The world of football has been dealing with racism for a long time. Matches in several European leagues have faced the trouble of fans using racial invective against players. Unfortunately, the problem seems to have arrived in cricket as well.
During the first Test between New Zealand and England at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, England fast bowler Jofra Archer faced racial abuse from a fan in the crowd. This has led to a categorical statement from New Zealand Cricket and an apology.
The incident was brought to public notice by Archer himself through a tweet. "A bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team, the crowd was been amazing this week except for that one guy, @TheBarmyArmy was good as usual also," the pacer wrote on social media.
This prompted immediate action from New Zealand Cricket and they issued a statement expressing their concern over the incident.
"New Zealand Cricket will be contacting, and apologising to English fast bowler Jofra Archer, who was racially abused by a spectator as he left the field at the conclusion of the first Test at Bay Oval, Mt Maunganui," the statement read.
It further stated: "Although security providers at the venue heard, (they were) unable to locate the perpetrator, NZC will be examining CCTV footage and making further inquiries tomorrow in an endeavour to identify the man responsible. NZC has zero-tolerance towards abusive or offensive language at any of its venues and will refer any developments in the case to police.
"It will contact Mr. Archer tomorrow to apologise for the unacceptable experience, and to promise increased vigilance in the matter when the teams next meet in Hamilton."
The England and Wales Cricket Board also issued a statement on the matter. "NZC and ECB ensure that clear guidelines are in place at every venue so that watching a cricket match is safe and enjoyable for everyone."
Archer is a native of Barbados in West Indies and moved to England for plying his trade there. He earned great success in T20 leagues around the world and became a sought-after player. The ECB changed its rules to allow Archer to qualify for representing them at the 2019 World Cup. He repaid the faith and performed brilliantly. It was his super over bowling that won England the cup.
However, the Test match at Mount Maunganui proved to be a somewhat chastening experience for the fast bowler. He conceded 107 runs while picking up one wicket in 42 overs.