New Zealand apologises for ‘disrespectful’ Amir taunt

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have issued a warning to a stadium announcer, Mark McLeod, for playing a cash register sound effect as Pakistan left-arm fast-bowler Muhammad Amir came on to bowl in the third T20 at the Westpac Stadium.

NZC CEO David White said he has since apologised to the Pakistan team, and has now publicly reprimanded McLeod.

“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.”

The news comes after Amir was shown a dollar bill by a spectator on his ODI comeback in Wellington.

According to reports, the player most critical of Amir’s return, Muhammad Hafeez, came to save him from the crowd banter and reported the fan’s act to the team’s security personnel. The spectator was issued a stern warning for his behaviour. However, he was not sent out from the ground and 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.”

Amir is playing his first international series with the Pakistan team after being suspended for five-years for spot-fixing in 2010.

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