New Zealand Cricket has ordered increased security at the second Test against England in Hamilton after a crowd member racially abused visiting paceman Jofra Archer during the opening match in Mount Maunganui. Black Caps captain Kane Williamson described the taunt as “horrific”, while NZC said the culprit would be reported to the police and barred from cricket grounds if he was identified from the venue’s CCTV footage.
“We’re incredibly disappointed, it’s just not acceptable and we won’t tolerate it,” NZC chief executive David White told Newstalk ZB radio.
Barbados-born Archer tweeted after the match concluded late Monday that it was “a bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team”.
The 24-year-old later told ESPNcricinfo that the abuser was a solitary New Zealand spectator making comments “about the colour of my skin” after he was dismissed and walking toward the pavilion.
The incident has overshadowed the result of the first Test ever played at Bay Oval, which New Zealand won by an innings and 65 runs.
Kane said such racism was “against everything that we as Kiwis are about”.
“It’s a horrific thing. In a country and a setting where it is very much multi-cultural,” he told news website stuff.co.nz.
“It’s something we need to put to bed quickly and hope nothing like that ever happens again. It certainly won’t if there’s any influence we can have on it.”
– ‘One idiot’ –
White said NZC was determined there would be no repeat at the second Test beginning Friday at Hamilton’s Seddon Park and called on spectators to “self-police” unacceptable behaviour.
“We’ll be increasing security around the areas where the players are, in particular when they’re coming on and off the field, but it’s quite difficult when players are on the boundary,” he said.
“I’d like to think there’s a bit of self-policing going on as well, we shouldn’t be accepting this kind of behaviour in our society.” NZC said in a statement that it intends to apologise to Archer on Tuesday and Black Caps coach Gary Stead believed some of his players would also contact the England bowler.
Stead said he and the rest of the New Zealanders were unaware of the incident until after the match and wanted the person responsible caught.
“Hopefully, it was just one idiot in the crowd and they deal with it,” he told Radio New Zealand.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it was cooperating with NZC on an investigation into the incident.
“Whilst this is a relatively isolated incident there is absolutely no place for anti-social or racist behaviour within the game,” it said.
“And it is vitally important that all spectators feel able to come forward to report such behaviour and feel safe in doing so.”