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October 13, 2007
Malcolm Speed, the International Cricket Council's chief executive, has written to the boards of India [BCCI] and Pakistan [PCB] asking for comments on reports of racism during matches this week. However, the Indian board said that it was yet to receive any letter from the ICC.
"We have noted media reports of racist chanting during the India-Australia ODI in Vadodara on Thursday and also of racist abuse directed at South Africa players and team officials in Lahore," said Speed. "In the light of those reports we have written to both the BCCI and the PCB [on Saturday] asking for their comments on the incidents."
Speed said that it was crucial to ensure "cricket remains free from the scourge of racism". He said: "The ICC retains a zero tolerance to racism as illustrated in our Anti-Racism Code which was strengthened last year following consultation with our Members and the ICC Board. The Code outlines measures host members are expected to undertake and those measures were unanimously approved by the ICC's Board. We need to understand whether those measures are working."
Speed said the matter of racism would be further discussed at the ICC's board meeting in Dubai at the end of this month.
Although Cricket Australia has decided to let the BCCI take action, if any, in regards to the incident that occured on the boundary towards the end of Australia's win in Vadodara, Ricky Ponting has urged the ICC to enforce its strict anti-racism code.
Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI chief administrative officer, said that the Indian board had not yet received the letter from the ICC. He also criticised Andrew Symonds for his comments in the News Ltd newspapers where Symonds had said the Indian team had been treated like rock stars and princes after the ICC World Twenty20 win. "He [Symonds] need not comment on what we do," Shetty told PTI.
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