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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 16:09 GMT
Croft supports Twenty20 clampdown
By Saj Chowdhury

Glamorgan's Robert Croft
Croft was angry with the abuse he received in June
Glamorgan spinner Robert Croft has backed the England and Wales Cricket Board's new zero tolerance measures on unruly behaviour at Twenty20 matches.

The 37-year-old was subjected to abuse during a game in June, one of a handful of unsavoury incidents seen at matches in the shorter format last summer.

"The ECB are spot on and seemed to have listened to the thoughts of players, officials and fans," he told BBC Sport.

Foul and racist abuse will be outlawed and alcohol restrictions introduced.

Croft was subjected to foul language in a match against Somerset at Taunton.

In the same month, Middlesex's home match against Hampshire was marred when stones were thrown at the away coach and valuables stolen from the home dressing room.

Hampshire wicket-keeper Nic Pothas also complained of verbal abuse from the stands.

There are plenty of people who can handle their drink

Glamorgan's Robert Croft

Croft added: "I believe that if this bad behaviour was allowed to continue then we might have seen a serious incident occur at a cricket ground in the future.

"Why does it happen? Well, I think it's a game that attracts a younger crowd and maybe fans of other sports who come along because their sport is not on at the time. They have a drink and then get rowdy.

"Alcohol plays a part, but the vast majority who come to the matches can handle their drink."

The ECB's head of venues Gordon Hollins explained the full extent of the measures.

"There was a real consensus among the stakeholders that we should extend many of the procedures familiar at international games to domestic Twenty20 cricket," he said.

"These include grounds being encouraged to designate an area of the ground as a family enclosure with alcohol restrictions.

"They also include the ban on the importation of alcohol - except where there is an ICC exemption - greater security concerning pitch access and specially trained stewards to cater for the growing crowds at our domestic matches.

"There will also be a zero tolerance policy concerning foul language, and anyone using racist language shall be subject to prosecution.

"We are trying to ensure that all those who do wish to drink at matches also consider the spectators around them."

SEE ALSO
Croft warns of crowd trouble rise
30 Jun 07 |  Glamorgan
Twenty20 fans to face crackdown
03 Jul 07 |  Cricket
Thieves & vandals tarnish match
26 Jun 07 |  Counties


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