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Indian to probe racism in Aus cricket

ICC has appointed GE Vahanvati to verify charges of abuse during the tri-series involving the host country.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2006 18:30 IST

India's Solicitor General GE Vahanvati has been appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to investigate charges of racial abuse in Australia during the tri-series involving the host country.

Vahanvati will travel to Australia in mid-February to establish the facts surrounding incidents of racial abuse at cricket venues.

He will speak to venue staff, Cricket Australia representatives and ICC officials after an official complaint from the South African cricket board.

Vahanvati will then travel to South Africa and Sri Lanka to interview players and team officials from all the three sides that participated in the recent Test and one-day series before reporting back to the ICC in March.

Vahanvati is no stranger to conducting investigations in international cricket and was part of a two-man panel that investigated allegations of racism in cricket in Zimbabwe in 2004.

"Racism in any form is abhorrent and everyone in cricket is unhappy with the way in which players from international teams have been subjected to racist abuse in Australia," ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said in the statement.

"The actions of what would seem to be a small number of people are reflecting poorly on Australia and on cricket. It is essential that this issue is addressed.

"What is now important is that the ICC is provided with a clear and independent understanding of exactly what has taken place to ensure that cricket is able to respond appropriately. Mr Vahanvati has been appointed to provide this analysis and he will report his findings back to the ICC Board in March."

Speed added that Cricket Australia, Sri Lanka Cricket and the United Cricket Board of South Africa have pledged to support Vahanvati and the process.

"I have spoken with Duleep Mendis, Gerald Majola and James Sutherland regarding this course of action and they all support this step.

"Since the first incident was reported, Cricket Australia, Sri Lanka Cricket, the United Cricket Board and their players have been united in condemning this sort of behaviour.

"Once the ICC Executive Board has received this report, we will be in a position to identify what further steps cricket can take to tackle this issue before it spreads beyond the incidents that have taken place in Australia."

The ICC board meeting in Dubai will take place from March 20-21.

First Published: Jan 31, 2006 16:26 IST