June 8, 2001

ECB take action after Edgbaston pitch invasion

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today been having urgent discussions with Warwickshire County Cricket Club, other ground authorities, the ICC Match Referee Brian Hastings, and representatives of the respective team managements, following the crowd incursions at Edgbaston towards the end of the England versus Pakistan NatWest One-Day International (ODI) match.

Tim Lamb, Chief Executive of the ECB, said: "The crowd incursions on to the playing area last night were totally unacceptable and we are doing everything we can to ensure that there is no repetition during any of the other matches in the NatWest Series.

"Our first priority is to protect the safety of the players, umpires and spectators, and we have therefore decided to act swiftly and implement a number of immediate remedial measures.

"We reject the suggestion made by the Australian captain that the ECB does not regard the matter of crowd invasions as a safety issue.

"The authorities at Edgbaston, who are ultimately responsible for safety matters at the ground, took the decision to double the number of police present last night and very considerable thought was given by Warwickshire to all aspects of the preparation for last night's match.

"The ECB is in close contact with other ground authorities at the venues for the remaining NatWest ODI matches."

The measures the ECB will be taking at the remaining ODI matches are:

Stewarding - Ground authorities have already taken steps to increase levels of stewarding at strategic points around the ground.

Player Safety - Additional security and crowd control measures will be provided in the area around the players' dressing rooms and in the pavilion area, where players enter and leave the pitch.

Suspending Play - Should spectators start to mass on the wrong side of the boundary boards and/or encroach on to the playing area whilst the match is still in progress (as happened last night), then the umpires will be given the authority to suspend play immediately until the playing area is cleared of all spectators.

Appointment of an Urdu-speaking public address announcer - At matches involving Pakistan, an Urdu-speaking announcer will be appointed to make appropriate announcements, as necessary, in the Urdu language for the benefit of Pakistan supporters.

Prosecution - Members of the general public who steal the stumps/bails and/or who cause wilful damage to the pitch will risk being prosecuted - at the insistence of the ECB - by the police.