England vs India, T20I series

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Saturday’s T20I between England and India in Edgbaston will be watched by ‘covert football crowd-style observers’, after Warwickshire unveiled a series of new measures to tackle cases of racist abuse which have marred last week’s delayed fifth Test between the same teams.

England won the test and played the series in thrilling style, chasing 378 before lunch on the final day, 259 of which were scored on the fourth afternoon and evening.

However, this passage of the game was marred by reports of racial slurs from part of the crowd, which was first highlighted on Twitter by Azeem Rafiq, the former Yorkshire cricketer, and subsequently led to a criminal investigation by West Midlands Police.

“Almost 100,000 people watched one of the most thrilling Test matches in recent history earlier this week,” Warwickshire chief executive Stuart Cain said. “But we can’t hide from the senseless racist abuse suffered by some India-following fans in the Eric Hollies stand.

“These unacceptable actions by a small number of people have overshadowed a superb sporting competition, and those responsible do not deserve to be part of the cricketing family. We must work harder as people, as well as as a place. , to take our responsibility to make sure everyone feels safe and welcome watching the game.”

With an extremely busy month looming for Edgbaston – including this week’s T20I against India, next week’s Vitality Blast Finals Day and culminating in the ground hosting of the women’s T20 competition at the Commonwealth Games – the club acknowledged in a statement that their ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to stewardship ‘in remote areas…has not been delivered’ Edgbaston security partner G4S is investigating why why Monday’s incidents were not resolved sooner.

For Saturday’s T20I, Warwickshire confirmed that crowd-style undercover football observers would be deployed across Edgbaston to listen for abusive behavior and report it for immediate action, and added that there would be an increased police presence during matches to manage these incidents quickly, and allow more chances of successful prosecution.

The club said all fans at subsequent matches would be encouraged to discreetly report abuse via the Edgbaston app, adding that anyone found guilty of a hate crime would be banned not just from Edgbaston but from all venues under its jurisdiction. of the ECB.

“I was angry that a minority of people found it acceptable to racially abuse a group of fans who followed India and brought great entertainment to the Hollies,” Cain said.

“Those involved had already spent three brilliant days mingling with the Barmy Army of England and creating a welcome atmosphere with their chanting and Dhol drumming. But on the fourth day they suffered abuse after tea, and he there’s no excuse for that.

“It has given the Club renewed energy and motivation to work even harder to ensure that Edgbaston is a place for everyone – regardless of race, gender, gender, ability or background. A few stupid idiots must not distract us.We are determined that everyone’s unacceptable behavior will have a very public consequence.

“In the meantime, I want to apologize directly to all the fans who have been subjected to racist abuse. Everyone at Edgbaston will work hard to do better, and they will be welcomed with open arms in the future.”

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