AUCKLAND // New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have denied local media reports that pace bowler Tim Southee was involved in an incident on a flight to Dubai as the team were en route to the World Cup.
Local media reported that a passenger on the flight had alerted team management about an incident between a player and a female passenger, describing the incident as "the worst kind of lewd behaviour."
However, team manager Dave Currie said after conducting an investigation he had determined the player, who he identified as Southee, had not been involved in anything inappropriate.
"Tim met a female passenger on board the plane and spent some time with her, however we are confident that nothing inappropriate happened between them," Currie said in a statement. "Tim has described a detailed version of events and has provided a written statement in relation to this.
"I also spoke with several individuals and held a team meeting. Everyone is adamant that nothing untoward occurred on the flight and are surprised about the reports."
NZC also confirmed that they now considered the matter closed unless more information came to light.
Justin Vaughan, the chief executive, told a television channel he had spoken to Southee, who was adamant nothing untoward had happened.
"I've spoken to Tim, I've also spoken to the team manager Dave Currie, I've spoken to (captain) Dan Vettori and a number of other players" Vaughan said
"It appears pretty innocent really.
"I think Tim met a female passenger and struck up a conversation They spent a bit of time and had a drink together on the plane.
"At some stage the female passenger came to Tim's seat and perhaps spent a maximum of 30 seconds with Tim, and there may well have been, dare I say it, a kiss on the cheek, but that was it. She went back to her seat, and Tim is adamant that nothing inappropriate, nothing untoward, occurred."
The team had left Dubai and were on their way to India to finalise their preparations ahead of the February 19-April 2 tournament.