Makhaya Ntini was one of the players affected by the abuse © Getty Images
South Africa have complained that some of their players were subjected to racial abuse and chants on the third day of the first Test at Perth. They informed Chris Broad, the ICC match referee, and the regional anti-corruption and security manager, John Rhodes, about the abuse that Ashwell Prince, Garnett Kruger, Shaun Pollock, Justin Kemp and Makhaya Ntini received on the boundary.

The South African management requested preventative measures and increased security to avoid a repetition for the rest of the first Test and at the next two matches in Melbourne and Sydney. These measures were put in place for the remainder of the match, and assurances were given that they would be in place for the rest of the tour.

"We regard racial abuse in a very strong light, "Gerald Majola, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa, said. "We deplore in the strongest terms the racial abuse by some of the spectators against our players. We hope that this will not happen again, and appeal to all to abide by the ICC's anti-racism policy. We thank the relevant authorities for the assurance that the necessary protection for our players for the rest of the tour will be place."

Cricket Australia (CA) has confirmed it has a zero tolerance approach to racist behaviour anywhere in Australian cricket, including among spectators. Spectators who indulge in racist comment about other patrons or about players face immediate action, including ejection from grounds.

"There is no place in Australian cricket for racism, whether it be on or off the field," said Peter Young, CA general manager of public affairs. "Cultural diversity is one of global cricket's strengths and enduring characteristics, the spirit of cricket demands that the game be played and staged in a good spirit and CA wants all cricketers and cricket lovers to feel welcome wherever they play or attend international games."

Young said CA had liaised closely with the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) after the complaints made by the South Africans. WACA security personnel were briefed about specific insults which might not be familiar to Australians but which are offensive to visiting players, and have been instructed to take swift action against any offenders. Other venues around Australia are being similarly briefed.

In a statement issued by the ICC, Malcolm Speed, the chief executive, said: "Cricket is an international game which is played by a diverse range of cultures and communities. Respect for each other is a key component of the game and racist comments have no place in cricket.

"The fact that this is an isolated incident by a small number of people in one country does not lessen the game's resolve to address the issue. We have in place an international anti-racism policy which all of our Members have signed up to.

Speed added that there have been discussions between the ICC, CA and the South Africa board to prevent a repeat of the incident. "Cricket Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to the ICC's Anti-Racism policy and has emphasised that it is taking the matter very seriously. It has also briefed the ICC on the steps that it is taking to deal with this issue and I would hope that all cricket fans in Australia will support Cricket Australia's efforts to avoid a repeat of this behaviour."