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Australia warns no nonsense at Ashes opener

india Updated: Nov 22, 2006 15:45 IST
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Cricket Australia warned crowds to behave on Wednesday ahead of the most anticipated Ashes series in decades, and said fans with tickets from online scalpers would be turned away.

CA chief executive James Sutherland — whose organisation was embarrassed earlier this year when South African players complained of being racially abused by Australian crowds — said misbehaviour would not be tolerated.

"What it really comes down to is we want the fans to come to the cricket and have a fun, enjoyable day," Sutherland said.

"But if anyone's definition of fun or enjoyment is ruining the day for someone else, we don't want them in the ground and we'll identify them and have them removed."

New initiatives for the Ashes series beginning in Brisbane Thursday include a mobile phone text messaging system allowing fans to warn venue management about anti-social behaviour and the need for extra security.

There will also be increased closed-circuit television monitoring of crowds, more security guards, and announcements from pre-recorded appeals from Australian players for good behaviour during matches.

Australian grounds already sell low-alcohol beer at international cricket matches, following crowd problems in previous years at one-day matches.

Sutherland said Cricket Australia had also made it clear fans who bought tickets at inflated prices from online auction sites risked being refused entry to the ground.

"Even before tickets went on sale, we made it absolutely clear that people who did purchase tickets at a premium facedC the risk of being turned away at the gate," he said.

CA hired private investigators to identify tickets sold by scalpers on Internet auction sites and cancelled at least 1,300 tickets for the five-Test series.

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