The security personnel at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton ejected two fans from Block M of the ground, after the said individuals allegedly hurled racist and general abuse towards the New Zealand players. The ICC were alerted of the incident on social media, post which security was called into action.
Security guards at the Ageas Bowl had to evict two fans from the stadium on Tuesday as several New Zealand players were at the receiving end of alleged racist abuse on Day 5 of the World Test Championship final. Play resumed on Day 5 after the entirety of Day 4 was washed out by rain, but there was an ugly incident at the venue as two fans were allegedly seen and heard directing racist and general abuse towards the New Zealand players. The Security Guards were not aware of the happenings initially, but, after select members alerted the ICC of the incident through social media, the security team threw the perpetrators out of the ground.
“We received reports of abuse directed at the New Zealand players. Our security team were able to identify the culprits and they were ejected from the ground. We will not tolerate any sort of abusive behaviour in cricket,” the ICC said in a media statement.
New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee, however, revealed that the Kiwi players were not aware of the happenings.
“No, it’s the first I’ve heard of it. The game is always played in a good spirit on the field. We’re not sure obviously what’s happening off the field,” Southee said after play.
Both New Zealand and India, in the recent past, have been involved in Test matches that have seen alleged racist behavior from fans. Earlier this year, play was halted for a fair bit in the New Year’s Test in Sydney between India and Australia after a group of fans hurled alleged racist abuse at Mohammed Siraj, while two years ago a fan was found guilty of hurling racial slurs towards Jofra Archer in a Test between New Zealand and England in Mount Maunganui.