Black Cap alleges Gabba 'faggot' taunts

Last updated 11:38 26/11/2008

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Complaints by New Zealand players that they were taunted as "faggots" during the first cricket test at the Gabba has stirred the debate over ugly behaviour by Australian sports spectators.

Black Caps fast bowler Iain O'Brien has described the Brisbane crowd as "embarrassing" and claimed the Black Caps were subjected to repeated and systematic abuse, the Daily Telegraph reported in Sydney.

"I don't know how many times I was called a faggot," O'Brien wrote on his personal blog.

"You get called anything and everything. Embarrassing for these guys, really, as a lot of the others around them are cringing.

"The crowds here are pretty good, ruined by a few, actually quite a few, idiots who think a day out at the cricket is just to abuse the guys playing any way how."

The companies running Australian grounds have been repeatedly warned they could be stripped of their international status if foul-mouthed outbursts continue to flare.

Test and one-day international venues around the country are on notice from the International Cricket Council, which has passed hardline laws giving it the power to ban any troublesome venue.

"However, the threat does not appear to be getting through with more ugly abuse hurled at the Kiwis," the newspaper reported. The Gabba has been a flashpoint for crowd trouble, such as in 2003 when Muttiah Muralitharan was taunted with relentless chants of "monkey" and "f... off, chucker".

In 2006, South African players Makhaya Ntini, Garnett Kruger, Herschelle Gibbs and Ashwell Prince claimed they were taunted with racial jibes while warming up at the Gabba.

-NZPA

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