Race and cricket

chappell.jpgAccording to AFP and News.com.au (read here and here), the former Indian cricket coach Greg Chappell was subjected to racial abuse and subsequent cover-up by the Indian cricket board. These comments are part of a documentary “Guru Greg” to be aired on Australian national television. The charge has its origins in an attack on Chappell in early 2007 in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa where he was punched and shoved by a fan. According to the AFP report:

“I got hit on the side of the head and my immediate reaction was ‘he’s broken my jaw’,” Chappell said. “Indians are very quick to complain about racism. There are plenty of Indian cricketers the guy could have attacked but he chose to attack me,” he said.

While AFP mostly relayed the comments with the mandatory rebuttal by the Indian board, the report ended with a “contextualisation” of the towards the end: “The accusation by Chappell follows Australian complaints that Indian crowds racially abused black Australian batsman Andrew Symonds with monkey chants and gestures during a tour last month.”

The News.com.au report on the other hand began its report with the Symonds episode. However, it also pointed at some other problems with this episode. Apparently, despite “conclusive proof” of targeted attacks against the black Australian player, the Australian cricket board refused to take up issue with the Indian cricket board “apparently amid concerns about offending the hypersensitive BCCI.” One wonders if the recent Indian cricket board’s support (read here) for Cricket Australia’s demands of sharing revenues with news agencies for selling of pictures (read here) throws light on a complicated issue.

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