New Zealand all-rounder Scott Kuggeleijn is a relatively new name in the team’s T20 side and played the second T20I on Friday against India in Auckland. However, every time the right-hander walks out to bat or when his name is announced, he has been greeted with boos.
On Friday, multiple posters appeared at the Eden Park ground, the venue of the second T20I, which referred to #MeToo and consent. One of the posters said: “Wake up, NZ Cricket, #MeToo”.
The posters were directed at Kuggeleijn, who was accused of raping a woman in a Hamilton East flat on 17 May, 2015. The case went to trial in 2016 where there was a hung jury, and again in 2017, where the jury declared him not guilty.
During the trial, Kuggeleijn had admitted that the woman had said no at least twice
“I tried [having sex] twice like she might have said ‘no, no’ a few times, but it wasn’t dozens of times,” Kuggeleijn was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz. He also said that he had apologized to the woman the next day.
“I heard you felt you couldn’t say no and were pressured into things. It’s pretty chilling to hear and think of myself in that kind of light, but looking back I was pretty persistent. I’m so so sorry and it has made me think about a few things. I hope you are OK and I’m sorry for the harm mentally I have caused you,” he reportedly said in court.
However, several fans are miffed that the New Zealand Cricket Board (NZC) took the player back into the team.
Banners which read- “No means no” were also held up in Westpac Stadium on Wednesday night. But they were quickly taken down by security officials.
The NZC’s public affairs manager Richard Boock admitted to NZME that the decision to remove the banner – that was taken with the stadium staff – was a mistake.
“We agree the course of action taken was an overreaction and unnecessary, and that the message certainly wasn’t offensive,” Richard Boock was quoted as saying by odt.co.nz.
“NZC has a venue policy that does not allow the targeting of players – but policies are guidelines; they’re not written in stone, and we should have shown better judgement and exercised more discretion,” Brooks said.
We apologise unreservedly and will be discussing this in our debrief with a view to avoiding similar mistakes in the future,” he said.