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

Security breaches disrupt semi-final

ESPNcricinfo staff
34

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmony111 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.

  • shillingsworth 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.

  • ARad 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.

  • ARad 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.

  • Harmony111 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.

  • 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...

  • Cricket_Allrounder 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

  • ThyrSaadam 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?

  • 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??

  • Collegefastbowler 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.

  • Harmony111 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.

  • shillingsworth 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.

  • ARad 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.

  • ARad 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.

  • Harmony111 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.

  • 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...

  • Cricket_Allrounder 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

  • ThyrSaadam 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?

  • 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??

  • Collegefastbowler 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.

  • kahvas on June 21, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    Had this happened in Asia, ICC and ECB would have been all over them.

  • goul on June 21, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    Taking a neutral stand

    Why protesters have to invade... They want to get attention of the world on some thing.

    What I would say is they failed,they also won. Even this article did not tell about who the protestors were and what they were protesting. They failed. But, they made an article to come out which we are searching in internet.. They won

  • Sinhaya on June 21, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    Please provide air tight security when Sri Lanka visit England in May next year. This type of lapses are totally unacceptable.

  • on June 21, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    I was at Cardiff during the game between India and South Africa and coming from Australia, where the security at grounds is almost secret service like, I was surprised at how lax the security at Cardiff was where you could jump the fence and within 5 seconds be in contact with a player.

    Luckily there was no such incident on that day, and the fans had a whale of a time even exchanging pleasantries and chat with the cricketers. It was a great feeling to be able to chat to Suresh Raina on that day who shared his thoughts on the game with the spectators in a casual manner which I thought was great for the sport. So much so, at the end of it, when a bloke casually asked him for his sunnies, he jumped the fence and handed it over with a big smile.

    Wish people would keep politics out of sport so we can bear witness to such goodness again in sport.

  • shillingsworth on June 21, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    @Harmony111 - You are right that pitch invasions bedeviled English cricket in the 1980s. It is however inaccurate to state that the authorities have done nothing to address the problem. In fact, a lot has changed and yesterday's incident was the exception rather than the rule. The crux of the problem was the enforcement of the relevant law, with the Home Office eventually acting on representations from the ECB. Short of fencing the entire ground, which is never going to happen, the solution is constant vigilance from the security personnel, something which appears to have been lacking in this case.

  • fairplay_cricket_fan on June 21, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    As an Sri Lankan, I am soo dissapointed with ICC for not providing sufficient security to my team. These protestors whom we are very ell aware of could have caused a lot of harm to our players. What if they threw acid or something? If this happenned in an Asian country, Australia and West Indies included, so many countries would have threatened to walk off the tournament.

    Let us see how the response of ICC is going to be.

  • Niketh2000 on June 21, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    I have one word to say, PATHETIC!

  • YorkshirePudding on June 21, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    @Harmony111, it was at Lords, and reportedly a Beer can thrown from 50 feet (Waugh claimed 50 meters) away onto the Aussie Balacony during the Presentation in 2001.

    Since then the ECB have cleared things up a lot, what happeend at the SL game shouldnt have happened but what do you do, put fans in cages, when 99% of them are placid and ejected long before this happens.

    In regards to Seles, that was in Hamburg, Germany, in a minor tournament, again in a sport where crowd violence is not often seen, unless you have Cliff Richard threatening to sing during rain breaks.....

  • CRmadrid on June 21, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Irrespective of what they were protesting against,this should never have happened in a cricket match. ICC & ECB should be held answerable for this. Like one gentleman rightly pointed out, this could have been a man with the intention of hurting players. Who to blame? It was reported that Sri Lankan government & the Sri Lankan High Commission in UK officially informed ICC & ECB couple of days prior to the match about a possible intrusions from fans. And they requested to tighten security measures in all areas including ground,dressing room etc. for both the teams. Looks like no action has been taken & again ICC & ECB to be blamed.

  • LisaDun on June 21, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    What was the protest about? Were the protesters demanding better security at cricket matches?!!

  • on June 21, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    What were they protesting about??

  • on June 21, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    protest against regional problem....

  • Harmony111 on June 21, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    IIRC many years back Michael Bevan was hit by a water bottle during an ODI tri series in England. But not much has changed since that time. Pitch invasions used to be a common event in the ODIs played in 80s but sadly the administration failed to curb it. There really can be no excuse for this. Luckily they were merely over enthusiastic people but just imagine what could have happened had it been some person with malevolent intentions? Do I need to remind the world what happened to Monica Seles when she was at the top of her game? Someone might think I am being paranoid but am I not showing the precedent here? What if some ugly Ind fan does this and targets some top player of the other side? What if some ugly SL fan had targeted Virat Kohli who in his eyes was SL's nemesis?

    I hope I am merely hyper paranoid and that my words were never the intentions of anyone and never ever become so in the future. But WHAT IF??? Who will own up for it?

  • sachin_vvsfan on June 21, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    You have Google to search for what they are protesting. But shame that they targeted cricketers.

  • Udendra on June 21, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    really disappointing that ICC & ECB couldn't provide better security measures in such a high profile tournament.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 21, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    @Soups, the police where there but they tend to patroll the stands, and public areas on the pitch it is left to private security firms. As for deploying the army thats overkill, and i hope i never see the army deployed at an england cricket ground.

  • TATTUs on June 21, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    Protesting against what? Sorry I missed this part of the match.

  • on June 21, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    Poor security by UK. Shame on them....

  • Poholiyadda on June 21, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    Poor security and poor weather conditions marred the series. But Congratulations to India for the finals, who clearly are the best team in the competition .

  • on June 20, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    What were they protesting against?

  • Soups on June 20, 2013, 22:26 GMT

    What do you expect from G4S? Why couldn't ECB request Police or Army protection? If it was in India, there would have been VIP security. Thats something BCCI gets right every time.

  • 64W..HotShot on June 20, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    Why? WHat were the protest about?

    Was it about the fact that this is the 55th ODI between the two sides in less than 5 years? ;P

  • GreenDeviln on June 20, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Protesters? Protestin for what?

  • kc69 on June 20, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    For any country in the world such kind of protests and security breaches is really annoying. Especially when everyone say's that keep sports away from all nonsense. I wonder why this still continues?

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  • kc69 on June 20, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    For any country in the world such kind of protests and security breaches is really annoying. Especially when everyone say's that keep sports away from all nonsense. I wonder why this still continues?

  • GreenDeviln on June 20, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Protesters? Protestin for what?

  • 64W..HotShot on June 20, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    Why? WHat were the protest about?

    Was it about the fact that this is the 55th ODI between the two sides in less than 5 years? ;P

  • Soups on June 20, 2013, 22:26 GMT

    What do you expect from G4S? Why couldn't ECB request Police or Army protection? If it was in India, there would have been VIP security. Thats something BCCI gets right every time.

  • on June 20, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    What were they protesting against?

  • Poholiyadda on June 21, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    Poor security and poor weather conditions marred the series. But Congratulations to India for the finals, who clearly are the best team in the competition .

  • on June 21, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    Poor security by UK. Shame on them....

  • TATTUs on June 21, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    Protesting against what? Sorry I missed this part of the match.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 21, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    @Soups, the police where there but they tend to patroll the stands, and public areas on the pitch it is left to private security firms. As for deploying the army thats overkill, and i hope i never see the army deployed at an england cricket ground.

  • Udendra on June 21, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    really disappointing that ICC & ECB couldn't provide better security measures in such a high profile tournament.