spectators, indirectly, is just natural. and i agree with the SA coach that the stump microphones are a bit intrusive. Whats said on the field should remain on the field.

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on January 16, 2007, 5:04 GMT

    The South Africans got the taste of their own medicine! I think that the bowlers on the 4th day, especially Andre Nel, crossed over the limits. So, apart from Herschelle Gibbs, Nel must also be accountable. Graeme Smith whinning over Shoaib Akhtar swearing at him seems like as if he commands an innocuous and innocent bunch. I think its a total hypocrisy! The match referee must prompt dynamically instead of waiting for a complaint.

  • David Smith on January 16, 2007, 4:57 GMT

    The Afrikaner spirit is alive and well and so evident in the South Aftican Cricket team. Scratch the surface and their true racist views come pouring out. The world sees the boorish behavious of Andre Nel, Granham Smith, Andrew Hall every test match. The ICC displays its impotence to tackle racism head on.

  • madhatter on January 16, 2007, 4:47 GMT

    I think Mr. Jag is confusing Mr. Abbasi for the cricketer Kamran Akmal :)

    I am curious: since when did "bunch of animals" become a racist description ? Certainly, that term has been used for mob-like groups of all races, ranging from fraternity boys on spring break to people in a riot ...

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 16, 2007, 4:11 GMT

    To substantiate my claim that I made in my recent post about what "Tauhira from Jamaica" wrote when Shoaib Akhtar and Asif were banned for drug use, now she thinks that the punishment Gibbs got for racism slur is a bit harsh? Here is a copy of her post in the WADA YADA YADA thread:

    "Posted by: Tauhira from Jamaica at December 23, 2006 11:36 PM

    I think WADA has the right to make an appeal to the Court of Arbitration. Asif and Akhtar were let off just like that. The players said that they didn't know that the drugs were in their system or how it got there. "Ignorance" simply cannot be used as a defence. The fact is that the drugs was there and somehow, they should be punished, even if they had to do community service, some form of punishment should have been given."

    Tauhira, why should Gibbs be let off the hook when he was caught on the TV red handedly?

  • Ammar on January 16, 2007, 4:08 GMT

    In this world of Hatred, SAF were justifiable of their old reputation. Although this country claims to Apartheid free and rid of it's problems. I ask a question, these so called Pak supporters were of SAF origin, they didn't fly over especially. What they did was wrong, but what made them do it is the injustice they feel in that country. I know I have been to SAF the people in that country judge by skin and race, SIMPLY.

  • Sushil on January 16, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    I never saw any of the South African players verbally abuse any of the white Australian crowd who abused the South African players during their tour to Australia. Was it because the crowd were brown skinned Pakistanis in this instance that Hershelle felt he could sledge back at them? The South Africans are still living in the days of white supremacy, especially when Captain Smith spends five minutes explaining why Hershelle said what he said instead of condemning it unconditionally.

  • Sol Goode on January 16, 2007, 3:59 GMT

    As a Pakistani, i dont like this punishment, its too harsh, we all know how our fans are? pakistanis are not the most "civilized" people on the planet,

    For gods Sake we have steel fences and barricades!! in our stadiums to prevent crowds from even getting close to players... We are staring down at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to literacy and education..

    it sickens me when "WE" are judging other people!

    "its like we are telling someone else that they smell yet we ourselves havnt showered in a month"

    I'm with Gibbs on this one, Lets hope South Africa Wins this Series Comprehensively.

    Thank you

  • Arsalan Khan on January 16, 2007, 3:43 GMT

    I suppose these things do happen - and it IS sad. These are the players we actually idealize; and seeing them act like fourth graders can be quite frustrating.

    I think he deserved the two match ban.

    But well, it's not a real big issue.. our focus should turn back on the cricket there.

  • Paul G on January 16, 2007, 3:42 GMT

    We haven't heard much from Graeme Smith who likes to take the high moral ground when there is allegations of racial taunting. All the alleged racial taunting that took place in Perth when SA were here was done by expatriate South Africans who number in the tens of thousands here (mostly in Africaans and not familiar to most Australians) - Smith was very quick to complain long and loudly about that (as he should) but somehow failed to realise or mention that his former countrymen were perpetrators. Smith then was at great pains to warn Monty Panesar of what to expect in terms of racial abuse when he arrived with the England team. Thankfully there has been no racial abuse of Monty who is a cult figure in these parts and loved by all. Hopefully big Graeme will come out strongly and criticize Gibbs very strongly and explain to him that he, with all his experience, shouldn't be getting sucked in by a couple of Pakistani supporters who are in leave of their senses.

  • majid on January 16, 2007, 3:19 GMT

    South Africa love to cry foul if they feel they have been hard done by but are the first to try and defend the indfensible when they are in the wrong. Smith and Arthur are hypocrites of the hghest order and the sooner that Smith is shown to be a pretender as a test captain the better.

  • Farooq S on January 16, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    No place for racism period! Shame on you, Gibbs!

  • Greg on January 16, 2007, 3:09 GMT

    hi Kamran, you say the "behaviour of SA players created a vile atmosphere". I watched some of the game but I wonder what behaviour specifically you are referring too? Were there other incidents, apart from the Gibbs comment about the crowd? Greg

  • Confused on January 16, 2007, 2:59 GMT

    I struggle to see where the Racist line is coming from. From where I sit Gibbs was responding to the "animal" like behaviour of the crowd. Which no one can deny was overtly racist. The term "Animal" is a common term used to describe the base type of behaviour of anothers. Just because he hung the Pakistani tag to it doesnt make it racist remark. If feel if its all come to this some teams around the world need to take their bats & balls & go play at home. Soft

  • Jamali on January 16, 2007, 2:07 GMT

    Thank you Kamran for raising this issue on your blog. With due respect to Jag, there is difference between playing your cricket hard and badmouthing other teams and spectators through racial slurrs and it is a difference that a nation like SA should be particularly attentive to. While the attitude and activities of Pakistani spectators who evoked this reponse were shameful, two wrongs don't make a right. Earlier, team Australia had become notorious due their indecent language and sledging of the opposing team. Is it a mere coincidence that, of all cricketing nations, the two teams who engage most in these kinds of below the belt tactics come from societies that do not enjoy a good reputation for racial tolerance and ethnic difference? Personally, I found the lame defense of Gibbs offered by coach Mickey Arthur and the indifference of captain Graem Smith shocking.

  • Buz Trevor on January 16, 2007, 2:06 GMT

    What has happened to Gibbs is totally ridiculous. He did not make any comment that can be interpreted as racist. These are the facts. 1) Some Pakistan supporters were abusing Harris (a white player) and Ntini (a black player) 2) Gibbs (a player of mixed race ancestry) described the spectators as being "bloody animals". 3) He did not say anything that reflected on what race the spectators were. 4) His comment means that the behaviour of the spectators was like animals. No reasonable person can dispute that.

    The punishment that has been handed out to Gibbs is political correctness gone wild.

    Here we have a small group of spectators behaving in a disgraceful fashion. When they are taken to task, they immediately play the racism card and the wimpy ICC goes along with it. Anyone who thinks that what Gibbs said was racist, has no idea of what real racism is.

  • Imran on January 16, 2007, 2:02 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Jag but your argument contradicts itself. First you say that cricket is a mental game and then you say that the crowd incensed Gibbs. So are you saying that Gibbs is 'frail' and has 'self doubts' and that is why he came down to racial slurs and couldnt deal with the crowd tauntig him. ;-) Sorry Sir, it doesnt work both ways! You cant dish out and then not be able to take it. Its pretty evident that the South African bowlers and close-in fielders sledge at the batsmen and try to distract them. So what if a few ignorant fans did the same to one of the fielders. South Africa has a pretty dodgy history when it comes to racism, its best for them to get folks like Gibbs a few games off rather then open what could be a pandora's box!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 16, 2007, 1:36 GMT

    TAUHIRA from Jamaica please don't display dual standards here. Earlier, when Shoaib and Asif were banned you said, they deserve the punishment as there is no room for drug abusers. Now you think that a two test match ban on Gibbs for his racist slur is a bit too harsh? Inzamam didn't speak a word from his mouth in the Bangalore test, he only clenched his fist and shrugged his shoulders against a caught behind appeal disallowed by the umpire and he got a two test match ban.

    Ricky Ponting in Malaysia, goes to the umpire Mark Benson and says, you are a disgrace to be called an umpire, forget about a ban, MarK Benson did not even report the matter to the match referee.

    Andre Nel keeps abusing the opposition and he never stops. He keeps using the "F" word so often and I wonder how the match referee ignores it? I think the new kid on the block "Sreesanth" gave him a taste of his own medicine by gyrating his hips on the pitch and waving his bat in Rodeo style after hitting two sixes of Nel's pathetic bowling. He deserves a ban or someone should stuff a glove in his mouth.

    Dean Jones was chucked off from his contract with Ten Sports and was asked to leave the country by the first available flight for calling Hashim Amla a terrorist. He then went on defending that he didn't mean it this way or that way and it was not intended for Amla but for someone else, all that denial was of no use.

    How can Gibbs get away with such rude racist comments? In my opinion he should have got a ban for this entire series.

    I think the ICC has dual standards and it is confirmed now. Also, Hair has now been reinstated and allowed to stand in as an umpire for International matches being played in Kenya! There you go, this man is not going to retire, because he has full support from the ICC.

    Aleem Daar was intimidated through out the Ashes series by the Australians, especially Shane Warne. Aleem Daar knows that by annoying Australians he might loose his job if not he may not get opportunities to stand in such big matches. I remember that last year the Aussies filed complained against Aleem Daar for giving two decisions which the Aussies think were dubious. Shane Watson calls him a pathetic Paki umpire. He is another Andre Nel type character.

  • Jag on January 16, 2007, 0:07 GMT

    Don't forget SA themselves were subject to much racist taunts from crowds in their last tour of Australia. The problem needs to be stamped out, not just in SA either. On the other hand, the rest of the non-racist sledging is a healthy part of the game in some countries right from club-level up. The more opposition fralities and half-doubts are exposed, the more they start to question their own ability. Cricket is a mental examination as much as one of physical skill.

    The crowd incensed H Gibbs, not the other way around Mr Akmal. The reason the crowd were agitated was because SA plays their cricket hard..not neccisarily because they were being racists...teams like Pakistan have to be strong enough to give back as good as you get..or get on with the game.

  • Imran on January 15, 2007, 23:34 GMT

    Thank you Kamran for addressing this issue. Respect to the South African Board for taking care of this issue in a swift and appropriate manner.

  • Shary Malik on January 15, 2007, 23:26 GMT

    Dear Kamran, I totally agree with what you have said in ur aticle..Racism should not be accepted in any part of the game..there's one thing called sledging which dare i say can be viewed as part of the game, which to an extent i think is right!.. but to acually call out racist or other provocative comments such as what Gibbs said is totally wrong and i think the ban given to him may not be suffice 4 the offence hes commited..Nevertheless South African cricket have taken a good logical step to ba him..regardless of whether hw long the ban is for...However, i really dont have any sympathy for pakistani fans whom disgraced there nation!not for the first time..Us pakistani's seriously need to think about our actions to keep the unity and the deserved respect!Otherwise im afraid so..ppl will look down on us!

    Thanks

    Shary

    Khudahafiz

  • Tauhira from Jamaica [WI] on January 15, 2007, 23:02 GMT

    I'm don't really agree with the punishment handed to Gibbs, I think it was a bit harsh.

    There is limit to how far the players can go in regards to making indecent statements; at the same time they are only human and sometimes anger gets the better of a person, as in the case of Gibbs.

    Yes, he should be punished, but my opinion is that he should be slapped with a smaller punishment; I guess maybe 2 ODI's or something like that. Just my opinion.

    -Peace!

  • imran on January 15, 2007, 22:54 GMT

    The decision is a good one especially with the background of South Africa as a formerly aparthied nation. The interesting comment was from the South African coach who said that the comment was meant only for the players on the field and that the stump microphone was offensive. That is the best load of bull I have ever heard. So if no one hears it racism is okay? I say we ban the coach as well, someone who helps direct a team like this needs to get his bearings in order before he should be allowed to manage others!

  • Shiraz Asad on January 15, 2007, 22:45 GMT

    Thank You Sir, i really appreciate it. I hope this matter is taken up seriously now. It isnt only Gibbs who is the offender, i think other South Africans are involved as well, lets just hope that this doesnt happen in the 2nd test.Cheers

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  • Shiraz Asad on January 15, 2007, 22:45 GMT

    Thank You Sir, i really appreciate it. I hope this matter is taken up seriously now. It isnt only Gibbs who is the offender, i think other South Africans are involved as well, lets just hope that this doesnt happen in the 2nd test.Cheers

  • imran on January 15, 2007, 22:54 GMT

    The decision is a good one especially with the background of South Africa as a formerly aparthied nation. The interesting comment was from the South African coach who said that the comment was meant only for the players on the field and that the stump microphone was offensive. That is the best load of bull I have ever heard. So if no one hears it racism is okay? I say we ban the coach as well, someone who helps direct a team like this needs to get his bearings in order before he should be allowed to manage others!

  • Tauhira from Jamaica [WI] on January 15, 2007, 23:02 GMT

    I'm don't really agree with the punishment handed to Gibbs, I think it was a bit harsh.

    There is limit to how far the players can go in regards to making indecent statements; at the same time they are only human and sometimes anger gets the better of a person, as in the case of Gibbs.

    Yes, he should be punished, but my opinion is that he should be slapped with a smaller punishment; I guess maybe 2 ODI's or something like that. Just my opinion.

    -Peace!

  • Shary Malik on January 15, 2007, 23:26 GMT

    Dear Kamran, I totally agree with what you have said in ur aticle..Racism should not be accepted in any part of the game..there's one thing called sledging which dare i say can be viewed as part of the game, which to an extent i think is right!.. but to acually call out racist or other provocative comments such as what Gibbs said is totally wrong and i think the ban given to him may not be suffice 4 the offence hes commited..Nevertheless South African cricket have taken a good logical step to ba him..regardless of whether hw long the ban is for...However, i really dont have any sympathy for pakistani fans whom disgraced there nation!not for the first time..Us pakistani's seriously need to think about our actions to keep the unity and the deserved respect!Otherwise im afraid so..ppl will look down on us!

    Thanks

    Shary

    Khudahafiz

  • Imran on January 15, 2007, 23:34 GMT

    Thank you Kamran for addressing this issue. Respect to the South African Board for taking care of this issue in a swift and appropriate manner.

  • Jag on January 16, 2007, 0:07 GMT

    Don't forget SA themselves were subject to much racist taunts from crowds in their last tour of Australia. The problem needs to be stamped out, not just in SA either. On the other hand, the rest of the non-racist sledging is a healthy part of the game in some countries right from club-level up. The more opposition fralities and half-doubts are exposed, the more they start to question their own ability. Cricket is a mental examination as much as one of physical skill.

    The crowd incensed H Gibbs, not the other way around Mr Akmal. The reason the crowd were agitated was because SA plays their cricket hard..not neccisarily because they were being racists...teams like Pakistan have to be strong enough to give back as good as you get..or get on with the game.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 16, 2007, 1:36 GMT

    TAUHIRA from Jamaica please don't display dual standards here. Earlier, when Shoaib and Asif were banned you said, they deserve the punishment as there is no room for drug abusers. Now you think that a two test match ban on Gibbs for his racist slur is a bit too harsh? Inzamam didn't speak a word from his mouth in the Bangalore test, he only clenched his fist and shrugged his shoulders against a caught behind appeal disallowed by the umpire and he got a two test match ban.

    Ricky Ponting in Malaysia, goes to the umpire Mark Benson and says, you are a disgrace to be called an umpire, forget about a ban, MarK Benson did not even report the matter to the match referee.

    Andre Nel keeps abusing the opposition and he never stops. He keeps using the "F" word so often and I wonder how the match referee ignores it? I think the new kid on the block "Sreesanth" gave him a taste of his own medicine by gyrating his hips on the pitch and waving his bat in Rodeo style after hitting two sixes of Nel's pathetic bowling. He deserves a ban or someone should stuff a glove in his mouth.

    Dean Jones was chucked off from his contract with Ten Sports and was asked to leave the country by the first available flight for calling Hashim Amla a terrorist. He then went on defending that he didn't mean it this way or that way and it was not intended for Amla but for someone else, all that denial was of no use.

    How can Gibbs get away with such rude racist comments? In my opinion he should have got a ban for this entire series.

    I think the ICC has dual standards and it is confirmed now. Also, Hair has now been reinstated and allowed to stand in as an umpire for International matches being played in Kenya! There you go, this man is not going to retire, because he has full support from the ICC.

    Aleem Daar was intimidated through out the Ashes series by the Australians, especially Shane Warne. Aleem Daar knows that by annoying Australians he might loose his job if not he may not get opportunities to stand in such big matches. I remember that last year the Aussies filed complained against Aleem Daar for giving two decisions which the Aussies think were dubious. Shane Watson calls him a pathetic Paki umpire. He is another Andre Nel type character.

  • Imran on January 16, 2007, 2:02 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Jag but your argument contradicts itself. First you say that cricket is a mental game and then you say that the crowd incensed Gibbs. So are you saying that Gibbs is 'frail' and has 'self doubts' and that is why he came down to racial slurs and couldnt deal with the crowd tauntig him. ;-) Sorry Sir, it doesnt work both ways! You cant dish out and then not be able to take it. Its pretty evident that the South African bowlers and close-in fielders sledge at the batsmen and try to distract them. So what if a few ignorant fans did the same to one of the fielders. South Africa has a pretty dodgy history when it comes to racism, its best for them to get folks like Gibbs a few games off rather then open what could be a pandora's box!

  • Buz Trevor on January 16, 2007, 2:06 GMT

    What has happened to Gibbs is totally ridiculous. He did not make any comment that can be interpreted as racist. These are the facts. 1) Some Pakistan supporters were abusing Harris (a white player) and Ntini (a black player) 2) Gibbs (a player of mixed race ancestry) described the spectators as being "bloody animals". 3) He did not say anything that reflected on what race the spectators were. 4) His comment means that the behaviour of the spectators was like animals. No reasonable person can dispute that.

    The punishment that has been handed out to Gibbs is political correctness gone wild.

    Here we have a small group of spectators behaving in a disgraceful fashion. When they are taken to task, they immediately play the racism card and the wimpy ICC goes along with it. Anyone who thinks that what Gibbs said was racist, has no idea of what real racism is.

  • Jamali on January 16, 2007, 2:07 GMT

    Thank you Kamran for raising this issue on your blog. With due respect to Jag, there is difference between playing your cricket hard and badmouthing other teams and spectators through racial slurrs and it is a difference that a nation like SA should be particularly attentive to. While the attitude and activities of Pakistani spectators who evoked this reponse were shameful, two wrongs don't make a right. Earlier, team Australia had become notorious due their indecent language and sledging of the opposing team. Is it a mere coincidence that, of all cricketing nations, the two teams who engage most in these kinds of below the belt tactics come from societies that do not enjoy a good reputation for racial tolerance and ethnic difference? Personally, I found the lame defense of Gibbs offered by coach Mickey Arthur and the indifference of captain Graem Smith shocking.