Two New Zealand radio DJs have been temporarily suspended for broadcasting a telephone conversation with the mother of England allrounder Ben Stokes without her permission.
Deborah Stokes called in to defend Ben from criticism after Radio Hauraki presenters Jeremy Wells and Matt Heath had been discussing his World T20 performance on air. Stokes bowled the final over for England against West Indies, only for Carlos Brathwaite to hit four successive sixes to steal an extraordinary victory.
Ben Stokes was born in New Zealand, moving to England aged 12, and his parents currently live there. Deborah Stokes called in asking to speak to someone off air but was unwittingly broadcast defending her son from what she called a "personal attack".
"I don't know whether they realise he was born and bred in New Zealand and quite frankly has family all over the country," she said. "And for those who listen to your station, for them to sit and listen to their cousin, their grandson being bagged like that is absolutely unconscionable and I'm his mother and I'm totally brassed off.
"It's not about the cricket it's about the personal attack on him. They called him arrogant and then they called him some kind of name. They don't know him. They wouldn't have a blooming clue.''
A spokesperson for New Zealand Media and Entertainment said that Wells and Heath had crossed the line, adding: "They have been suitably reprimanded, and are off-air tomorrow.''