28 Jan 2018

NZ Cricket ups security after woman suffers abuse at game

10:51 am on 28 January 2018

A cricket fan is wanting a culture change at sporting events after she was subjected to homophobic slurs and inappropriate touching at a cricket match.

A good crowd at the Basin Reserve

A good crowd at the Basin Reserve. Photo: Photosport

Amy Ross was at Wellington's Basin Reserve with her partner during the recent 5th One Day International (ODI) in the New Zealand vs Pakistan series, when a large group of intoxicated men started to cause trouble.

The men aged mostly in their 30's and 40's were throwing a cricket ball at other spectators to see if they would catch it, which proceeded to hit Ms Ross in the ribs.

When she asked the men to be careful, they continuously yelled at her with comments like "stupid dyke" and "look at those f***ing disgusting hairy legs."

One man then touched her inappropriately as he passed her and when she protested, returned to touch her again and called her c***.

Ms Ross said the situation left her in tears and herself and her partner felt unsafe and frustrated.

She said Red Badge Security staff were present while all this happened.

"They had a bunch of people there and there was also a number of police officers present. The security simply could not, or would not cope and they did not intervene in the majority of situations, despite being nearby and simply left me to it," she said.

She said she would have to think long and hard before returning to a cricket match and unfortunately a culture of sexism and racism had been allowed to flourish.

"I do think people tend not to speak up about it because it's how it is, but I don't want that to be how this is.

"I want to be able to go and enjoy sport and it not be full of bigotry," she said.

She said New Zealand Cricket had responded to the situation well.

Its public affairs manager Richard Boock said New Zealand Cricket were dismayed by the complaint and every provision to keep patrons safe needed to be taken.

"We want to make sure we stamp out this type of misbehaviour at venues and at this end we will be introducing text assistance lines at all venues and also beefing up security," he said.

Mr Boock said this recent situation was contrary to the values which New Zealand Cricket promote.

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