Cricket Australia posted a photograph of four men dressed as England spinner Monty Panesar lookalikes on its official twitter account on Thursday, then deleted it after widespread accusations of racism.
Under a caption reading “Will the real Monty Panesar please stand up,” the four men were pictured dressed in bright purple, red, green and yellow clothes and turbans.
Panesar, who is Sikh and wears a turban, was recalled to the England lineup for the second Ashes test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval. He was born in England of parents who migrated from India.
Cricket Australia later apologized for any offence caused by the photo, saying “that was certainly not the intention. It has been removed.” The photo was reportedly uploaded by an off-site contractor.
CNN’s Piers Morgan, an avid cricket follower, was among the dozens on Twitter to denounce the photo.
“Will someone please get fired for this?” Morgan posted as he retweeted the photo. Later, he added: “I see @cricketaus has now deleted that @MontyPanesar tweet. Very wise. Casual racism is not ‘banter’. ”
Another tweet from an Australian fan said: “Nothing like a bit of racial stereotyping. That’ll do wonders to dispel the myth we’re a racist country.”
Last weekend, an stadium announcer at an England tour match against a Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI in Alice Springs was fired after using a mock Indian accent to let the crowd know when Panesar was entering the ground.