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Tim Southee's profile goes mile high on Emirates

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Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith

New Zealand cricketer Tim Southee has found himself at the centre of a storm over having a female passenger on his lap during a flight from Sydney to Dubai.

The Black Caps were on route to the Cricket World Cup and relaxing in business class when a female passenger from first class decided that she preferred to sit in Tim’s seat while he was still in it.

A passenger from the flight rung a radio station and claimed that Southee and the girl “had indulged in the worst possible sort of lewd behaviour”. Now statements like that do tend to get the imagination racing a bit. “Worst possible sort”? that is heavy stuff.

Apparently the young lady was asked to leave Business class by an Emirates staff member. The problem for his accuser is that they seem to be the only person on the plane who saw anything happen.

I have it on good authority that there are plenty of young ladies who would be only too happy to commit the worst possible sort of lewd act with Tim Southee. The worst that any other witness has come up with is that the lady was “sitting on Southee’s knee and kissing him on the cheek”.

Perhaps in Dubai that is a flogging offence. We had better stop there because it probably is. Anyway now that your imagination has raced away and you have conjured up this image of a rich model from first class looking for a ‘bit of rough’ in business class and fixing her sights on Tim it is time for reality to make an entrance.

A New Zealander on the flight, Pippa Tabron, has described the woman in question as “overweight and acting like a groupie”. Ms Tabron said she stayed awake for most of the 15-hour leg and saw no evidence of anything resembling carnal relations.

“There was a really pissed young girl in shorts, moving up and down the aisle,” Ms Tabron said. Ms Tabron said she had been drinking with some of the team at the stand-up bar on the Airbus A380 and the cricketers were chatty and well behaved.

Last night the New Zealand cricket team manager, Dave Currie issued a statement through New Zealand Cricket: “I have … carried out a thorough investigation,” he said.

“I’ve spoken to Tim directly as well as team management. Tim has described a detailed version of events and has provided a written statement.

“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,” Currie said.

“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.”

“I have also sat on Tim’s knee and kissed him on the cheek and I can confirm that nothing untoward happened at all that time either”. (yes Newswarped has added that last quote in).

The fact that the team management and media officer have gone into PR overdrive on this and talked at length about ‘thorough investigations’ and getting written statements with team meetings etc. is what has caused the whole fuss in the first place. Then they turn around and say they are “dumbfounded” by all the attention. Duh!!!

Even Emirates has got into the ‘act’ with a spokesperson saying the airline was looking into an alleged incident on flight EK413 from Sydney to Dubai.

Then as spokespeople are inclined to do they can’t help themselves and have to put some PR babble out there. The best Emirates could come up with is “Emirates places the highest importance on the flight experience of its passengers and any behaviour which may impact is taken very seriously,” the spokesman said. Given the alledged activity, quotes like this become quite farcical with double meaning.

We will leave the last word to New Zealand cricket NZ Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan who said to New Zealand TV channel One that Southee had been drinking and took a female passenger back to his seat. Nice one Justin. Good to see you backing your man to the hilt.

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