Ahead of the one-off England-India Test match in Edgbaston, the England and Wales Cricket Board officials have a major issue to worry and work on. Cocaine fuelled anti social behavior of fans at grounds.
The Times reported that several cricket administrators have raised concern over the behavior of fans at sporting venues. They believe the return of full crowds in the stadiums after two years of Covid restrictions on attending sport and socialising in the country along with the intake of excessive alcohol and drug substances may have to do with the violent and aggressive behavior from the fans.
It was during last year’s England-India Test match at the Lord’s Cricket Ground when a bunch of England fans had thrown beer and champagne corks at KL Rahul while he was fielding near the boundary. An incident that had frustrated the then India captain Virat Kohli, who had gestured from the slip cordon to his teammate to throw the corks back at the fans.
More recently, a fight broke in the Western Terrace at Headingley on Sunday during the third England-New Zealand Test match. England Cricket’s official fan group, Barmy Army had to issue a statement that anyone found instigating violence or abuse shall have their membership revoked.
The officials fear cricket may face issues similar to what football did at the end of last year’s Men’s European Championship. This can be detrimental to England Cricket’s measures of ensuring more families with children attend matches.
Grounds have provided spectators with a text service to ensure incidents in the stands are reported promptly to the match control room, who can then deploy extra stewards and ground staff to the area of concern. County chiefs have also warned those attending the matches about the consequences of their actions even leading to life long bans.
India will play England in a one-off Test starting July 1 followed by a three T2oIs and as many ODI series.