New Zealand Cricket says it will apologise to Jofra Archer after the fast bowler received “racial insults” from a member of the crowd following his dismissal during the first Test against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui.
Archer made 30 from 50 balls on the final afternoon of the match, but was unable to prevent New Zealand from sealing an innings-and-65-run win to go 1-0 up in the two-match series.
However, that achievement was overshadowed shortly after the finish, when Archer tweeted about the treatment he had received as he left the field at the end of his innings.
He said: “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.”
In a statement, NZC said that the perpetrator had not been located, but that the board would be in touch with Archer to apologise.
“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,” read the statement.
“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.”
Archer later confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the abuser had been a solitary New Zealand spectator, making comments “about the colour of my skin”.
He also claimed that the same person appeared to have contacted him via Instagram with further insults. “I don’t think it would happen in England,” Archer said.
It was a tough match for England, but particularly Archer, who was required to bowl a marathon spell of 42 overs in New Zealand’s solitary innings, and came in for criticism for an at-times lethargic display.
He picked up a solitary wicket, that of BJ Watling who top-scored with 205, but also served a reminder of his menacing attributes when he struck Henry Nicholls a heavy blow to the helmet on the second evening.
The ECB later confirmed that an investigation into the incident was ongoing, in conjunction with NZC,
“NZC and ECB ensure that clear guidelines are in place at every venue so that watching a cricket match is safe and enjoyable for everyone,” said the ECB in a statement.
“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.”
9.54am: The NZC statement was amended to correct a literal suggesting that the comment had been overheard