Undercover spotters to be used at Edgbaston in effort to root out racist abuse

·2-min read
Undercover spotters to be used at Edgbaston in effort to root out racist abuse - REUTERS
Undercover spotters to be used at Edgbaston in effort to root out racist abuse - REUTERS

Undercover spotters will spy on fans in order to police racist abuse during England’s second Twenty20 international against India.

A slew of measures were announced on Thursday in a bid to stamp out bigotry at Edgbaston following complaints about slurs made this week during the Test there between the two teams.

Police launched an investigation into those complaints, which emerged after the fourth day of a match England won by seven wickets, encouraging anyone who heard any racist language to get in touch.

One account on social media said abuse had been directed at India fans in the Eric Hollies Stand at Edgbaston, while another said the “disgusting racism” was “some of the worst abuse we’ve ever experienced at a match”.

Ben Stokes, the victorious captain, denounced the abuse and urged fans to “create a party atmosphere” during the current limited-overs series.

That was after Warwickshire announced the deployment of “football crowd-style spotters” for Saturday’s second T20 international at Edgbaston.

Chief executive Stuart Cain added: “Nearly 100,000 people watched one of the most exciting Test matches in recent history earlier this week. 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.”

Stokes posted on Twitter: “Amazing week on the pitch but really 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!!”

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