The fifth rescheduled Test between India & England at Edgbaston was no less than a roller coaster ride for spectators as well as teams involved. While players of both teams were involved in fierce action on the field, fans faced racist abuse from the English crowd off-field.
Warwickshire, the English County headquarters of which are at the Birmingham ground, has announced several measures to eliminate racism after several fans reported incidents of abuse during England’s recent Test match against India at Edgbaston. Police have already launched their investigation into the allegations of racist remarks on the fourth day of the fifth rescheduled Test which was clinched by England by seven wickets.
Now after all the dramatic incidents, England’s Captain Ben Stokes opened up on the issue. “Amazing week on the pitch but disappointed to hear reports of racist abuse at Edgbaston. Absolutely no place for it in the game. Hope all the fans at the white-ball series have a brilliant time and create a party atmosphere. That’s what cricket’s about!!” he wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Cricket Officials would deploy undercover spotters into the crowd at Edgbaston during Saturday’s Twenty20 international between England and India in a bid to combat racist abuse.
“Undercover football crowd-style spotters will be placed throughout the stadium to listen out for abusive behaviour and report it for immediate action,” said a Warwickshire statement.
Stuart Cain, Warwickshire’s chief executive, said the club had to do more to combat the kind of incidents that marred the Test match.
“Nearly 100,000 people watched one of the most exciting Test matches in recent history earlier this week,” he said.
“But we cannot hide from the mindless racist abuse experienced by some fans following India in the Eric Hollies Stand. These unacceptable actions by a small number of people have overshadowed a superb sporting contest, and those responsible do not deserve to be part of the cricket family.
“We need to work harder as people, as well as a venue, to take responsibility for ensuring that everyone feels safe and welcome when watching the game.”
The three-match T20I series between England & India will begin on July 7, at Hampshire Ageas Bowl in Southampton.