The ground announcer who was stood down for allegedly introducing England spinner Monty Panesar in a mock Indian accent, is seeking clarification from Cricket Australia over his removal after denying any slur was made.
The organisation had deemed the conduct of David Nixon, a producer for local broadcaster ABC, at the Alice Springs ground as inappropriate and withdrew him during the second day of England’s two-day warm-up match against a Chairman’s XI.
Left-arm spinner Panesar was born in Luton and is of Indian descent.
“It comes as a complete surprise to me to be at the centre of a controversy about racial slurring, and I absolutely refute any allegation that I feigned an Indian accent,” Nixon said in a statement, according to an ABC report on Monday.
“‘There’s a change of bowler at the Traeger Avenue end…its Montyyy!’ That was it. I fail to see how anyone could interpret my introduction of Monty Panesar as racial slurring.
“I am certainly responsible for what I say, but not what people hear.”
He added: “There are few worse things than to be branded a racist. To have such an accusation levelled at me is not only offensive, but defamatory.”
England have called Tim Bresnan into the squad for the second Test in Adelaide after being trounced in the first match in Brisbane.
Bresnan, who suffered a stress fracture in his back which ruled him out of the final Test of the first Ashes series earlier this year, which England won 3-0, travelled to Australia with England’s Performance Programme.
Having proved his fitness, Bresnan’s stock rose as, apart from Stuart Broad, England’s attack disappointed in the first Test at Brisbane, which Australia won by 381 runs largely on the back of aggressive pace bowling.
Harris on track
Australia paceman Ryan Harris will be looking to send down more of the same this week even if his injury track record suggests he will struggle to play all five Tests in the series.
A litany of injuries since making his debut in 2010 has prevented Harris from completing a five-match Test series, his best effort being four of five matches in England earlier this year when he was his country’s outstanding bowler.
With Adelaide likely to be the toughest venue for the quick bowlers, some have suggested Australia would be wise to revive their rotation policy and save the 34-year-old for the third Test on a more pace-friendly wicket in Perth.
Having grabbed five wickets for 77 runs to help Australia take a series lead, Harris has no intention of taking it easy at the Adelaide Oval.
“I’ll be all guns blazing here,” he told reporters on Monday. “I’m not going to miss a Test unless I really have to.
“I’ve said that from the start, I’m here to play five.
“I had the turnaround in England and I got through okay. The wickets here are a little harder, that’s probably the only difference.”