Caribbean Premier League August 8, 2014

US customs busts Simmons' 'drug bat'

Jimmy Neesham, the New Zealand allrounder, has been left looking for a new bat after a brush with overzealous customs officials in the USA

Lendl Simmons*, the West Indies batsman, has been left looking for a new bat after a brush with overzealous customs officials in the USA.

Simmons was travelling through the country between games for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League when his bat attracted the interest of customs officials. In a sure sign that cricket remains a mysterious and largely unknown sport in the USA, the officials feared that the bat could be used to transport illegal drugs so drilled several holes into it to enable closer inspection.

Initially it was thought that it was New Zealand and Amazon Warriors allrounder Jimmy Neesham's bat that was under scrutiny after he tweeted a picture of the ruined bat, saying: "Imagine if your cricket gear went through America and they drilled holes in your bat to look for drugs..."

Neesham later clarified that it was Simmons' bat. "Just to clarify again, the bat belongs to Lendl Simmons. Pretty happy I managed to dodge that bullet!"

The first tweet spawned an amusing raft of puns on Twitter using the hashtag #drugbat. Among the more imaginative suggestions were Richard Hadl-E, Co-Kane Williamson, Whispering Meth and Arul Supplier. Malcolm Speed was not asked to comment.

* August 9, 4.00am GMT: This story was updated to reflect that it was Simmons' bat that was inspected, and not Neesham's.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 11, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    He cracked 97 with his 'new bat'.... and only got run out in the end..... oops!! The best just got better... go the mighty Amazon Warriors!! Bring on the finals series!! We play the winner of the first final - T&T Steel versus the Tallawahs! It has been a great competition so far... all four teams from first to fourth finished on 12 points... close comp.

  • ian on August 9, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    Compensation? Suppose they ripped a pair of shoes apart and found that they were absolutely genuine, would the customs pay for a new pair? What's the difference between shoes and a cricket bat in this instance? I accept that they have their job to do but surely foresnic questioning should show whether the officials have reason to proceed with closer examination. These guys are trained to spot liars, surely?

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    The reason why the bat was inspected it resembles a plain piece of wood. If there was writing or stamping it would have passed. Many of my friends bring bats into US and never was checked. In the future everyone has to be aware what they are travelling with.

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    I wonder if Simmons crossed some sort of "red line":)

  • Sammy on August 9, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    US Customs: Do what you have to do.... I back them 100%!!

  • Raj on August 9, 2014, 6:11 GMT

    The measures Americans resort to shows it is just a paranoid country.

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2014, 0:01 GMT

    Customs got to do their job, but thy could have employed other more scientific means of inspection. Imagine if this happened to an American going through another country - it will be time for world war III.

  • Sean on August 8, 2014, 22:34 GMT

    I guess they cud also drill all baseball bats....and all rugby balls...and all else in problem

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2014, 22:28 GMT

    US Customs just doing their job, Neesham was cleared, the times we live in are so strained that all of these things will occur. I do not think that it has anything to do with knowing what a bat is or not.

  • Android on August 8, 2014, 20:16 GMT

    US customs were looking for a BAT, the flying kind. lol.

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