An Australian spectator has been banned for three years after he wrote racist graffiti terming Proteas batsman Hashim Amla a ‘terrorist’ during the first day of the second Test currently underway at the Bellerive Oval.
Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee has confirmed that he was made aware of the incident after fellow spectators who had witnessed the event reported it to the authorities.
“We have been informed that the man has been formally charged and has been handed a three-year ban from the stadium. From our point of view, it is disappointing and disconcerting because this is not the first act of racial vilification we have received while touring Australia over the years,” Moosajee said.
“It is unacceptable, there is absolutely no place for racial stereotyping and such offensive acts in society, let alone in sport. We thank Cricket Australia and the authorities for dealing with the matter in a swift, professional and stern way and for carrying out the full might of the law.”
It is not the first time Amla, a devout Muslim who wears a traditional beard, has been racially profiled or another member of the South African team.
Former Proteas fast bowler Makhaya Ntini spoke out about racial abuse from the crowd in Perth in 2005 when he was referred to a “k****r”, while former Australian Test batsman Dean Jones also referred to Amla as a “terrorist” while on commentary in Sri Lanka a decade ago.
Jones was sacked by his employers Ten Sports.
Cricket Australia confirmed the man, who had written the graffiti on the inside of an advertising board, will be barred from any official match across the country, while Tasmanian police said he would appear in court after being charged on summons.
“Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania can confirm a crowd behaviour issue that occurred on day one of the Commonwealth Bank Test match against South Africa in Hobart,” a CA spokesperson said.
“Tasmania Police identified the person of interest through CCTV and witnesses in the area. Cricket Australia has issued the person with a three-year ban from any Cricket Australia match, nationally.
“Cricket Australia takes a zero-tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour at any of our matches, which includes racial vilification.”