Jofra Archer abuser ‘may have been identified’

Authorities in New Zealand believe they may have identified the individual who is thought to have shouted racial abuse at Jofra Archer.

Archer, the England fast bowler, heard the abuse after he was dismissed in England’s second innings at the Bay Oval. He reported the comments to stewards and team security at the time.

While authorities continue to scan CCTV footage and have appealed for other spectators to come forward with more information, it is understood by ESPN that someone believed to be the culprit later contacted Archer by direct message on Instagram. As a result, authorities are confident of being able to identify him.

Meanwhile, Ashley Giles, England’s director of cricket, said that the team would rally round after after what he described as a “serious incident” that had left their New Zealand hosts very concerned about spectator behaviour.

“It’s really unfortunate,” said Giles. “It’s a shame that sort of thing is still in our society. There was something said from the crowd, from the scoreboard area, which was offensive. Jofra reported this to the steward immediately as he came off. He also reported it to our security as he got back into the changing-rooms. The sense was that it was a racist abuse.

“We’re working closely with New Zealand Cricket. They are incredibly concerned that this has happened on their patch. We believe it’s an isolated incident but we’ll know more once the investigation is finished.

“The tweet that went out [from Archer] was obviously emotional. It hurts. We fully support Jof – there is no place for racism in the game and Jof is part of our team. Whatever the abuse, we’re right behind him.

“Our team will rally round him but it’s a serious incident. He’s a young man making his way in the game and we don’t need this sort of thing. I’m hopeful they [NZC] will find out who did it. They’re working very hard to find the culprit.

“It’s a problem in sport still, clearly, and it’s terrible that in this day and age this sort of thing is still happening and when it does happen that person isn’t identified much quicker by the people around him.

“It’s a good series and played in the right fashion and one person should not ruin that but it’s a shame that sort of thing is still in society.”

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