‘Cricket Needs to Learn From Football About Identifying And Removing Supporters Who Cross The Line’

The rescheduled Test match between India and England witnessed an ugly incident where several Indian fans were racially abused by the home fans. England won the rescheduled fifth Test against India after chasing down 378 before lunch on the final day, of which 259 were scored on the fourth afternoon and evening. However, that passage of play was marred by reports of racial insults from a section of the crowd.

For Saturday’s T20I, Warwickshire confirmed that undercover football crowd-style spotters would be deployed throughout Edgbaston to listen out for abusive behaviour and report it for immediate action. It added that there would be an increased police presence at games to handle such incidents swiftly and enable more chances of successful prosecutions.

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Rishee Chhabra, who is a member of the Bharat Army, opened up the incident as he claimed that his friends were in the middle of all the drama. Chhabra said that it was tough for the fans as they went through a lot of emotional stress.

“It was not just the Bharat Army fans, but the others were abused too. Stewards were told what was happening, pointed out the culprits, no action was taken. Fans had to go through a lot of emotional stress,” Chhabra told NDTV.

Chabbra further said that the English fans lost control after consuming alcohol.

“But what was the trigger? Eric Hollies stand 22 was buzzing for better part of the match because the Indians were on top. And then all of a sudden, India from a winning situation went onto a very bad situation. That excited the English fans and with the alcohol they had, may have lost control,” he said.

Meanwhile, a member of the Barmy Army Adam Taylor suggested that the Police should use CCTV cameras to stop this kind of incident in future.

“We have to protect that cricket fans mix and mingle together. When the game started changing, a bit more animosity crept in, alcohol fuelled it. It is up to the authorities to protect the family areas. For most part it was celebratory. If the authorities think it is going out of control, they can shut the bar. Police should use CCTV cameras and evict these elements,” Taylor said.

Taylor feels that cricket should learn from football about how to deal with such incidents and make sure the people responsible for them should not take part in the game again.

“Football is more mature in getting on top of these problems. We can probably learn from football about identifying and removing supporters who cross the line and make sure that they do not take part in our sport again,” he said.

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