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October 18, 2007
ICC CEO says message is simple: find culprits, throw them out and keep them out; up to everyone to ensure cricket remains known for respect, tolerance, diversity and fair play, not "hate-filled antics of tiny minority"
ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed has urged Members to be true to the zero tolerance approach to racism contained in the ICC's Anti-Racism Code.
Speaking in the wake of reports of racist behaviour by sections of the crowd during Wednesday's ODI between India and Australia in Mumbai, Mr Speed said: "Traditionally racism has not been a significant issue for cricket.
"It is a sport that we are proud to say is well-known for respect, tolerance, diversity and fair play and we are keen to ensure it stays that way.
"To make sure that happens I would urge our members to enact the terms of the ICC Anti-Racism Code as firmly as possible.
"If people are seen or heard behaving in a racist way then our message to the ground authorities and host boards is clear: find the culprits, throw them out and keep them out because racism has no place in our sport.
"It is pleasing to hear that some offenders in Mumbai were ejected and that is the type of zero tolerance we want in relation to this despicable behaviour," he added.
Mr Speed confirmed the ICC had received a response from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to a previous request for information on reported incidents at the ODI between Australia and India in Vadodara on 11 October.
"The BCCI has undertaken to obtain reports from independent sources concerning that match and we look forward to receiving those reports as soon as possible," he said.
"In the meantime, we are pleased to see the BCCI, in concert with Cricket Australia, has publicly condemned racism as such behaviour has no place anywhere, least of all at a cricket ground."
Mr Speed said he had also received a response from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to his letter asking for details of alleged racist abuse aimed at South Africa players and team officials in Lahore during the recent Test match.
"The PCB confirmed details of the abuse and that action was taken immediately against the offenders in keeping with the ICC Anti-Racism Code. It also confirmed its commitment to the Code and its requirements, and that is heartening," he commented.
Mr Speed said he had written to the BCCI again on Thursday to get its comments concerning the behaviour of sections of the crowd at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
"I have reiterated that we are keen to ensure that all aspects of the Code are being carried out and if they are not then we will want to know why," he said.
"The latest version of the ICC Anti-Racism Code was endorsed by the ICC Board last November and if aspects of it are not proving effective or require amending then we need to know."
And he urged everyone to re-double their efforts to ensure racism has no place in cricket.
"It is up to each and every one of us - players, spectators and administrators - to ensure our great sport continues to known for those qualities of respect, tolerance, diversity and fair play and not for the hate-filled antics of a tiny minority," added Mr Speed.
* The ICC Anti-Racism Code can be found here
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