Rape trial rules out New Zealand cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn from national team selection
New Zealand cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn has asked the national cricket board to excuse him from any potential New Zealand playing obligations. Kuggeleijn is a medium-fast bowler and an assertive lower middle order batsman who plays for the Northern Districts in the New Zealand domestic circuit.
The 24-year-old has been accused of raping a 21-year-old woman in May last year. In August, a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the trial and the case was dismissed. However, a retrial was ordered by the jury and is due to be held early next year in Hamilton.
Radionz quoted New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White as saying, "Under normal circumstances, Kuggeleijn would have been selected in the New Zealand A side to play Pakistan later this month, but he has asked to be temporarily excused from any national representation."
David White said that it was disappointing for both, the board and the player, to be going through such a trying situation. White went on to say that Kuggeleijn was an exciting prospect and termed him as someone to watch out for in the coming years.
Kuggeleijn is averaging 77 with the bat in the Plunket Shield at the end of two rounds. The young cricketer has had a decent outing so far with a 112 against Wellington. He has proved to be even better as a bowler, picking up 12 wickets at an average of 24.08, including nine for 190 against Canterbury in the opening round. He is also the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament so far.
The New Zealand Herald reported to have accessed a copy of the statement issued by New Zealand Cricket regarding this issue. The statement read, "He (Kuggeleijn) believes any potential selection in a New Zealand team at any level prior to this event would likely be a significant distraction for him and the game itself – which is not a situation he desires."
"New Zealand Cricket agrees with his assessment and concerns and has granted the request. He is, therefore, unavailable for selection," the statement added.
The 24-year-old cricketer made his debut for the Northern Districts in the 2011/12 season and has played 44 First-Class games since then. With a batting average of 31.88 and a total of 147 wickets to his name, Kuggeleijn was considered the next big thing in New Zealand cricket before this controversy erupted.