England Test captain Ben Stokes, who will miss the T20I series against India, expressed his disappointment on Thursday about the racist incidents that took place at Edgbaston during the 5th Test between India and England.
“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,” the England skipper tweeted.
A section of Indian cricket fans were racially abused towards the end of Day 4 of the ongoing Test match at Edgbaston. A number of allegations were made on social media on Monday evening following the close of play. An investigation is underway into allegations of racist abuse among the crowd on day four of the fifth Test between England and India at Edgbaston.
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!!
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) July 7, 2022
The allegations were highlighted by Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq, who said it was “disappointing to read”, and flagged several of the allegations via retweets on his Twitter account. His 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.
💬 “We need to work harder as people, as well as a venue, to take responsibility for ensuring that everyone feels safe and welcome.”
— Edgbaston (@Edgbaston) July 7, 2022
Warwickshire County Cricket Club on Thursday promised to work even harder to deliver its zero-tolerance approach against racism on its premises.
Chief Executive, Stuart Cain said, “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 over-shadowed a superb sporting contest, and those responsible do not deserve to be part of the cricket family.”
He also committed the Club to new anti-racism initiatives from this Saturday for the 2nd T20I between England and India where undercover football crowd-style spotters will be deployed throughout the stadium to listen out for abusive behaviour and report it for immediate action.
There will also be increased police presence at games to handle incidents swiftly, enabling more chance of successful prosecutions. Plus there would be more prominent Code of Conduct posters and everyone entering the Eric Hollies Stand having to wear zero-tolerance wristbands and there will be zero-tolerance messages on the back of stewards’ hi-visibility jackets.