Announcer denies Monty slur
Sydney - A ground announcer stood down for allegedly pronouncing England bowler Monty Panesar's name with an Indian accent has denied doing so, and said he would be seeking clarification from Cricket Australia.
Cricket Australia said Saturday that it deemed the conduct of the PA announcer at the Alice Springs ground as inappropriate and stood him down at lunch on the final day of the England v Chairman's XI tour match.
But the announcer David Nixon, an ABC producer based in the Northern Territory, on Monday denied putting on an accent for England-born Panesar, who 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," he said in a statement, the ABC reported.
"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."
Nixon said he had been spoken to by a Cricket Australia official during the two-day tour match for his irreverence, including after once saying players doing pre-match stretching were practising their "interpretive dance moves".
He said when he returned to his post after the lunch break on the second and final day, he was met by a Cricket Australia representative who politely told him he was relieved of the duties, which he had undertaken as a volunteer.
"There was no mention made of my introduction of Monty Panesar or of a complaint being made," he said.
"There was and is no evidence to support the allegation whatsoever and I will seek clarification from Cricket Australia on their decision to stand me down."
Nixon said there were "few worse things than to be branded a racist".
"To have such an accusation levelled at me is not only offensive, but defamatory," he said.
Reports said Panesar was unaware of the alleged incident at the time.