New Zealand Cricket has apologised after a stadium announcer played the sound of a cash register opening when Mohammad Amir came on to bowl.
Amir, 23, received a five-year ban from the game following a spot fixing scam in 2010 in which he was found guilty.
Announcer for the game Mark McLeod played the sound of money during one of Amir’s spells during the third T20 against New Zealand at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium, said to be contracted by New Zealand Cricket (NZC). NZC CEO David White said he has since apologised to the Pakistan team. He has also publicly reprimanded McLeod, according to ESPN Cricinfo.
David White, while speaking to New Zealand’s Fairfax media, is quoted by BBC:
“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. I’ve contacted the Pakistan team management to apologise, and to assure them there will be no repeat.”
Amir was playing his first international match after five years on the sidelines since 2010. The spot fixing scam that rocked cricket five years ago involved Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, where Amir was guilty of delivering pre-arranged no balls at Lord’s.
Reaction to Amir’s first international since has been mixed, with some sections of the crowd cheering him on and a smaller section of the Wellington crowd booing his return.
According to Cricinfo, there was a fan who flashed money and jewellery at Pakistan players during the first One Day International (ODI) and upon Mohammad Hafeez’s complaint, action has been taken to stop him from abusing the players.
NZC’s White said that the fan was not thrown out of the grounds because spectators have the freedom to do what they want as long as their behaviour didn’t contain any abusive arguments.
“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,” White told Radio Sport.