NZ Cricket apologizes to Jofra Archer for racist abuse
MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand (AP) — The chief executive of New Zealand Cricket has apologized in person to England fast bowler Jofra Archer for the racist abuse he received from a spectator Monday on the final day of the first cricket test at Mount Maunganui.
David White visited the 24-year-old Archer to offer an apology and an assurance that heightened security will be in place for the second test which begins at Hamilton on Friday.
“I just had a good chat to him (and) said that we were very sorry that he had to experience that in our country,” White told Television New Zealand. “We’re very disappointed but he was very thankful that I’d made the effort to come and see him. It was very disappointing what happened yesterday. It common courtesy to go and apologize to him.”
Captain Kane Williamson will seek out Arthur before the test begins to offer the apologies of the New Zealand team.
“It’s a horrific thing,” Williamson said. “In a country and a setting where it is very much multicultural 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.”
White said New Zealand Cricket is making every effort to identify the person responsible for the abuse. If identified the person will be referred to police and, White said, likely banned for life from New Zealand cricket grounds.
“If we do find out who that person is, they’ll be banned from attending cricket games in New Zealand in the future,” he said. “My sense is that person should not be allowed into a cricket ground for the rest of their lives in New Zealand.”
Archer highlighted the abuse in a Twitter post at the end of the final day’s play at Bay Oval.
“A bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team,” he tweeted. “The crowd was been (sic) amazing this week except for that one guy.”
Archer later said the person responsible for the abuse had contacted him through the social media site Instagram, posting further insults.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has also opened an investigation into the incident.
The ECB said that “whilst this is a relatively isolated incident there is absolutely no place for anti-social or racist behavior within the game and it is vitally important that all spectators feel able to come forward to report such behavior and feel safe in doing so.”
White said extra security would be on hand at Seddon Park in Hamilton where the second test will be played. Plainclothes security staff would likely mingle with the crowd and messages would be posted on the big screen at the ground warning against racist abuse.