Martin Crowe, one of cricket's greatest batsmen, has apologised for his inflammatory comments about Maori cricketers.
In an internet column he writes, Crowe claims few Maori make good cricketers because they do not have the patience or the temperament to play for an entire day.
Since his cricketing hey-day in the eighties, Crowe has stuck with cricket and these days is a commentator for Sky television.
He also writes an internet column published by the world's most prominent cricket publisher, Wisden.
In a recent opinion piece, Crowe said: "Not many Maori make good cricketers because they don't have the patience or the temperament to play a through a whole day, leave alone over a test match."
On Saturday, Crowe was at pains to point out his comments came in the context of his praise for star Maori Black Cap, Darryl Tuffey.
He says he was merely lamenting the lack of more Maori players.
"I sincerely apologise to anyone that I've offended in the sentence, but the intention was to be positive about a young Maori bowler who I think has made a significant breakthrough," he says.
New Zealand Cricket's John Reid says there is no lack of talented Maori cricketers.
"Our academy experience is that many Maori players are showing up in junior ranks and heading toward the Black Caps level," Reid says.
Crowe's comments have fallen foul of Maori sports adminstrators like top basketball coach Jeff Green.
"All my kids play cricket and they're Maori. If you look around some of the secondary schools and primary schools and some of the teams that play here in the Waikato, there's a lot of Polynesian kids," Green says.
New Zealand Cricket points out it is planning strategies to attract more Maori and other Polynesians to cricket.