Kiwi Stokes defends NZ after Archer abuse

Daniel Gilhooly
Jofra Archer has moved on after being racially abused during the first Test in New Zealand

England allrounder Ben Stokes has leapt to the defence of his native New Zealand, noting how the "horrific" racial abuse aimed at teammate Jofra Archer has been slammed by the country.

Kiwi-born Stokes said the tourists had rallied around Archer since the incident, after the pace bowler revealed he had been the subject of racial invective from a lone spectator on Monday, the final day of the first Test against the Black Caps in Mount Maunganui.

Stokes told reporters on Wednesday he was also impressed by how the Kiwi public in general had voiced overwhelming disapproval at the actions of "some idiot in the crowd".

"It's a shame because that doesn't represent what New Zealand is about as a country I think, whatsoever," Stokes said ahead of the second Test starting in Hamilton on Friday.

"What New Zealand represents is how much support Jofra's had, not just from the New Zealand cricket team but from New Zealand in general after that incident."

Stokes said racial abuse was abhorrent in any setting and hoped having it called out would make a difference.

He hailed the actions this year of Manchester City and England soccer international Raheem Sterling who took a public stand against racism.

"Raheem Sterling's done a great job in football in terms of making people aware of it. It just shouldn't be happening in a sporting environment whatsoever ... to receive abuse like that is a horrific thing to be a part of.

"Knowing the support that we showed him (Archer) I think helps him get over it as well as he possibly could.

"That's what we do great as a team - we rally around each other because when you're away on tour in particular, that's who your family are I guess."

The England and New Zealand cricket boards are investigating the incident and Archer received an apology from New Zealand Cricket chief David White, while Black Caps captain Kane Williamson said he will apologise to the bowler in person.

Stokes, the son of a former Kiwis rugby league international Gerard, said he remained as proud as ever of his homeland.

He revealed he has Maori heritage on his mother Deb's side, reflected in a tattoo on his arm.

Stokes said he had been given some grief by Kiwis since playing a lead role in England's dramatic win over New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final at Lord's in July but it was all good-natured.