St John's: New Zealand on Monday faced accusations that their players racially abused catering staff before last week's World Cup Super Eights match with hosts West Indies.
According to a report in Monday's Antigua Sun, unnamed players were alleged to have said "good morning niggers" to employees of the Goddard Catering Group shortly before the start of last Thursday's match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
The Sun's report also said the International Cricket Council (ICC) had begun an investigation after a complaint
from a staff member.
However, New Zealand general manager Lindsay Crocker said the Sun's report had been "grossly embellished" although he added he'd investigated the issue with Cricket World Cup operations director Michael Hall.
Crocker explained that catering staff had been interviewed after suggestions they heard the word "nigger" used during a private conversation between three or four squad members.
He added that staff were unable to identify those they thought might be involved and Crocker stressed that no derogatory comments were directed at the caterers.
"We became aware of a rumour circulating among the catering staff that there was a racially based comment made in the players' lounge as everyone was assembling," Crocker said.
"We talked to the catering staff and we quickly found there were three or four people in the room at the time," Crocker also told reporters here on Monday.
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