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Police arrest 41, blame boredom

Auckland: Auckland police Friday said boredom was part of the reason for crowd misbehaviour at a one-day cricket match between India and New Zealand that resulted in 41 arrests for disorderly conduct.

Police said bottle throwing and racial taunts exchanged by New Zealand and Indian spectators at the match Thursday at Eden Park contributed to the worst crowd disturbance they had seen at a cricket match in Auckland for many years.

“The other factor was that it was probably a very boring game,” said inspector Derek Davison of the Auckland police. “It’s been years since this level of problem. It was a surprise.”

Davison said a large and colourful presence of Indian supporters among a crowd of 29,381 appeared to “provoke” New Zealand spectators. The alleged racial taunts led to “direct fights” among rival fans, he said.

Two spectators were injured when they toppled through a steel security fence during a scuffle. One suffered head and neck injuries and the other a suspected fractured hip.

Eden Park managers said security would be stepped up for the sixth one-day match in Auckland on January 11. (PTI)

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