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  Sunday, 24 June, 2001, 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK
Sad end to one-day series
Michael Bevan is struck by a can on the balcony at Lord's
The incident at Lord's could end balcony presentations
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew reflects on the off-field events that marred the NatWest Series.

The scenes beneath the balcony of the famous old Lord's pavilion at the end of the NatWest final will come back to haunt true cricket lovers.

Traditionally, this is the time for both teams - winners and losers alike - to salute their supporters and, for the victors, the moment to bask in their glory.

We must now accept that we might never see it on an English cricket field again.

There is no point even discussing the moron who threw the can of beer at the players.

His face has been captured on television and let us all hope that he is identified, caught and severely punished.

Waqar Younis
Waqar: Amazing deeds
There is also no point in making too much of which team he was supposedly supporting either because this man acted entirely by himself. Because of the inevitable consequences of his foolish actions, he should be shunned by everyone who has a love of sport.

What a sad way for the series to end.

There had been some wonderful cricket played - even, occasionally, by England!

But the amazing deeds of Waqar Younis, Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist have all been overshadowed by the pitch invasions and poor crowd behaviour.

It has been suggested that the aggression shown by some supporters stems from cultural grievances, and I am absolutely sure there is some truth in that.

The mistake that is being made, however, is by using cricket as an outlet for this frustration when, in fact, sport is the most successful unifying force there is.

It only requires a quick visit to South Africa to appreciate the role that sport - and cricket in particular - has played in the post-apartheid years.

Darren Gough
Gough: Needs support
This is even the case in Durban, which has the largest Asian community in the country and which happily supports either Pakistan or India when those countries are playing against South Africa.

Sport must be used as a means of bringing people together rather that creating a divide which, sadly, the incidents of the past fortnight are threatening to do.

Australia go steaming on towards the Ashes while, at the same time, England's selectors were involved in an inquest at the ECB.

This is hardly the way to begin England's preparations for the serious business that lies ahead and, clearly, problem areas have been highlighted by England's six straight defeats in the NatWest.

The most urgent task facing the selectors between now and Saturday, when they name the squad for the first Ashes Test, is to identify the support bowling for Gough and Caddick.

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