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Cricket Australia has called for lifetime bans on supporters found guilty of racial abuse following reports that India's top lawyer has been called in to investigate ongoing complaints by South African players.
James Sutherland, the Australia board's chief executive, said that spectators who racially abused players should either face heavy fines or be banned from attending matches. He added that tougher penalties were needed to "allow cricket administrators globally to ban for life or heavily fine the small handful of miscreants who offend with weak-minded racist taunts from the relative anonymity of packed stadiums.
"The weak-minded minority who are tempted to think 'me too' when they see or hear media reports of racist taunts might think again if they realised they faced bans or huge fines of the type that now apply to spectators who trespass on Australian cricket arenas.
"We intend to talk to Australian federal and state governments who supported us by introducing heavy fines for on-field trespassers to see if a similar approach might be possible for racist spectators."
Sutherland's comments came after the ICC announced it had asked Goolam Vahanvati, India's solicitor general, to investigate incidents of racial abuse that have taken place in Australia during the current season.