England will support Jofra Archer after racist taunts – Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles has backed Jofra Archer’s England team-mates to rally round the paceman after the racist abuse he suffered during the first Test in New Zealand.

Archer took to Twitter shortly after the tourists were routed by an innings in Mount Maunganui to say he found it “a bit disturbing” to hear racial taunts during day five.

Giles has been liaising with an apologetic home board in his role as managing director of the England men’s team and is also checking in with the 24-year-old Archer.

“It was obviously emotional, it hurts,” said Giles.

“We fully support Jof, obviously, there is no place for racism in the game, in any game. Jof is part of our team but, whatever the abuse, we’d be absolutely right behind him. He’s a very important part of our team.

“You know what our team is like, they’ll rally round him pretty well I should imagine. But it’s a serious incident. He’s a young man making his way in the game and we just don’t need this sort of thing.”

The working theory is that a rogue individual is to blame, with New Zealand having otherwise been exemplary hosts throughout the trip, but Giles has left no doubt one racist heckler is one too many to abide.

Ashley Giles has been in contact with the home board.
Ashley Giles has been in contact with the home board (Nick Potts/PA)

“We’re working really closely with New Zealand Cricket and I’ve spoken to their chief executive (David White) this morning. They are obviously incredibly concerned that this happened on their patch. At the moment we believe it’s an isolated incident but we’ll know more once the investigation is finished.

“I’m hopeful they will find out who it is. There’s a lot of CCTV around the grounds, I’m hoping someone else who was there might also identify the person but they’re working very hard to find the culprit.

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

England are heading inland for Thursday’s second Test at Hamilton, where New Zealand Cricket has promised increased security on the ground, with Giles revealing that White has also volunteered to step in personally to reassure the team.

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“I do know David is travelling down to Hamilton as well to meet the team as they come off the bus,” he said.

“It is very kind of him. It isn’t a New Zealand Cricket problem, the relationship between us and them is very strong, but it’s a nice gesture in his part. One person shouldn’t ruin that but it’s a shame that sort of thing is still in our society.”

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