South Africa in England 2012

Police investigate crowd abuse at ODI

George Dobell

August 30, 2012

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The incident in question occurred at Hampshire's ground during the first one-day international © Getty Images
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The police are investigating a complaint of Islamophobic abuse during the ODI between England and South Africa.

It is understood that teenage Muslim spectators were verbally abused by a spectator following an argument over who should be occupying a certain seat. A complaint was made at the time to stewards and later to the police. It is understood that the stewards at the time merely asked the spectators involved to return to their seats.

A statement from Hampshire said: "The Ageas Bowl can confirm it is working in conjunction with Hampshire Police regarding an allegation, made to the police, of racial abuse at the ground following the NatWest Series one-day international on Tuesday 28 August 2012.

"As this police investigation is ongoing, the venue cannot comment on specifics but wishes to re-iterate that it takes allegations of this nature very seriously indeed. The Ageas Bowl fully endorses the ECB's 'One Game' policy and the venue's ground regulations - which are issued along with all tickets, are visible at the point of purchase at the ground and are also available on the venue's website - make it very clear that any racial, homophobic or discriminatory abuse, chanting or harassment is strictly forbidden and will result in ejection from the ground and/or arrest.

"Anybody who was a witness to the incident or who is able to assist the police with their enquiries is being urged to contact Hampshire Constabulary by dialling 101 and leaving their details for PC 3291 Jason Steel at Hedge End Police Station quoting reference 44120337713 or emailing him directly on jason.steel@hampshire.pnn.police.uk"

Both South Africa and England have fielded Muslim players over recent years. Indeed, the Man of the Match in Southampton was Hashim Amla, one of the Muslim players in the South Africa team, who made a polished 150.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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