On Day 5 of the World Test Championship (WTC), two spectators were ejected from the stadium at Hampshire Bowl for shouting racial abuse at New Zealand players. An International Cricket Council (ICC) spokesperson said, “Our security team was able to identify the culprits and they were ejected from the ground”.
“We received reports of abuse directed at the New Zealand players”, said ICC in a media statement. “We will not tolerate any sort of abusive behaviour in cricket".
New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee said that he was not aware of the incident. "No, it's the first I've heard of it", he said after play. "The game is always played in a good spirit on the field. We're not sure obviously what's happening off the field”, reported ESPN Cricinfo.
This is the second time in the year that spectators have been ejected from the stadium during a Test match for racial abuse. The first incident was in the New Year’s Test match at Sydney Cricket Ground between India and Australia. After Indian pacer, Mohammed Siraj reported the match officials about receiving racial abuse from the crowd, the spectators were immediately removed from the stadium.
A report on website stuff.co.nz said that a complaint was made by a New Zealand fan watching the Test match on TV. It was reported that he had heard racist comments directed towards batsman Ross Taylor.
Taylor is a former New Zealand captain and the first player to play over 100 international matches all three formats.