South Africa expects good crowd behaviour in Australia

By Fakir Hassen, IANS,

Johannesburg : The South African cricket squad touring Down Under for the three-match Test series is confident that there won’t be any recurrence of the distasteful incidents of crowd behaviour on their last tour four years back.

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South African coach Mickey Arthur said here before the team’s departure that its logistics manager Gulam Rajah undertook a reconnaissance mission to Australia a fortnight ago to consult with Cricket Australia (CA).

“We had a number of key questions about the safety of our players, but Ghulam says CA has undertaken to ensure that our safety is guaranteed,” Arthur told the Afrikaans daily Beeld here.

“I, therefore, do not foresee any problems that our players will be exposed to any unpleasant incidents.”

During the last tour, the visitors were from the outset bombarded with racial remarks by spectators, in some cases allegedly former South Africans settled in Australia.

The racial taunts were not only directed at coloured players, but even Shaun Pollock and other white South African players. This was a particular problem during the first test at Perth, where there is a large settlement of South Africans.

According to Arthur, Rajah has discussed these problems with CA, and secured an assurance that the cricket authority would do all in its power to ensure that there is no repeat.