Monty brushes off racism claims


‘It’s not a problem for me’, says spinner

ENGLAND spinner Monty Panesar has shrugged off reports that he was racially abused by Australian spectators saying it does not bother him.

Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Panesar dismissed reports which appeared in various Australian newspapers which alleged Panesar was taunted as “a stupid Indian who can’t speak English” by a spectator during England’s three-day warm up match against New South Wales in Sydney.

Panesar said while there had been “a lot of hype” surrounding the issue on England’s tour of Australia, he had not taken offence to anything he had heard.

“There has been quite a lot of talk about the supposed abuse I have endured here, or might endure, but for my part it really has not been a problem,” Panesar wrote in a column for Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.

“You get the odd comment and I know I am fairly recognisable here, but most people have been pleasant and there has been nothing I have heard that has offended me.

“Maybe I don’t get offended easily, but the way I look at it is that I want nothing to get in the way of my performance, so just laugh off anything from the crowd or in the street as banter and concentrate on what I am doing.”

Panesar was warned by South African captain Graeme Smith that he could be targeted before the team flew out to Australia after his team were verbally abused by some Australian spectators when they toured the country last year.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Smith said: “I was chatting to some of our team just the other day and we all shivered at the prospect of what he could be in for,” Smith said. “He is going to cop an unbelievable amount of abuse. I sincerely hope for everyone’s sake, but especially his, that it isn’t of a racist nature, but our own experience obviously leaves us with doubts.”

South Africa went public about the abuse they received in Australia after shouts of ‘kaffir’ – a derogatory term used against black people in Southern South Africa – were made from the stands.

Racism problems in Australia came to light during South Africa’s tour of the country but under new regulations fans could face lifetime bans if they are found guilty of racial abuse during matches.

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