World of Sport

Police mistake cricket game for gun battle

World of Sport

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Armed police surrounded a factory in Cheadle, Greater Manchester because they thought a factory cricket match was a gun battle.

Workers at the Power Star sports equipment factory were playing a game of cricket inside their building but whenever the ball hit the shutters it made a noise similar to that of a gunshot.

An alarmed passer-by then phoned the police to report the "gunshots" and police rushed to the scene only to find a few employees inside playing a game of cricket.

"'We'd been watching the England match and finished work so thought we may as well play cricket," worker Mohammed Ijaz told the Manchester Evening News.

"We were just messing around and could hear shouting saying 'Come out! Come out!'

"At first we carried on as we didn't realise it was to do with us. But when we realised it was, we headed outside and as soon as we opened the door we could see lots of armed police. It was a bit of a shock but they were just doing their job."

Greater Manchester police chief superintendent Rebekah Sutcliffe added: "All reports of gunshots are taken very seriously and because of the potential threat to people's lives we have to take swift and appropriate action to deal with these very serious risks.

"Specially-trained firearms officers are always deployed because they have the necessary skills to be able to deal with these threats safely and minimise risks to the public. As soon as it became apparent there was no threat, the officers quickly left the scene."

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