Sky Sport / Photosport
Former Black Caps Kyle Mills and Jimmy Neesham have spoken out about the potential dangers of the Tui Catch-A-Million promotion at international cricket matches in New Zealand.
Current Black Caps coach Mike Hesson is also worried. Their concerns come as New Zealand Cricket confirm they will review the promotion in the wake of some worrying incidents at recent games.
The latest came in Wednesday night’s big Twenty20 win by the Black Caps over the West Indies in Mt Maunganui. A young girl in a pink shirt was left in tears when a lunging orange-shirted man about four times her size fell on her chasing the six that bought up Colin Munro’s 50.
Mills felt the aggressive nature of white ball cricket on the small grounds meant there was an accident waiting to happen.
“Somebody is going to get hit and hurt really bad,” Mills told Trackside Radio on Thursday.
“The game of cricket has changed immensely even when I stopped playing four years ago. Eden Parker Outer Oval, for example, is a really small ground, small boundary and when you play a game of T20 cricket, the sixes go flying into the crowd like a bullet.
“With the guys with the catching competition, I can see from their point of view. There are 50K up for grabs but somebody is going to get hurt (at) some stage to what extent?”
Neesham suggested designated areas for the spectators wearing orange shirts for the catching competition could help ease the danger.
“Someone will get badly hurt and it will look like the dumbest thing ever in hindsight,” Neesham tweeted, concerned at “grown men in orange t-shirts cannonballing into families with small children”.
Tonight for your viewing pleasure: Grown men in orange t-shirts cannonballing into families with small children.
— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh)
January 3, 2018
Black Caps coach Mike Hesson joined the chorus on Thursday as his team arrived in Wellington to prepare for their first ODI against Pakistan on Saturday.
“I don’t think anyone likes some of the scenes we saw last night,” Hesson said. “
“Obviously, safety of players and spectators alike is paramount. It’s certainly something they’re going to be looking at.”
NZC and DB Breweries officials met after the match to discuss the safety of the promotion and on Thursday afternoon released a joint statement .
“Tui in conjunction with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) would like to reiterate that crowd safety in the Tui Catch a Million promotion is paramount.
“We are now working through the logistics of these, and as soon as there are more details we will share them with you.”
DB Breweries spokesman Simon Smith did not wish to expand further on the promotion as it was under review.
A NZC spokesperson said a review would be carried out before the game against Pakistan at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.
The promoter is not liable for any damage or injury incurred by any participant, as part of the terms and conditions.