Cricket fans were evicted from Eden Park for throwing paper
darts, trying to start Mexican waves and even cheering too
enthusiastically in a "bonehead" security crackdown that
raised the ire of a top Black Cap.
Police said 87 people were thrown out of the ground during
the New Zealand-England one-day international on Saturday -
but none were arrested or charged.
Injured Black Caps bowler Mitchell McClenaghan took to
Twitter to vent his frustrations with the security.
"People getting kicked out for starting Mexican waves tonight
... I'm sorry but that is ridiculous!" he wrote. Followed by:
"How are we to get support if it's not enjoyable to come and
spend a day out :("
One fan - dressed as a rabbit - was ejected for trying to
start a Mexican wave, while several were thrown out for
making darts out of paper "4/6" signs that were handed to
spectators as they entered the ground.
Herald cricket columnist and long-time fan Jeremy Wells
described the oppressive nature of the security operation as
"Security is there to enforce the ground rules for people's
safety, but I didn't see anybody's safety jeopardised at
all," he said. "All I saw was boneheads kicking people out
for doing nothing."
Eden Park chief executive David Kennedy defended the security
operation - a combination of a private firm and police -
saying the vast majority of the crowd appeared to be happy
"We try to strike a balance that is appropriate for the
game," Mr Kennedy said. "If people are evicted it is because
they are doing something that is likely to be causing a
nuisance to people around them. It is [about] actually trying
to ensure that the vast number of people who are there to
behave normally and have a good time can do that.
"There were a whole bunch of people at the park - close to
18,000 of them - who weren't causing any disturbance, were
having a good time, weren't asked to leave, and probably
appreciated us moving someone from near them who was creating
With patrons spending up to 10 hours at the ground, excessive
alcohol consumption could become an issue, Mr Kennedy said.
"There is the potential for people to be a bit silly. We tend
to frown upon people being silly and warn them and ask them
to leave if they persist."
However, Wells said he noticed only three or four people who
had clearly had a few drinks, and even they weren't
"People were getting evicted for cheering. Another guy had a
security guard come up to him because he was having a bit of
a snooze. He wasn't drunk, he was just actually sleeping. And
the security guard tried to evict him. So what? You are not
allowed to sleep at the ground now?
"It has just got completely insane. I don't know if I want to
go back to Eden Park after that, to be honest. I just think,
'What's the point'? The atmosphere is completely gone. It's
like they are trying to kill cricket."
Wells was also concerned about the way visiting England fans
would view New Zealand. "People have paid a lot of money to
come over from England and support the English team and they
are getting evicted for cheering? It's insane."
New Zealand Cricket declined to answer questions on the
matter, but in a statement said it "fully supports the way
Eden Park managed the crowd at [Saturday's] match".
- Steve Deane of the NZ Herald