Police probe after 'India fans racially abused' during England test match at Edgbaston

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Police have launched an investigation after claims India fans were racially abused during the national cricket team's Test match with England.

Edgbaston officials and the ECB are looking into allegations that emerged on social media of India fans being targeted with racial insults on day four of the fifth Test at Edgbaston, in Birmingham, on Monday.

And West Midlands Police spokesperson told Sky Sports News: "We've launched a criminal investigation into reports of racist, abusive behaviour at the test match in Birmingham yesterday.

"We're liaising with Edgbaston officials to understand what's happened and would encourage anyone who heard any racist language or gestures, or has video footage that could help, to get in touch.

"We're aware of images circulating on social media showing an alleged offender. We're making enquiries to identify the person and would urge him to come forward and speak to us."

Officials vowed to look into social media claims of racist abuse after they were highlighted by former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq.

Rafiq retweeted a thread detailing some of the incidents along with the comment, "Disappointing to read".

Responding to the allegations, a post on Edgbaston's official Twitter account said: "We're incredible sorry to read this and do not condone this behaviour in anyway. We'll be investigating this ASAP."

Rafiq's testimony in front of a parliamentary select committee last year sparked an investigation into his claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire which resulted in ECB charges and ultimately major reforms.

Stuart Cain, chief executive at Edgbaston, said: "I'm gutted by these reports as we're working hard to make Edgbaston a safe, welcoming environment for all.

"Having seen the initial tweets, I've spoken personally to the gentleman who raised them and we're now speaking to the stewards in this area to establish what happened.

"Nobody should be subject to any form of abuse at Edgbaston. So, once we've got all the facts, we will make sure this issue is addressed swiftly."

It came as England mounted a superb fightback, which left them well-placed to complete a remarkable series-saving victory on Tuesday.

Set 378 to win, England had reduced their target to 119 by the close of play on day four with seven wickets in hand.

It followed an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 150 between Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, who resumed play this morning on 76 not out and 72 not out respectively.

Anyone with information about the claims of racist abuse is asked to contact police by message on Live Chat through the force's website or call 101 and quote crime reference number 20-613293-22.

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