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Wednesday, 20 June, 2001, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Cricket chiefs seek pitch punishments
Pakistan fans
The ECB wants action to keep the fans out
The England and Wales Cricket Board wants the Government to bring in pitch invasion laws.

The ECB and other leading officials want football-style legislation that will mean stiff penalties for spectators who disrupt matches.

Fans have caused major problems during three of the games in the current triangular NatWest Series involving England, Pakistan and Australia.

Crowd invasions blighted the England-Pakistan game at Edgbaston and the game at Headingley between the two countries.

Fans charge onto the field at Trent Bridge
Fans charge onto the field at Trent Bridge
On Tuesday Australian skipper Steve Waugh took his side off the field at Trent Bridge after paceman Brett Lee had a firecracker thrown at him from the crowd.

The ECB sees the solution to the problems in rigorous legislation similar to that used in football.

The Football Spectators' Bill was passed last year which makes it a criminal act for fans to encroach on the pitch.

The ECB's corporate communications manager David Clarke said: "It is the ECB's wish to see legislation brought in by the government.

"We are looking for the government to help us out and give us some of the tools we need to control the kind of issues we have been faced with over the last few days.


We are having ongoing discussions with the government
David Clarke
ECB corporate communications manager
"We are not looking for draconian measures. Nobody wants to see police dogs and huge fences on England's cricket grounds.

"I think we need to look at the options but we are having ongoing discussions with the government."

Pakistan coach Richard Pybus also admitted that stringent measures need to be taken to keep fans in order.

He said: "They have got to treated like when any other serious offence is committed. If someone misbehaves in soccer, there is legislation in place."

Lord's measures

Clarke said the ECB will be contacting the MCC about the possibility of temporary fencing for Saturday's Australia-Pakistan final at Lords's.

He said: "That's something we need to talk to MCC about but I am sure they will have seen it in action on Tuesday and will be as comfortable with it as I am.

"I think the temporary fencing achieved what it set out to achieve at Trent Bridge in allowing the players and umpires to get off the pitch safely.

"The head of security for the MCC was at Trent Bridge and will have first hand experience of what happened."

The ICC on Wednesday asked for reports from its member countries into how they controlled crowd problems.


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Following the events which have marred the NatWest series, iis it time to introduce legislation in cricket? Crowd control
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See also:

20 Jun 01 | Cricket
19 Jun 01 | NatWest Series
20 Jun 01 | NatWest Series
19 Jun 01 | UK News
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