New Zealand cricket has dished out penalties to four players for their part in an on-field brawl during a senior match of Horowhenua-Kāpiti club cricket last month that saw one player go home with a broken nose.
Understood to be the first incident of its kind in New Zealand cricket history, NZ cricket independent commissioner John Greenwood handed down penalties ranging from suspensions to reprimands.
The code of conduct hearing related to a limited overs match between Paraparaumu and Weraroa at Kena Kena Park on February 17 that ended early after an brawl. Police were called.
Weraroa had fielded an extremely young side for the match with a majority under the age of 17-years-old.
Commissioner Greenwood heard how punches were thrown and a player-umpire was assaulted, kicked and suffered a broken nose and concussion.
In his decision he said the incident did no credit to either the clubs or the players involved. It sullied the integrity of the game and breached the spirit of cricket.
Weraroa player Caleb O'Connell was suspended for an entire playing season, while teammate Jack Culleton was until January 1, 2020.
Paraparaumu player Dale McNamara was suspended for the first four weeks of next season, while his teammate Jacob Ross was censured and warned that suspension would follow should he be involved in any further incident.
Mr Greenwood said in his decision that other players and officials from the Weraroa club were fortunate not to be cited.
HKCA CEO Dave O'Brien said it was an unfortunate as the incident had put a blight on the hard work that many within the association had done to grow the game in recent years.
"I am saddened that this incident has occurred within our cricketing community. We share a 'good people become great cricketers' philosophy within our association and incidents like this do jeopardise our message," he said.
"We will be working closely with all our clubs and Umpires Association to help identify areas that need support to ensure events like this don't occur again."
"I am thankful to the commissioner, John Greenwood. I and our HK team remain focused on making our region a fantastic place to play cricket."
HKCA would not make any further comment until the appeals process has been completed, he said.
All four players had the right of appeal.