Monty Panesar visits Uluru earlier in the week. Photo: Getty Images
The ground announcer at the centre of a racism claim has denied he was sacked for introducing England spinner Monty Panesar in an Indian accent.
David Nixon, an ABC Open producer acting as the ground announcer for the tour match between England and the Chairman’s XI at Traeger Park in Alice Springs, confirmed he had been stood down by Cricket Australia over his commentating style.
CA said on Saturday they ‘‘deemed the conduct of the PA announcer as inappropriate, and as such he will take no further part in the match’’.
However, Nixon – whose son is also named Monty – said allegations of racism came as ‘‘a complete surprise’’ and rejected ‘‘absolutely any allegation that I feigned an Indian accent’’.
In a statement on Monday, Nixon said: ‘‘‘There’s a change of bowler at the Traeger Avenue end ... it’s Montyyy!’ That was [all I said]. I fail to see how anyone could interpret my introduction ... as racial slurring. I am certainly responsible for what I say, but not what people hear.
‘‘For most of my adult life, I have worked with people from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds. My focus in that work is to help overcome any sensationalist or negative stereotypes. That I find myself in the eye of this storm is upsetting in the extreme.
‘‘I had however been rebuked by a Cricket Australia representative on a number of occasions for my irreverence. ‘That’s not how we roll’, the CA staffer said after I’d mentioned both teams were on the ground practising their interpretive dance moves. They were stretching pre-match.’’