Studio bust-up? We were just having a laugh
14 March 2006Â
By ANNA CHALMERS
A row captured on camera between Black Caps skipper Stephen Fleming and former teammate Mark Richardson is all a joke, Fleming says.
Footage of a testy Fleming rebuking the Sky TV commentator was posted on an Internet site, sparking claims of an on-camera spat.
Fleming said yesterday he had jumped at the chance to slag his former teammate for a spoof.
"It must have been pretty convincing because there were people . . . who were open-mouthed about it."
Soon after reports of Fleming's "attack", Sky issued a statement saying it was part of a mock interview for its magazine show Cricket Company.
"We regret any embarrassment to Stephen or Mark as a result of the item's broadcast," Sky cricket executive producer Martin Crowe said.
The footage shows Fleming attacking Richardson after he finishes questioning him on the team's performance before Sunday's game against the West Indies at Eden Park.
AdvertisementAdvertisement"Two things," Fleming is reported to have told Richardson. "You've forgotten who your mates are.
"And the other thing is you're just an idiot . . . you were one of the most boring players to watch and from what I've seen so far in your commentary, it is crap."
But yesterday on websites numerous cricket fans rejected Sky's claim. One poster on CricketWeb â€“ which was still carrying the original story last night â€“ said Sky was covering up. Another said if Sky's claims were true Fleming's performance was "an Oscar for sure".
Cricket New Zealand's approval of Fleming's involvement in such a stunt was also rejected by fans. "For them to be so stupid to even think of doing something like this especially in the middle of the test is . . . ridiculous," ran one comment.
Cricket NZ spokesman Steve Addison said the footage had been screened out of context. "We're quite happy with the spirit in which the story was (originally) done."
Meanwhile Sky spokesman Tony O'Brien said the broadcaster was investigating the footage leak.
i saw this on the news yesterday, i hope it was a joke, but i will have to watch cricket company on thursday night just to make sure.
I think rigger is an alright comentator, cairns and rigger dont really get on to well in the comentary box, rigger saying they should be more aggresive and cairns saying the oppisite, where they both played oppisite to what they are saying.
i really do hope this was a joke, as i dont like seeing fleming talking like that!