Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 12:55 UK

Lord's shark mascot ban attacked

Sid the Shark
Fancy dress is prohibited at Lord's cricket ground

A cricket club's shark mascot has been told to stay away from Lord's - because of a fancy dress ban at the ground.

Sussex County Cricket Club wants Sid the Shark, which parades around their Hove ground before matches, at the FP Trophy final on Saturday.

But the MCC, which owns Lord's, has refused to relax its policy for the match between Hampshire and Sussex.

Sussex are now urging fans to sign an online petition to overturn the mascot's ban.

Sussex chief executive Dave Brooks said: "It was quite a surprise to hear that Lord's would not let Sid in.

Sid is not like the vicious shark in Jaws, he is really friendly and has never bitten anyone
Harry Gape

"He enjoys great support among all the Sussex fans at Hove and it is clear that they want to send a message to the authorities that this decision needs reversing."

Harry Gape, 11, of Eastbourne, added: "It is so unfair. Sid is great fun and everyone will miss him if they don't change their minds.

"Sid is not like the vicious shark in Jaws, he is really friendly and has never bitten anyone."

Lord's ground regulations have prohibited the wearing of fancy dress costumes and using musical instruments for about 30 years.

The MCC said they were introduced in response to complaints from spectators.

'No previous requests'

Colin Maynard, MCC deputy chief executive, said: "As a general observation, the club is not in favour of spectators attempting to draw attention to themselves by what they wear or how they act.

"Anything which enhances the game is always seriously considered, and with the exception of the comments in relation to Sussex's mascots there are very few complaints at MCC's position of prohibiting fancy dress."

He added: "Also, Sussex played in the 2006 final, and there were no requests to accommodate Sid the Shark or any other fancy dress costume.

"The club is looking forward to the FP [trophy] final, which promises to be a good match, and MCC's concentration is in that direction."



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