HOBART - Suspended Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath says the New Zealand team had every right to leave the field during crowd violence at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, even though the behaviour was not as bad as he has witnessed in New Zealand.

Writing a column in the Sun-Herald newspaper, McGrath condemned the crowd.

"I think the New Zealanders would have been within their rights to walk off the field," he said.

However, McGrath indicated the Australian players would have been even more entitled to leave the ground during tours of New Zealand.

"I've seen much worse than that [Friday], like when we have played in the West Indies, India and New Zealand."

McGrath was suspended for one match - last night's clash against South Africa - for dissent when he was dismissed by Daniel Vettori from the final ball of the game on Friday.

After breaking the International Cricket Council code of conduct, he also received a two-game suspended sentence, triggered if he transgresses again over the rest of the series.

He expressed disappointment that ICC guidelines meant he could not give his side of the story. "A system which does not allow players to say anything after being disciplined is something that needs to be discussed. I've essentially been gagged."

McGrath's comments echoed those of his captain, Steve Waugh, who also could not say anything after he was fined for questioning an umpire during the test series against South Africa.

Four Australians have been found guilty of misconduct over the past year. The other two are Adam Gilchrist, who was fined following a one-day match against India, and Brett Lee, who received the same punishment after giving New Zealand's Shane Bond an unnecessary send-off in the third test at Perth.

- NZPA