India v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy, semi-final, Cardiff June 20, 2013

Security breaches disrupt semi-final

ESPNcricinfo staff

The second semi-final in Cardiff was played out among security concerns after pitch invasions and fracas outside the ground.

Protesters invaded the pitch during both innings of India's eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka. The first saw two men attempt to get onto the field; one was stopped by the security cordon but the other broke free and ran to the middle brandishing a placard.

In the second innings, six more protesters invaded the field, with several running into the Sri Lankan players and one even laying hands on Kusal Perera, who backpedalled and escaped his grasp.

The protests continued after the match had finished, and a fight broke out outside the ground between protesters and supporters - replicating scenes outside The Oval on Monday after Sri Lanka's victory over Australia.

South Wales Police broke up the incidents but Sri Lanka's departure from the ground was delayed until their exit could be secured.

The Sri Lankan High Commission in the UK had raised fears about such incidents and had written to Scotland Yard requesting special security measures be put in place for the Sri Lankan team.

The events raise questions over the security of the Champions Trophy, which is provided by G4S, the same firm who were heavily criticised over their handling of security for the London Olympics. The firm's chief executive, Nick Buckles, resigned in May.

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  • Harmon on June 23, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Cricinfo: Plz Publish.

    @clarke501: I wasn't aware of the two accidents you mentioned and have just read about them. I won't say I read them in depth but a look at the causes of those two tells me that fencing was not a cause. These two happened due to inadequate turnstiles & reckless behviour (that caused fire) respectively. In the 1st incident, fencing did prevent people from escaping to open spaces and no fencing in the 2nd incident reduced casualties but this is no argument in my opinion. Even if there is no fencing in a stadium, a similar incident will still pose major problem for the back row spectators, what about them? The solution is to have fencing but with a few doors in it so that people can escape in the case of these incidents. These doors can be guarded with more focus and this will prevent invasions too. Having no fence means anyone can jump in from anywhere as you can't have 500 guards all over the field perimeter.

  • Cricinfouser on June 22, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    @Harmony111 - It's self evident that not enough was done on this particular occasion. The statement that nothing has been done to address this problem is however incorrect. It was not the case in the past that pitch invaders could be automatically fined, hence the ECB's discussions with the Home Office. Ultimately, with determination and strength in numbers, people are always going to be able to get onto the field unless high fencing is erected around the boundary. This is never going to happen in England (Google 'Hillsborough disaster' and 'Bradford Fire' for the reasons). It is easy to make sweeping statements on this issue from afar. The reality is more complex.

  • Sam on June 22, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Desmond Tutu's 2008 Spirit of Cricket Lecture contd. "All kinds of things go horribly badly wrong when we break this fundamental law of our being, when we can spend obscene amounts on what we call defence budgets, which are really budgets of death and destruction, when we know that but a small fraction of those budgets would ensure that children everywhere had enough water to drink, had enough food to eat, could afford a decent home, could have affordable health care... And so cricket reminds us that WE ARE MADE FOR TOGETHERNESS. We are made as those who are going to have to turn this world and make it something that is more compassionate, more caring, more loving, more gentle, and you here are part of God's team plan, collaborators to help God bring about a realisation of God's dream. Could we have any higher aspiration, NOT ONLY FOR CRICKET BUT FOR THE WHOLE OF LIFE AS WE HUMANS EXPERIENCE IT IN COMMUNITY, that we live our lives in the Spirit of Cricket?" Pls. publish.

  • Sam on June 22, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    Let me quote from one of the most inspirational human beings, the great South African Nobel Peace prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from his 2008 Spirit of Cricket lecture: "There have been those who have loved the dichotomies that try to divide life into watertight compartments - religion, politics, sport - imagining fondly that they were watertight and impervious to one another. But we know differently: politics impinges on sport as much as on any other aspect of life... We know that politics and sport have an important relationship. We indicated that the sports boycott played a crucial part in our liberation, and now sport is playing a pivotal part in helping to build South Africa up to be the rainbow nation." (Please read the whole lecture by googling it. Regardless of what you think about this, his words are food for our thought.) (Contd.) Cricinfo, please publish since this is relevant and impartial.

  • Harmon on June 22, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    @clarke501: And boy what an exception it turned out to be...there were multiple invasions in this match and many persons managed to get on the pitch. I don't think it happened due to non-enforcement of the law. The law would have come in later when these guys would have been produced to some magistrate or fined. The root cause was poor vigilance and poor risk perception.

    @YorkshirePudding: For me it does not matter that it happened in England. Had it happened in India I would still have said the same things. But barring one incident where a fan came in to congratulate Sachin for a FC 100, I can't recall anything else. Yes Indian crowds have sometimes thrown projectiles on to the ground but actual invasion by persons has hardly ever happened. When it comes to Eng, such things do happen a lot. IIRC these things happened in the 2007 Ind-Eng ODI series too & more than once.

    Only song I know of Cliff Richard is the saviours day. He is not that bad in it.

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    The events raise questions over the security of the Champions Trophy, which is provided by G4S and UK police...

  • Narendran on June 21, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    If you had followed IPL, This was the same protest why SL players were not allowed to play in chennai. #jussinfo

  • Anand on June 21, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Imagine crowds running into the ground in Ind/Pak/SL/Bang. Can we ask for presidential level security for players now in England?

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    I was at the Sri Lanka vs England game. One English fan was collecting cups to form a long beer snake. The result - two warnings and then kicked out of the stadium. Then we had yesterdays match with pitch invasions galore.. G4S (security firm doing security duties for event) that was absolute poor security and double standards. Are you really the best security firm in the world??

  • J on June 21, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    What the protest was about is irrelevant. Rather if the reports mentioned what the protest was about, that would give them the publicity that they are seeking and encourage more such pitch invasions at other cricket grounds. It is therefore wise not to report what they were protesting about to discourage such efforts.

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