The Professional Cricketers’ Association has revamped its Racism Awareness Campaign to ensure that cricket’s image is not tarnished by some of the high profile cases that have blighted football recently.
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was recently ban for eight matches by the Football Association for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and Chelsea captain John Terry is due in court next week charged with racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. Terry denies the allegations against him.
There have been no similar incidents in English cricket but the PCA, the players’ union, is keen to protect the game’s image and insists that there is no room for complacency.
“There have been some high profile incidents in other sports recently and we thought that this was a timely reminder to our members to ensure we stay on top of the issue,” said Jason Ratcliffe, the assistant chief executive of the PCA.
The PCA campaign is backed by Surrey’s former England batsman and Cricketer.com columnist Mark Ramprakash, who said: “With other sports having high profile recent cases of racism the PCA message is timely and clear.
“The game has a well-known reputation for strong on-field sportsmanship, but there are always lines that should not be crossed on or off the field. Racism is one of them, it’s just not acceptable.”
The PCA campaign encourages players, spectators and officials to report any racist incidents they encounter and is accompanied by a poster with the slogan:
“When the ball hits the deck at 85mph it doesn’t care what language you speak.
“When it reverse swings into your leg stump, it doesn’t care where you grew up.
“When it rips back through your gate, it doesn’t care what your religious beliefs are.
“And when it traps you in front, it certainly doesn’t care what colour you are.
“Neither should you.”