June 18, 2001

Security increased at Trent Bridge prior to NatWest Series match


Security is to be increased at Trent Bridge in preparation for tomorrow's One-Day International between Australia and Pakistan.

Temporary plastic fencing and a doubling of the stewards are just two of the methods being used to avoid a repetition of the scenes at Headingley yesterday where a steward was seriously injured in a pitch invasion.

Notts chief executive David Collier, speaking on BBC Five Live, revealed that the authorities at Trent Bridge have learnt from the example of Rugby and are preparing a package of measures to prevent further trouble.

"During the winter months we did commission a report by independent consultants looking at the safety risks, in conjunction with the ECB, and in particular how we stopped incursions onto the field,"

"For the match at Trent Bridge, not only have we doubled the number of stewards, but we've also been in contact with the RFU (Rugby Football Union) at Twickenham, who have been most helpful.

"Twickenham has utilised some plastic barrier fencing in recent years, which has proved to be very successful. That will be utilised at Trent Bridge tomorrow night."

On both occasions that games in the NatWest Series have been affected by crowd invasions the majority - but not all - of the offenders have been Pakistan fans. In order to appeal directly to them, the authorities at Trent Bridge have ensured the presence of Urdu and Punjabi speakers at the game tomorrow.

"We've got Urdu and Punjabi speakers on our public address, we've got posters that we've printed up asking people to assist us," Collier revealed. "The Pakistani community are very enthusiastic about their cricket and we do wish to appeal to them to work with us to maintain safety."

Collier also admitted that the club had been in contact with government officials to see if a series of deterrents could be put in place before the game.

"We have previously been in contact with the Home Office, through the ECB, to see if we can prevent people coming onto the field of play with some deterrent penalties, such as fines," he said. "We will be re-contacting the Home Office to see if that can be utilised in both the short and long term."

Meanwhile Yorkshire chief executive Chris Hassell has insisted that the club did everything they could to prevent trouble at Headingley. He hinted that government help in the form of deterrents would need to be instigated if a repetition is to be avoided.

"I don't honestly think any other measures we could have taken would have made any significant difference because if a couple of thousand people want to get onto the pitch it would take a huge army to stop them," Hassell said.

"So we have to go down some different routes such as legislation and banning people coming onto the pitch at any time."