The Hawke's Bay Cricket Association has appointed John Greenwood as the independent commissioner to investigate a complaint which involves its chief executive's son.
Greenwood is a property lawyer from Wellington who has presided over many cricket code of conduct hearings as a regional commissioner for New Zealand Cricket.
The HBCA has received a complaint from Western Districts Auckland Blue XI, which included players of Indian, Sri Lankan and Pakistani heritage.
The Auckland Blue XI was involved in a Twenty20 game against a Napier Tech Year 11 to 13 side last Thursday that was called off after an umpire deemed a comment made by a Napier Tech player was racially offensive.
New Zealand Cricket is providing guidance to the HBCA around the complaint investigation process.
NZC chief executive David White said he was very concerned about what they had heard.
"A process for investigating what we consider a very serious complaint has started and we'll be closely monitoring its progress and eventual findings."
The player alleged to have made the racial comment was the son of Hawke's Bay Cricket CEO Craig Findlay.
Hawke's Bay Today has approached Craig Findlay and HBC board chairman James Rainger for comment regarding the complaint, and the involvement of Findlay's son.
Findlay, who plays premier cricket for Napier Tech, had initially stated the match was called off after a misunderstanding that was blown out of proportion.
However, when asked for comment regarding his son's involvement, he stated that HBC was aware of the alleged incident and dealing with it accordingly.
Hawke's Bay Today understands more than one player made comments during the match.
Rainger has not commented on the player or players involved, but said the board was appalled at the nature of the complaint.
As well as the comment that is linked to Findlay's son, the complaint also alleges that a player/players made homophobic and sexist comments during the game.
The umpire, who is Sri Lankan, had called the match off with one ball to be bowled in the first innings.
The Western Districts Cricket Association subsequently made a complaint, after working with the Auckland Cricket Association after the incident.
The sport's parent body NZ Cricket has been advised of the complaint.
Western Districts School Children's Cricket Association president Lynn Fuller said she could not comment any further, until the investigation process was completed.
Napier Tech Old Boys Cricket Club president Dave Caldwell said the club was aware of the complaint, and would not be commenting until the findings were released.
The HBCA board held an emergency meeting on Monday night.
Rainger said: "We are appalled about the nature of the complaint we have received. We are engaging the services of an Independent Commissioner who will be tasked with resolving the issue in a timely manner."
Hawke's Bay Today understands the alleged racial comment was made in a conversation between Findlay's son and another Napier Tech player, and was not made directly toward an Auckland player.
Lucky Singh, captain of the Hawke's Bay Sher-e-Punjab Cricket Club, said it did not matter who a racial comment was made to, the issue was that it was made at all.
"They are young boys. If they are not learning the manners now, when are they going to learn it?" he said.
Singh said his side had not been targeted with racial abuse.
"Hawke's Bay is pretty good I would say, because we've never had that kind of incident, we are pretty lucky," he said.
Singh said the Black Caps international side were great role models for conduct.
"New Zealand are known as one of the calm teams in the world, very friendly, we set the example for the other countries."
The Human Rights Commission said the Black Caps had indeed set an example.
"While we cannot comment on this specific matter, we do wish to point to the important work of New Zealand Cricket, especially the Black Caps in this space. They have been great ambassadors of our #GiveNothingtoRacism campaign.
"Our role at the commission is to encourage behaviour that preserves dignity and respect for all ethnicities. These are the same values that New Zealand Cricket espouses and was quite evident during the [recent] Twenty20 internationals."