File photo: Crowd behaviour issue marred the opening day of the Hobart Test with Cricket Australia slapping a three-year ban on a 24-year old man © Getty Images
A spectator has been slapped with a three-year ban from attending any matches in Australia, and will also face court in Hobart after allegedly writing a racially offensive message on a fence inside the Bellerive Oval on day one of the Test.
The message was reportedly directed at South Africa batsman Hashim Amla, and police have confirmed a 24-year old man from Longford in Tasmania’s north has been 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 Cricket Australia 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.
“Our message to any fan attending a match is that if you display anti-social behavior, you will be removed and risk being banned from any cricket match across Australia, as well as police action being taken.”
Cricket South Africa also issued a statement on the matter: “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. 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.”
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo