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Charges leveled by Symonds are baseless: Vadodra Police Commissioner
Haresh Pandya | October 16, 2007 14:24 IST
Last Updated: October 16, 2007 15:01 IST
The ICC chief executive had earlier said he had written to the BCCI, asking that body to explain whether Symonds had in fact been targeted for racist abuse by the crowd.
The BCCI, and especially its secretary Niranjan Shah, have taken the tack of saying no such letter has yet been received. When contacted this afternoon, an angry Shah told Rediff.com: "Why should I tell the media whether we've received any letter from the ICC or not? Do we have to tell everything to the media? I don't think it's necessary. Why don't you ignore the whole issue? What is there to write about? I just can't understand why is the media so keen to keep the issue burning? Do you know what the spectators were saying?"
Vadodra Police Commissioner C.P. Thakur told this correspondent: "We've inquired into the matter and it's confirmed that the charges leveled by Symonds against the crowds for having racially abused him are baseless.
"There is no grain of truth whatsoever in what Symonds has accused the crowds of. The cops and other security personnel on duty in the stands have vouched that the people were actually chanting the hymns of Lord Ganesha [Images] in Gujarati and Hindi, something like Ganapati Bapa Moriya, and not abusing Symonds. Symonds mistook their chanting for racial abuse because he couldn't understand what they're saying. Obviously he can't understand Gujarati and Hindi languages."
Interestingly, BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty told Rediff.com: "Yes, we've received a letter from the ICC chief executive the day before yesterday. But we need time to look into the matter and reply to him, as we're very busy with matches and other things right now."
Shah confirmed that Shetty had received "something" in writing from the ICC. "We'll have to refer the matter to our anti-apartheid commissioner. According to the ICC, every country should have an anti-apartheid commissioner to look into the issues pertaining to racism and racial abuses. We'll reply to the ICC after inquiring into everything.
"It'll take some time. What the media and Symonds shouldn't forget is that the Australian crowds are far more dangerous and volatile than their Indian counterparts."
On another front, Shah said the BCCI has asked volatile seamer Shantakumaran Sreesanth [Images] to tone down his behavior. "Yes, we've already told Sreesanth to cool down and not to get too excited every now and then. And he has changed his behavior, hasn't he?
"But I don't understand why the media is so much interested in such things?
Why don't you report on the cricket only? We're not supposed to answer all your questions simply because you media guys want to make an issue out of anything," added Shah, clearly incensed though it is not clear what there is about following up on a story that should incense the board secretary.