Kiwi cricketers complain of abuse by Australian fans

November 26th, 2008 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Nov 26 (IANS) The behaviour of Australian crowds has again come under the scanner with New Zealand players accusing them of using abusive language.Australian grounds have been repeatedly warned they could be stripped of their international status if crowd behaviour is not appropriate.

Kiwi fast bowler Iain O’Brien described the Brisbane crowd as “embarrassing” and claimed the Black Caps were subjected to repeated and systematic abuse at the Gabba.

“I don’t know how many times I was called a ‘faggot’,” O’Brien was quoted as saying in the Courier Mail.

“You get called anything and everything. Embarrassing for these guys really, as a lot of the others around them are cringing.

“The crowds here are pretty good, ruined by a few — actually quite a few — idiots who think a day out at the cricket is just to abuse the guys playing, any way how.”

CA and ground security officers will now have to keep an extra close eye on fans to avoid a repeat in Adelaide for the second Test against New Zealand starting Friday.

The Gabba has been a flashpoint for crowd trouble in the past, such as in 2003 when Muttiah Muralitharan was taunted by the crowd with relentless chants of “monkey” and “chucker”.

In 2006, South African players Makhaya Ntini, Garnett Kruger, Herschelle Gibbs and Ashwell Prince claimed they were taunted with racial gibes while warming up at the Gabba.

There is the potential for more trouble in the first Test against South Africa next month in Perth - a venue which has been a hotspot for abuse in the past.

Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola said he hoped there would be no repeat of the abuse which marred South Africa’s tour to Australia three years ago.

“We don’t believe that will happen. I am sure Australia will take care of that,” Majola said.

“We have not even bothered thinking about that. If it happens, I am sure Cricket Australia will take care of that.”

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