In a shocking revelation on Monday, England pacer Jofra Archer claimed that he was racially insulted by a spectator during the fifth and final day of the first Test against New Zealand at the Bay Oval. A fiery five-wicket burst from Neil Wagner sealed comprehensive innings and 65-run victory for New Zealand over England on Monday.
“A bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team,” tweeted Archer after the completion of the match.
He added: “The crowd has been amazing this week except for that one guy. The Barmy Army was good as usual.”
In a previous tweet, subsequently deleted, Archer further outlined the nature of the abuse, posting: “Can the guy that was yelling bbc and bc from the scoreboard area today come forward and tell me what those words mean please? Because I don’t…”
According to a report in The Guardian, the England team and management were caught unawares by Archer’s tweets and that it had not been raised immediately post match.
In a statement, the ECB said: “England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) supported by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) are conducting an investigation into racial abuse aimed towards England cricketer Jofra Archer during day five of the first Test match in Mount Maunganui. The incident took place after Archer was dismissed and was walking off the field to the pavilion.
“Through the scrutiny of CCTV footage at the Bay Oval, authorities are trying to identify the individual or individuals responsible for the remarks. The investigation is ongoing.
“NZC and ECB ensure that clear guideline are in place at every venue so that watching a cricket match is safe and enjoyable for everyone.
“Whilst this is a relatively isolated incident there is absolutely no place for anti-social or racist behaviour within the game and it is vitally important that all spectators feel able to come forward to report such behaviour and feel safe in doing so.”
A statement from New Zealand Cricket read: “New Zealand Cricket will be contacting, and apologising to English fast bowler Jofra Archer, who was racially abused by a spectator as he left the field at the conclusion of the first Test at Bay Oval, Mt Maunganui. Although security providers at the venue were unable to locate the perpetrator, NZC will be examining CCTV footage and making further inquiries tomorrow in an endeavour to identify the man responsible.
“NZC has zero-tolerance towards abusive or offensive language at any of its venues and will refer any developments in the case to police. It will contact Mr Archer tomorrow to apologise for the unacceptable experience, and to promise increased vigilance in the matter when the teams next meet in Hamilton.”