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New Zealand fan banned for verbal abuse during India match

New Zealand Cricket has banned another Bay Oval spectator after he was evicted, then returned to unleash a tirade of abuse at a commentator during Sunday night’s final Twenty20 international.

New Zealand fan banned for verbal abuse during India match


A 24-year-old man was arrested for trespass around 10.20pm, police confirmed, after he and another man were escorted out by security when they took exception to an Indian commentator declining a request to sign an autograph. The commentator’s identity was not revealed. One of the men somehow made his way back into Bay Oval and continued the tirade which led to police intervening.

Last month an Auckland man was banned by NZC from attending matches for two years for directing a racist insult at England fast bowler Jofra Archer during the Mount Maunganui Test in November. Sunday’s incident was described as unsavoury, the abuse loud and foul-mouthed and within earshot of the media tent.

NZC public affairs manager Richard Boock said the man would be banned from New Zealand grounds for the rest of the home season. NZC is weighing up any further action, but the fact it was not racist abuse puts in a less serious category than the Archer incident. “At the moment, as far as his future entry to arenas for the rest of the home international summer, any booking he has made has been blocked while we’re assessing what went on and deciding what should happen,” Boock said.

A police spokesperson said the 24-year-old arrested man was given a pre-charge warning.

Boock said 12 fans were evicted from Bay Oval for unruly behaviour - either offensive language or disruption to other spectators. Two were arrested for regaining entry.

A crowd of 6250 watched India sweep the Black Caps 5-0 in the Twenty20 series after winning Sunday’s game five by seven runs. The crowd was described by those at the ground as high spirited and animated but not a “drunk” crowd.

Friday’s fourth game at Wellington’s Sky Stadium attracted 13,295 and was marred by two instances of pitch invasions which halted play.

The first saw a man enter the playing arena and casually stroll towards the pitch then begin to run, before he was tackled by security staff who appeared slow to react. A plethora of Indian fans at each ground have added hugely to the spectacle and atmosphere of the series.  Boock said NZC was happy with the crowds for the T20 series which - as they did a year ago - started at the late hour of 8pm.

In response to questions about why the matches started so late, Boock said in a statement: “The timing of our T20 matches against India was part of our broadcasting rights agreement with Star Sports India. Without that agreement the funding of the whole of cricket (the women’s game, juniors, umpiring and coaching etc) would be significantly reduced.”

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