The spectator who allegedly directed racist abuse towards England paceman Jofra Archer faces a lifetime ban from attending cricket matches in New Zealand.
Archer revealed on Twitter, hours after England’s innings defeat in the first Test at Mount Maunganui on Monday that he had heard “racial insults” from someone in the crowd as he headed off the field following his dismissal.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White has reacted with fury to the news and apologised to Archer in person on the England team’s arrival into Hamilton on Tuesday ahead of the second Test which starts later this week.
A bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team , the crowd was been amazing this week except for that one guy , @TheBarmyArmy was good as usual also— Jofra Archer (@JofraArcher) November 25, 2019
As an apologetic home board searches for what is believed to be a rogue individual, White has warned the offender they face a severe punishment, including possible criminal charges.
“If we do find the person, we’ll refer them to the police, I think that’s appropriate in this case,” White told 1 News.
“If we do find out who that person is, they’ll be banned from attending cricket games in New Zealand in the future.
“My sense is that person should not be allowed into a cricket ground for the rest of their lives in New Zealand.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson labelled the incident “horrific” and admitted he would personally apologise to Archer if they cross paths before the final Test gets under way.
“I will try, over the next few days if I can see him, definitely,” Williamson – who was born and raised in Tauranga, only a couple of miles from Mount Maunganui, where he now resides – told Nine Media’s Stuff website.
“I can only apologise on behalf of Kiwis to Jofra, not only from our team and how we look to conduct ourselves, but what we expect of Kiwis in general.
“It’s certainly against everything that we as Kiwis are about and I certainly hope that nothing like that ever happens again.
“It’s a horrific thing. In a country, and a setting where it is very much multi-cultural, 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.”
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead echoed Williamson’s sentiments as he said: “I hope whoever’s done that is found quickly and it’s dealt with. It’s something we don’t condone at all.”
Ashley Giles, the managing director of the England men’s team, is keeping tabs on Archer and is convinced the paceman’s team-mates will rally round him.
Speaking at the team hotel in Tauranga on Tuesday morning, Giles said: “The tweet that went out was obviously emotional, it hurts.
You know what our team is like, they'll rally round him pretty well I should imagine. But it's a serious incident.Ashley Giles
“We fully support Jof, obviously, there is no place for racism in the game, in any game. Jof is part of our team but, whatever the abuse, we’d be absolutely right behind him. He’s a very important part of our team.
“You know what our team is like, they’ll rally round him pretty well I should imagine. But it’s a serious incident. He’s a young man making his way in the game and we just don’t need this sort of thing.
“It’s a problem in sport still, clearly. It’s terrible in this day and age that this sort of thing is still happening and when it does happen and that person isn’t identified much quicker – even by the people around them – it’s really disappointing.”