The Pakistan Cricket Board filed a complaint with the ICC on alleged rude behaviour by spectators during their World Cup match in Ahmedabad versus India, but it is unclear that the ICC will take any action because the anti-discrimination law only covers individuals and not groups. At the Narendra Modi Stadium, over a lakh spectators witnessed the action, but only three Pakistani-American fans were present to cheer for the players from their nearby country.

A section of fans had heckled Mohammed Rizwan with religious chants when the wicket-keeper batter was waling back to pavilion following his dismissal, prompting the PCB to lodge a complaint with the game’s governing body. (Pakistani Actress Makes Bold Promise If Bangladesh Beat India In Cricket World Cup 2023)

Pakistan’s Director of Cricket Mickey Arthur had admitted that his players were overawed by the vociferous crowd during their seven-wicket thumping at the hands of India. It is understood that ICC has taken cognisance of the complaint and is ascertaining its nature and the process it might follow.

“The ICC takes every complaint very seriously but code is about individuals. I don’t know what exactly is PCB looking at but it will be very difficult to take any tangible action,” a veteran official, who has worked in both BCCI and ICC told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

PCB’s complaint about “inappropriate behaviour” needs to be seen in relative light. (PICS: Pakistan Players Recover From Fever, Begin Training Ahead Of Australia Clash In Cricket World Cup 2023)

“The ICC may identify individuals if there are charges of racism but if thousands of people are shouting a slogan, what can you do? No player was injured by any ‘missile’ hurled from the gallery? A partisan crowd is expected. That’s pressure of elite sport,” he added.

As a part of standard protocol, the ICC exhibits its stand on racism and zero tolerance policy through billboards during its events.

A recent example of collective racism in sport is Brazilian football international Vinicius Junior’s case when he threatened to walk off the pitch in the second-half of a La Liga match between Real Madrid and Valencia last season after being targetted with racist slurs.

Since it was a case of collective chants of racism, governing body of football in the country had sanctioned partial closure of a stand at Valencia’s home ground Mestalla Stadium for five games and a fine of 45,000 euro was imposed on the club.

The sanction was later reduced to three games of partial closure and fine of 27,000 Euros after the club appealed against the decision. Seven people were in fact identified and detained by Spanish Police and banned from entering any stadium in Spain for three years in the country.

About Arthur’s ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ not blaring from the sound system, a BCCI official said, “There was no problem in playing ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ but in that entire match, was there any such moment where you could have played that song?” (With PTI inputs)

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