Warwickshire will deploy undercover spotters for the second Twenty20 between England and India at Edgbaston after allegations of racist behaviour among members of the crowd during the fifth test this week, the county said on Thursday.
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A number of supporters said on Twitter they had been targeted by racist abuse from other fans at the Birmingham venue on Monday. The home side won the match by seven wickets to draw the series 2-2.
“Nearly 100,000 people watched one of the most exciting Test matches in recent history… but we cannot hide from the mindless racist abuse experienced by some fans following India in the Eric Hollies Stand,” Warwickshire chief executive Stuart Cain said in a statement.
“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.”
England test captain Ben Stokes said he was disappointed about the abuse.
“Amazing week on the pitch but really disappointed to hear reports of racist abuse at Edgbaston. Absolutely no place for it in the game,” Stokes said on Twitter.
“Hope all the fans at the white-ball series have a brilliant time and create a party atmosphere. That’s what cricket’s about!!”
In addition to employing “undercover football crowd-style spotters”, there will be an enhanced police presence at Edgbaston for the game on Saturday.
The Bharat Army, India’s official global supporters’ group, later said many of its members had been targeted by “a very small minority”, with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) saying they were “very concerned” by the reports.
The West Midlands Police have already launched an investigation into the incident.
“I want to apologise directly to any fans who were subjected to racist abuse. Everyone at Edgbaston will work hard to do better,” added Cain.
English cricket was rocked by a racism scandal last year when former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq alleged that he had been a victim of institutional racism at the club.
The ECB last month charged Yorkshire and a number of individuals following an investigation into the claims.