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Gibbs to face inquiry for racial remarks

He was overheard on the stumps microphone shouting that Pakistani supporters were behaving 'like bloody animals'.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 18:03 IST

South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs would face a disciplinary hearing for making racially abusive comments against Pakistani supporters during the fourth day of the first cricket Test at Centurion.

Cricket South Africa's media manager Gordon Templeton said Gibbs had told them that he had reacted to the harrassment that one of his teammates had been subjected to by some Pakistani supporters.

"Gibbs will appear before a disciplinary commissioner after the match," Templeton said today.

"After the disciplinary hearing, the committee will decide on any action to be taken. We regard any racist statements in serious light," he said.

Gibbs was caught on the stump microphone saying Pakistani supporters were behaving "like bloody animals" and something should be done about the "f****** Pakistanis".

The player had reacted after rookie spin bowler Paul Harris was alllegedly abused when fielding near the ropes by some Pakistani supporters, seven of whom were later ejected from the stadium by police.

The obscenities were broadcast live on television during the fourth day's play yesterday following which the Pakistan Cricket Board lodged a complaint with match referee Chris Broad.

CSA Chief Executive Gerald Majola said Gibbs's comments were "directed in general terms" at that section of the crowd that had abused Harris.

"CSA has investigated the matter and we have heard the remarks made by Herschelle Gibbs in response to verbal abuse directed by a number of Pakistan supporters at Paul Harris while he was fielding on the boundary.

"Herschelle says these remarks were for the ears only of his team-mates in his proximity, and were directed in general terms at that section of the crowd that had verbally abused Paul Harris. He has apologised if he has caused offence to anyone."

However, Majola said CSA regarded this whole matter in a most serious light and Gibbs would appear before CSA's disciplinary commissioner at the earliest opportunity.

Gibbs is no stranger to controversy, having admitted taking money from Indian bookmakers in exchange of match information. After skipping two tours of India, he toured the country last year and was interrogated by Delhi Police.