Indians fined for entering NZ
with dirty shoes
Two Indian cricketers were on Monday fined by New Zealand's Ministry of Agriculture for arriving in
the country with dirty shoes, the Indian team management confirmed.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and batsman Virender Sehwag
were hit with 200 NZ (100 US) dollar instant fines for their
undeclared dirty footwear as the Indian team flew in to Auckland.
New Zealand, one of the world's leading agricultural
exporters, is particularly sensitive to bio security in the
wake of the foot and mouth and mad cow disease outbreaks.
New Zealand also fears the tropical fruit fly and
currently much of Auckland city is each morning being sprayed
from the air after painted apple moth got into the country
accidentally, threatening the timber industry.
Harbhajan Singh and Sehwag could have contested the
instant fine but run the risk of a 200,000 dollar fine if
found guilty in court.
Indian manager N R Chaudhry said that they were not upset
over the event, saying, "these things happen".
Numerous travellers are caught despite warnings. Airlines
flying into the country are required to show an in-flight
agriculture video and the arrival form carries extensive
Harbhajan Singh and Sehwag are not the first sportsmen
caught: members of the Australian rugby league team copped
instant fines earlier this year for identical offences.
If the two men had declared their shoes they would have
been taken off them, cleaned at New Zealand taxpayer expense,
and returned to them.
Mail Cricket Editor