Special Correspondent

Mumbai: A joint statement denouncing racism was issued by the BCCI president, Sharad Pawar, and the Chairman of Cricket Australia, Creagh O’ Connor, here on Wednesday.

The two chiefs reasserted their support for the ICC Player and anti-racism codes. Racism had no place on or off the field, they said.

“Cricket crowds in all cricket nations are often noisy and boisterous, which is part of the fun of cricket.

But all cricket nations have to be on guard to ensure that the fun does not cross the boundary into unacceptable behaviour.

If it does, it is our expectation that the specifics of the ICC Anti Racism code be enforced without fear or favour. Players of all countries have a right to expect they will be treated with respect wherever they play in the world,” Mr. Pawar and Mr. O’ Connor said.

They also maintained that racism was a global problem and was not confined to specific regions.

The remarks by the two Board chiefs come in the wake of the allegations of racist taunts at Aussie cricketer Andrew Symonds by a section of the crowd during the fifth ODI in Vadodara.

Subsequently, Chris Broad, the Match Referee for the series, has forwarded his report on the incident to the ICC.

Cricket, they said, had the power to bring the people of diverse backgrounds together. Mr. Pawar and Mr. O’ Connor observed that the objective of ICC’s anti-racism code had to be understood and implemented appropriately at all venues.

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