New Zealand Cricket Board criticized for brushing aside shameful deeds of Scott Kuggeleijn

Scott Kuggeleijn was accused in two rape trials and was given a clean chit.

Scott Kuggeleijn with his father and former Kiwi cricketer Chris KuggeleijnAll-rounder Scott Kuggeleijn currently is making waves for his tremendous cricket abilities and for his performances for the New Zealand team against Sri Lanka and India. Scott is the son of former New Zealand cricketer Chris Kuggeleijn and currently in midst of a huge row involving his past deeds.

The New Zealand Cricket Board (NZC) has been under fire on how they have conducted themselves ever since the return of Kuggeleijn into the national fold. Scott Kuggeleijn has previously faced charges of raping a woman in a Hamilton East flat in 2015 and faced two trials in 2016 and 2017. The first jury couldn't decide whether he did it; the second found him not guilty.

Kuggeleijn had admitted that the woman had said no at least two times during his repeated attempts to pursue her to have coitus with him. He also said that he had apologized to the lady the next day. Kuggeleijn said, "I tried [having sex] twice like she might have said 'no, no' a few times but it wasn't dozens of times."

He further said in court, "I heard you felt you couldn't say no and were pressured into things. It's pretty chilling to hear and think of myself in that kind of light, but looking back I was pretty persistent. I'm so so sorry and it has made me think about a few things. I hope you are OK and I'm sorry for the harm mentally I have caused you."

In a recent incident, New Zealand cricket had removed a poster from a fan during the first T20I between India and New Zealand in Wellington, which had related to sexual consent and took an indirect dig at Kuggeleijn.

Here the attitude of various cricket bodies towards Kuggeleijn comes into question as per an article in stuff.co.nz written by Michelle Duff.

She alleges that the New Zealand Cricket Board and the Northern Districts Cricket Association apparently decided to shrug their shoulders at the issue and supported Kuggeleijn. There were no statements from New Zealand Cricket or Players’ Association.

While the Northern Districts Cricket Association chief Peter Roach said, "Northern Districts is an organization which embraces inclusivity and promotes respect towards women. As such, the charges against Scott were a grave concern."

The writer says that the New Zealand cricket lost an opportunity to teach its players and remind them and the country at large, about the importance of respect for women, about how utterly unacceptable it should be for anyone representing the nation to behave in any less than an exemplary manner.

The writer of the piece also gave the example of how Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were suspended for their sexist and derogatory comments on women on a chat show. Another example given was of Irish rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart, who were fired by Irish Rugby Football Union, despite being found not guilty of rape in court.

She further writes, “We have heard a lot about what Kuggeleijn has done on the field to merit selection. We have heard nothing about what he has done off the field to improve his character.

Duff calls the whole saga a national embarrassment writing, “Minimising it, pretending that it never happened, expecting us to clap like happy seals when he hits another ball, just contributes towards a culture in which sexual violence is completely acceptable – just as long as you're not convicted, right?

(inputs from stuff.co.nz and Michele Duff)


By Jatin Sharma - 08 Feb, 2019

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