Mumbai: Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting hopes that there will be no further racial abuse in Mumbai on Saturday when the visitors take on the Twenty20 champions India. Both teams, during the seven match series, have tried to get under each others’ skin by exchange of words on and off the field.
Andrew Symonds, who has been a thorn in the flesh of Indians and has played a huge role in the visitors’ 4-2 win after the first match was washed off at Bangalore, reportedly complained about racist comments being passed by spectators during the Vadodara tie, causing a media uproar in both the countries.
"It has been on for the last one-and-a-half weeks for no fault of his. It's still talked about day after day. He's trying to get out of the papers as quickly as he can. He will be happy when it's all done with," Ricky Ponting said.
The International Cricket Council (ICC), which strengthened its anti-racism code last year, has written to Indian officials asking them to comment on events in Baroda, and Indian media came down heavily on the crowd behaviour.
BCCI and Cricket Australia later came out with a joint statement condemning racism in cricket, without the former acknowledging that Symonds was racially abused by the crowd, and the furore created by the unsavoury happenings have not yet died down.
"I was very disappointed to see some of the stuff that happened the other day," Ponting told a news conference on Friday.
The skipper added he had read in local newspapers on Friday that attempts were being made to improve the behaviour of the crowd.
"But that's not in our control. All we can do is get there and play and put on the best show that we can, and hopefully the crowds around enjoy what we do. If we put on a good show with our cricket then hopefully the fans will enjoy that more than just staying up to take a pot at somebody."
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