The ICC is unlikely to take any action on Pakistan Cricket Board’s complaint for alleged boorish crowd behaviour during their World Cup game against India in Ahmedabad since the ambit of the anti-discrimination code is restricted to individuals and does not cover group. More than one lakh fans watched the action unfold at the Narendra Modi Stadium and only three Pakistani-American fans were in the stands to support the players from the neighbouring nation.
A section of fans had heckled Mohammad Rizwan with religious chants when the wicket-keeper batter was walking back to pavilion following his dismissal, prompting the PCB to lodge a complaint with the game’s governing body.
Pakistan’s Director of Cricket Mickey Arthur had admitted that his players were overawed by the vociferous crowd during their seven-wicket thumping at the hands of India.
It is understood that ICC has taken cognisance of the complaint and is ascertaining its nature and the process it might follow.
“The ICC takes every complaint very seriously but code is about individuals. I don’t know what exactly is PCB looking at but it will be very difficult to take any tangible action,” a veteran official, who has worked in both BCCI and ICC told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
PCB’s complaint about “inappropriate behaviour” needs to be seen in relative light.
“The ICC may identify individuals if there are charges of racism but if thousands of people are shouting a slogan, what can you do? No player was injured by any ‘missile’ hurled from the gallery? A partisan crowd is expected. That’s pressure of elite sport,” he added.
As a part of standard protocol, the ICC exhibits its stand on racism and zero tolerance policy through billboards during its events.
A recent example of collective racism in sport is Brazilian football international Vinicius Junior’s case when he threatened to walk off the pitch in the second-half of a La Liga match between Real Madrid and Valencia last season after being targetted with racist slurs.
Since it was a case of collective chants of racism, governing body of football in the country had sanctioned partial closure of a stand at Valencia’s home ground Mestalla Stadium for five games and a fine of 45,000 euro was imposed on the club.
The sanction was later reduced to three games of partial closure and fine of 27,000 Euros after the club appealed against the decision. Seven people were in fact identified and detained by Spanish Police and banned from entering any stadium in Spain for three years in the country.
About Arthur’s ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ not blaring from the sound system, a BCCI official said, “There was no problem in playing ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ but in that entire match, was there any such moment where you could have played that song?”
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