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Symonds Racially Abused In Baroda, Say Australians

Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds was racially abused by spectators while fielding in Thursday's one-day match against India, Australian officials said. A section of the crowd was believed to have taunted Symonds by making monkey noises while he was fielding at the boundary line when India were bundled out for 148. "Yes, Andrew Symonds did hear noises," said Cricket Australia spokesman Philip Pope. "The players did not discuss it in the dressing room. We are not calling for action. We think it is up to the local authorities to deal with it," he added. The visitors eased to a nine-wicket victory in the fifth one-dayer to lead the seven-match series 3-1. The next match is in Nagpur on Sunday. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has toughened its stand after allegations of racial abuse directed at South African players on their Australia tour in the 2005-06 season. The amendments to the ICC's anti-racism code allow ICC members to impose a range of punishments on spectators, including a life ban, if they are found guilty of racial abuse. The member countries can also face penalties ranging from fines to a possible withdrawal of their international status from the venue where the incident has taken place. England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar and batsman Kevin Pietersen were allegedly racially abused during the Ashes tour opener in Canberra last year. © Reuters 2007