CA Chairman's XI v England XI, Alice Springs, 2nd day November 30, 2013

Announcer sacked over Panesar comments


The public address announcer at England's tour game against a Chairman's XI in Alice Springs was sacked at lunch on the second day of the game after making comments deemed "inappropriate" by Cricket Australia.

David Nixon, an ABC producer, was dismissed after an allegation reported by the Centralian Advocate that he had mimicked an Indian accent when announcing that Monty Panesar was coming on to bowl. Neither Panesar nor any of the England camp are understood to have heard the comments and the decision was taken entirely by Cricket Australia.

"Cricket Australia deemed the conduct of the PA announcer as inappropriate," a CA spokesman said. "So it was decided he would take no further part in the match."

The incident reflects Cricket Australia's determination to foster an environment of inclusiveness within the sport. Australia is increasingly an ethnically diverse country - Alice Springs has a growing Indian community, which turned out to support Panesar during the week - and CA gave notice of its progressive stance during a recent debate sparked by Fawad Ahmed, Australia's Pakistan-born legspinner, asking not to wear a beer logo on his shirt.

Nixon's style raised some eyebrows on the first day of the tour match. When Joe Root, who later had to return to the hotel with a stomach upset, called for a drink while batting, Nixon commented: "Joe Root calls for another drink", in a sarcastic tone.

Minutes later, the umpires called for a drinks break and Nixon said: "Now it's time for everyone to have a drink - including Joe Root." When Root was dismissed shortly after, Nixon could not resist saying: "You can go and have another drink now, Joe."

Nixon also greeted the arrival of spinner Michael Beer into the attack by announcing "We're to have Beer before lunch."

CA said they would review the incidents after the game and discuss whether any policies had been broken. Ironically, part of the PA announcer's role is to remind spectators of the ICC's anti-racism code, which warns that anyone making "racially abusive comments and actions will result in ejection from the ground".

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on December 3, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    "CA said they would review the incidents after the game and discuss whether any policies had been broken" - yet he has been sacked. In the real world, you would get sued for unfair dismissal if you get sacked without a proper investigation which clearly hadn't happened at the time. Then again, shouldn't be too surprised as this would be the norm in Sutherland-world!

  • Nathan on December 2, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    @ landl47 - I personally would find that hilarious if a announcer did that in England.

  • Steve on December 2, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    I wouldn't have sacked him, I would have padded him up and given him 20 mins in the nets facing Broad, Finn, Tremlet and Co bowling bodyline. Teach the appropriate levels of respect the old fashioned way.

    This was meant to be a great event for Alice Springs, how often do they get a Touring International Test team playing in their backyard?

  • Colin on December 1, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    Pretty standard practice down under I am afraid.

  • Sanjay on December 1, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    I'm glad he was sacked. There's stand up comedy in a comedy club and then there's an international game. The bloke is dim witted, he probably still doesn't understand why he got the short thrift. It wasn't long ago that Matty Hayden was mocking Ishant Sharma on an Aussie sports radio show. They tend to say silly things on these radio phone-Ins. Think first and then speak.

  • John on December 1, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    @Justin Gibb: so if the PA announcer in England when Australia took the field were to say something like: "Here come the convicts now, better make sure your money is hidden away" you'd think that was all a good laugh, would you, Justin?

    Politically correct is what you call being offensive when it's you that's doing it.

  • Jackwin on December 1, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    What a shame. This guy seems to be an honest to God fun person. It's foolish to penalize light hearted comments. CA should rather be worrying about Warner, whom the whole world hears saying a whole lot of uselessness a lot of times.

  • Richard on December 1, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    Fair enough I reckon. Never thought Greg Ritchie's Indian schtick was funny either, and no, I'm not a politically correct zealot, I'm just don't find the fact of someone's skin colour or accent differing from mine particularly amusing in itself. Whoever thought that would go down well has to be a bit of a dill. Cringe worthy stuff, and not really what we want to show to the world as the face of Australia.

  • richard on November 30, 2013, 21:13 GMT

    So is someone being a try hard comedian news, or are you stirring up controversy so we all should be outraged. god ( am I allowed to say that) I hope the second test starts soon. I need a good sledging to take my mind off all the controversy.

  • Android on November 30, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    I thought this nixon guy is quite funny. We spend our whole live being politically correct.

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