Security at New Zealand Cricket Match Increases after Violent Crowd's Actions

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Security will be reviewed for Australia's remaining limited-overs cricket internationals in New Zealand after ugly crowd scenes marred Saturday's opening match at Wellington.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden said Sunday that incidents in which Australian players were pelted with bottles and other missiles were "unacceptable" and security may be increased at future matches.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting halted play on Saturday to complain to umpires about crowd behavior towards players fielding on the boundary. Snedden said Sunday the visiting team's concerns would be addressed.

New Zealand Cricket will hold a scheduled meeting with police and security guards before the second match at Christchurch on Tuesday at which security would be reviewed, he said.

"We will be discussing how we can avoid a recurrence," Snedden said. "It wasn't the number of security guards, it was the fact they needed to be more proactive."

Ponting has called for security to be increased at the remaining matches of the five-match series to avoid a recurrence of Saturday's problems.

"If you see someone throw something at a player then that security guard has to go up to the stand and get them out," he said. "Someone's going to get hurt. A full plastic bottle hitting someone in the eye or the back of the head . . . we don't want that."

Ponting's comments were echoed by opening batsman Matthew Hayden who said he was spat at as fielded on the cover boundary.

"I didn't like the way the crowd performed," Hayden said. "They were disappointing, I got spat on. That's not the right behavior. You've got the best two teams in the world playing against each other and it's ridiculous to think that you're going to be physically abused."

Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath, who also fielded on the boundary, said he had not experienced problems with the crowd but had clashed with a security guard.

"I personally didn't have any problems with anyone in the crowd," McGrath said. "I had an altercation with a security guard on the fence but I was a bit fired up at the time so I have to take 50 percent of the blame on myself."

New Zealand coach John Bracewell said he did not believe the crowd behavior was worse than his players had experienced in Australia at the end of last year.

He accused Ponting of using crowd problems as an excuse to slow down play as New Zealand was gaining the upper hand in a close match. Australia scored 236-7 and dismissed New Zealand for 226 to win the match by 10 runs.

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