Panesar Taunted by SCG Crowd

Panesar was fielding near the Clive Churchill stand at the SCG when he was allegedly told by a spectator “Give us a wave Monty. You can’t speak English you stupid Indian, I’ll have to say it in Indian. What are you doing playing in the English side, you’re not English.”

No official complant has been made by the England management, however, SCG Trust officials confirmed that three spectators had been removed from the ground for “excessive drunkness”.

The taunts follow reports that both Panesar and South African-born batsman Kevin Pietersen were subjected to abusive taunts during the Prime Ministers’ XI match in Canberra on Friday. On that occasion eight spectators were ejected.

Boorish behaviour by sections of Australian crowds during last year’s series against South Africa have led to Cricket Australia implementing a zero tolerance approach to racist abuse this season. Spectators face life-time bans if they racially abuse players and venues may be stripped of their international staus if they fail to respond to vilification by crowds.

An England spokesman told the Daily Telegraph “We have come out here to play the game with dignity, and we expect the Australian fans will show the sportsmanship they are renowned for and hope they will respect the players both on and off the field.”

Panesar had counselling from a psychologist before coming to Australia. Earlier this week, South African captain Graeme Smith again warned Panesar of what he might expect from the home crowds.

The incident at the SCG is the first test for the new anti-vilification rules. It represents an opportunity for the administrators to clean up crowd behaviour and send a strong message to all spectators that the scourge of racism will no longer be tolerated at Australian venues.

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