New Zealand stadium announcer reprimanded for Amir taunt

Mark McLeod, who was reprimanded by NZC for his actions at Westpac Stadium (in pic), is a long-time stadium announcer © Getty Images

New Zealand Cricket have admonished a stadium announcer for taunting Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir during the third T20 on Friday.

Long-time announcer Mark McLeod, who is contracted by NZC, had played a cash register sound effect during one of Amir’s spells during the match at Westpac Stadium. NZC CEO David White said he has since apologised to the Pakistan team, and has now publicly reprimanded McLeod.

Amir is playing in his first international tour since being suspended for spot-fixing in 2010.

“I think [playing the sound effect] was inappropriate and disrespectful, and has the effect of trivialising one of the biggest issues facing cricket at the moment,” White told Fairfax New Zealand. “I’ve contacted the Pakistan team management to apologise, and to assure them there will be no repeat.”

Amir has had a lukewarm response from New Zealand crowds upon his return. There were cheers for him during his first match in five years, at Eden Park, though a much smaller chorus of boos was also heard.

Pakistan’s team management have also confirmed there was a spectator who flashed money and jewellery at Pakistan players during the first ODI. On that occasion, Mohammad Hafeez had brought the fan’s behaviour to the notice of the team’s security personnel, who then sought out the fan and asked him to stop. A team spokesperson said that jibe was not particularly directed at Amir, and that Amir had been largely unaware of it.

The spectator had not been ejected from the ground. White said NZC were content to give spectators a degree of freedom, as long as their behaviour did not constitute abuse.

“A member of the public in the stands having a bit of banter and humour – it’s different,” he told Radio Sport. “We can’t direct people how to behave all the time. There’s a line of drunken disorderly abusive behaviour but stadiums are full of people in groups together, around the world there is banter. I guess there is the line that people need to stay within.”

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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