With every world cup there comes the stories of various kind of controversies. In all these years controversies on and off the field of various nature have come into our notice and discussed thoroughly. On this day during the World Cup 2003, New Zealand went into kind of controversies on the same day. 


During World Cup 2003 one of the most notable incidents was the Zimbabwe political crisis. Andy Flower and Henry Olonga wore black armbands and England refused to travel to Zimbabwe sighting the current state of Zimbabwe and forfeited the match. Another similar but less-noticed forfeit was done by New Zealand, who preferred to let the match against Kenya go than traveling to Nairobi.

New Zealand team had a history of a present in a country during a terror attack. There were multiple instances in Sri Lanka and once in Pakistan. Just before the scheduled match against Kenya, there was a blast in Mombasa and New Zealand team management was not comfortable to tour. They requested ICC for a relocation which ICC refused. Long team meetings took place and finally, they decided to stick to their decision of not traveling. Four points were forfeited and this helped Kenya to qualify for super six and in turn to the semi-final where their dream run was cut short by India. 

Image Source – Cricket Australia

But the match forfeit controversy was not enough for the Kiwis. Once the players came to know about this sudden break in their busy schedule, the general mood in the camp was to relax and recharge themselves. A group of players planned to visit the interestingly named ‘Tiger Tiger’ Night club in Durban. The party included Stephen Fleming, Craig McMillan, Andre Adams, Scott Styris, Daniel Vettori, Jacob Oram, Kyle Mills, and the dynamic duo Chris Cairns and Brendon McCullum with others. It was an interesting party but not satisfied with that Cairns and McCullum suddenly decided to perform Haka in the middle of that night club. The bigger problem was that they wanted to perform the Haka shirtless and it was against that Night Club rule.

The club owner had to intervene as he requested the duo to put on their shirt which was futile. He talked to Fleming and finally, the shirts were on but the players were not very happy with it. They were fuming and aggressive and were asked to leave the club by the owner. Even after coming out, some of the players tried to re-enter. This was when a stranger from the crowd punched Cairns and knocked him to the ground. Then the players were guided to their hotel. Later New Zealand cricket fined $250 each from Cairns and McCullum and released a statement strongly condemning the behavior of the players. The team manager Jeff Crowe was instructed to introduce stronger control and keep the team’s focus on the upcoming matches in the World cup.

New Zealand did well to reach the Super Six but were beaten by the two finalists Australia and India and could not progress to the final four.

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