Cricket Australia have confirmed that they are considering sanctions against a number of players of the Under-19 team after their comments on Instagram in reply to Jake Fraser-McGurk’s post were branded as casual racism.
Oliver Davies, Sam Fanning, Tanveer Sangha, Liam Scott and Lachlan Hearne replied to a picture posted by Fraser-McGurk on Instagram, and their comments seemed to be mocking non-native English speakers.
The picture posted by Fraser-McGurk with the caption, “Quarter Finals here we come” was uploaded before Australia were defeated by India in the quarter-final of the ongoing Under-19 World Cup in South Africa.
The post prompted comments from members of the Under-19 Australian team that seemingly had racial undertones and denigrated non-English speakers. Davies replied to the post with the comment, “Sir great player, big fan, and will play India one day,” while spinner Sangha added, “You hit ball very hard sir.”
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All-rounder Scott replied, “Sir give me whatsapp number I want to be friend,” while Hearne posted, “Young Steve Smith sir,” and Fanning: “How u bat so good young man.”
As a result of the backlash received from all corners, these statements have since been deleted from the post and further commenting has been disabled.
CA’s integrity chief Sam Carroll admitted in a statement given to The Age and Sydney Morning Herald that "some of the language could be interpreted as ridiculing non-native English language speakers,” and went on to add that the Australian cricket board was deeply disappointed by this entire episode and reported the incident to the ICC as soon as they became aware of the situation.
"We are extremely disappointed that some of the Australia 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.
"I have spoken to the players this morning and have 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. The players have apologised for the language and taken down the posts.
"Cricket Australia will consider sanctions upon their return 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 their sanction upon their return home."