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Wednesday, 20 June, 2001, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
Time for legislation in cricket?
Is is time to call for legislation to combat crowd trouble at cricket matches?
The International Cricket Council has called for all member countries to deliver reports on combating crowd control problems.

Would new legislation prevent pitch invasions?


After events marred NatWest Series matches, cricket's governing body has called for action.

In the game at Trent Bridge, Australian captain Steve Waugh led his player's off after a firecracker was thrown onto the pitch.

Due to varying international laws and regulations, the ICC cannot implement a universal approach to the problem.

ECB chief executive Tim Lamb believes legislation to prevent pitch invasions and heavy fines should be introduced.

But new sports minister Richard Caborn is wary of implemented measures which are "too draconian."

Do you favour the idea of legislation?

Is it time to introduce new laws and fines or is this an overreaction?


Yes, England fans have invaded the pitch before. But not with the intention of stealing the stumps and certainly have never injured any ground staff or players in the process. Also how can Mr Akbar suggest that it was the fault of the scorers for putting up the wrong score. Surely even the simplest of people know that if a team needs six runs to win and the batsman hits a four, then the game is unlikely to be over.
Andrew Everett, England

Why people are complaining now is not because the fans are running onto the field in celebration, it's because the fans of this particular country, are physically hurting the players! The fear is: they might riot outside, in the city, itself (as happens after NBA championships in the US).
Harsh, USA

One punishment - used in football to punish unruly fans - is to ban them from attending matches. I suggest this punishment should be used against Pakistan supporters - simply ban them from International matches for a period of say five years. The Pakistan cricket authorities could also be fined for failing to control their team's supporters.
Bernard Lee, England

English fans have been running on to the pitch and grabbing wickets as far as I can remember - it's almost a tradition! I think it is a case of sour grapes for the English public and press. They haven't been commenting at all on the great performance of Pakistan - lets stick to reporting about cricket please. The fireworks at Trent Bridge were not even the slightest bit harmful and Steve Waugh over reacted to what was simply some fans enjoying themselves and more so to upset the great rhythm that Pakistan were in at that stage of the match.
Muazzam Javed, UK

Cricket should be accorded the same security as football and rugby. Fencing is ugly and more intimidating. Security cameras around the stadium can direct crowd control measures.
Sav, UK

I thing the early pitch invasion was caused by the score board showing incorrect score, which in fact showed that Pakistan had already won, that's why the Pakistani fans went onto the field. I think the scoreboard should not be changed until they are absolutely sure in the last 2 overs of the game. The poor steward who got hurt (very unfortunate for him) should have followed rules and not try and stop a flood of about 500 fans from taking the stumps etc. (Stumps can be replaced his life could not have been). This in no way approves the kicking of the steward if indeed that is what happened.
Shahbaz Akbar, UK

How do the 'fans' get the fireworks, banners, trumpets etc into the ground. Two years ago I was searched at Trent Bridge and had two cans of diet pepsi confiscated in case I was tempted to throw them (from the members stand)
  Sue Dewsbury, England

The people who created all the trouble in the matches against England and Australia should stop labelling them as 'Pakistani fans'. Even in the bigger stadiums of Pakistan like Karachi and Lahore, there have rarely been as serious problems as this one, even when hot favourites Pakistan lost to Australia in the PCB head quarters in Lahore in 1987!
Faisal Taquie, USA

Rules should be there but emotions should be respected. Violence is bad and condemned but enjoyment?
Zaffarshah, Pakistan

It is in the spirit of the game for fans to go on the pitch, and enjoy their team's performance. But while the play is in progress, any fans on the pitch must be fined severely and banned from entering the matches in future.
Farakh Mir, England

Pitch invasion, hurling fire crackers or other missiles is totally unacceptable. ICC should lay down strict guidelines for crowd control during matches. Respective boards should enforce these guidelines in their countries according to their local laws.
Kamran Sikandar, Pakistan

I think Steve Waugh and his army are just aggravating the issue, without noticing the fact that it is this particular crowd that has made cricket so lively in England. I agree the problem is there but the authority was able to control it in a much better way compared to the last match. And I am sure fans are realizing that they have to control their emotions otherwise their own team's performance can be dented from these untimely stoppages.
Khurram Humayun, Phoenix, USA

Does there have to be a death or serious injury before anyone will accept there is a problem?
  Ian Pounder, England
There seem to be threats of fines at most grounds for going on the grass but this is obviously not working. These fines need to be larger, and to be seen to be given out to people who go onto the grass. If this does not work then fences and more security will have to be brought in. This would surely have a negative effect on the atmosphere in cricket grounds.
Rob, UK

In Australia it is trespassing to enter playing arenas, and therefore you are fined severely for it. We have had few problems, but you do get the idiots that still do this and they are dealt with by the judicial system. The UK have battled the football hooligans for years, and they're winning. Now it is another type of element that must be addressed; not only by the sporting bodies but also the Government.
Paul, Australia

The ECB could learn a lot from the ACB in terms of crowd control. When boisterous crowds of over 90,000 are the norm in Australia, effective control methods are needed. They are in place and they work.
Dave Whitely, Australia

Entering the field of play in a football match warrants a heavy fine and a possible ban from other grounds. Throwing things on to the field of play during a football match warrants equal punishment. It is now time for these measures to be introduced in cricket. Use the Australian model of discipline - very rarely do you see such events there. It's plain and simple: You cross the line you're in trouble. It would mean increased policing and more stewards to enforce the rules, but what price the safety of the players?
RJ Merkin, England

Fines and bans should be introduced
  Penny, Australia
It's in the great tradition of the game that supporters run on the pitch at the end of the game and grab the ball and stumps. This should not happen while the game is still on and heavy penalties must be introduced. As some of the others have said, when a few people get arrested and fined, people will think twice about running on the pitch.
Rizwan, London, UK

The time has come for cricket to follow the football model and ban all crowd encroachment onto the pitch at any time. At the end of the game at Old Trafford last week I was nearly knocked over whilst leaving by a number of youths who were running down the aisle to get onto the pitch. Does there have to be a death or serious injury before anyone will accept there is a problem?
Ian Pounder, England

Fines and bans should be introduced. This game is not about just those spectating at the grounds. It's about sportsmen representing their country and their supporters being able to cheer them on.
Penny, Australia

If there are pitch invasions during a match by only one set of supporters, then immediately award the match to the opposing side. If these fans truly want their team to win then they will wait until the end of the game, before streaming onto the pitch once the players have left.
Dan, UK

The Australian system of fining anyone who goes onto the pitch proved to be a suitable deterrent
  Edward Steel, UK
A fine is the only way to stop fans running onto the pitch. Once a few of them have been arrested and prosecuted then others will take notice. Most of the fans who ran onto the pitch after recent games would have thought twice if they thought they may be arrested.
Stuart, England

It is of absolute paramount importance to introduce emergency laws and fines to any of these hooligans who are ruining the beautiful game for the majority of supporters. There should also be strict checks on fans as they enter the stadium for firecrackers, offensive banners and other potentially dangerous items that could cause harm to other spectators as well as the players.
Faisal, UK

I have no problem with fans running on to the ground to celebrate their team's victory, but only after the game is over. Remember that in the past fans did exactly the same thing at the end of many one day finals at Lords, and I believe there were no concerns raised then. So why complain now?
Naveed Sattar, UK

The Australian system of fining anyone who goes onto the pitch $5,000 proved to be a suitable deterrent - I can count on one hand the number of people who ran onto the pitch during the Ashes series Down under. Having said that, it is a great treat to be able to go onto the pitch at the end of a match. Maybe the fining could be reserved for anyone who transgresses during the game, and then supporters allowed onto the pitch once the players have left the playing area?
Edward Steel, UK

Heavy fines have to be introduced to stop this ridiculous trend before it gets too out of hand. I haven't got any faith in a Government minister who doesn't want to implement measures that are 'too draconian'. Surely that is the whole point? With his recent gaffe, I am suprised that Caborn even knew there was a game on anyway!
Nigel, London, Uk

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See also:

19 Jun 01 |  NatWest Series
Caborn sounds cautious note
20 Jun 01 |  NatWest Series
Waugh furious at fans
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