Some members of Australia’s Under-19 World Cup squad face sanctions for comments on social media that have been branded as casual racism. Cricket Australia’s head of integrity and security Sean Carroll has spoken with those players who recently posted broken-English responses to an Instagram post.
“We are extremely disappointed that some of the Australian Under-19 squad members have used inappropriate language in posts on social media, which we reported to the ICC as soon as it came to our attention,” Carroll said in a statement. “Some of that language could be interpreted as ridiculing non-native English language speakers.”
In response to an Instagram post by Jake Fraser-McGurk – whose tournament was ended earlier this week after being scratched on the face by a monkey at a nature reserve – which said “Quarter-finals here we come”, batsman Oliver Davies wrote: “Sir great player, big fan, and will play India one day.”
Spinner Tanveer Sangha added, “You hit ball very hard sir” while all-rounder Liam Scott wrote, “Sir give me whatsapp number I want to be friend”. Middle-order batsman Lachlan Hearne then posted, “Young Steve Smith sir” and opening bat Sam Fanning: “How u bat so good young man.”
The posts, now deleted, were made before the team’s defeat to India at the Under-19 World Cup which is being held in South Africa.
“I have spoken to the players this morning and expressed in no uncertain terms that such language has no place in society and falls well short of the standards we expect as Australian cricketers,” Carroll said.
“Cricket Australia will consider sanctions upon their return home from South Africa, which will include but not be limited to education and cultural sensitivity training. Most of the players do not have their parents present with them in South Africa and some of them are minors. Accordingly, we believe it is appropriate to consider sanctions upon their return home.”