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Thatscricket - News - Pitch invasion to be focus of Eng, Aus talks

Published: Monday, June 18, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London: Chief executives of the England and Australia cricket authorities on Monday met to discuss the growing problem of pitch invasions during the NatWest Triangular Tournament.On Sunday, as Pakistan was heading for victory over England at Headingley, hundreds of Pakistan supporters swarmed onto the pitch causing serious injury to one of the matchday stewards.Stephen Speight suffered broken ribs and damage to his spleen forcing him to remain in hospital overnight.The Headingley pitch invasion comes 10 days after the one which interuppted the competition's opening match between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston. With Australia due to face Pakistan in a day-night International at Trent Bridge on Tuesday, there is growing pressure on cricket's governing bodies to enforce stricter security measures to ensure player safety.Malcolm Speed, chief executive of the Australian Cricket Board (ACB), met with England counterpart Tim Lamb at Lord's on Monday morning prior to the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting to discuss a response to Lord Condon's report into corruption.ACB spokesman Brian Murgatroyd told the Press Association, "They were going to have a meeting anyway, but obviously this (latest pitch invasion) will now be on the agenda."Pakistan captain Waqar Younis said that the introduction of high fences have prevented invasions in Asia and should be considered in England. "The ECB (English Cricket Board) should do something about it," said Waqar. "I don't know what they should do, but they should have more security - it's a very dangerous thing with what happened to the steward. "Here in England they don't have fences, but back in Asia they have big fences and they can't really get in."I don't think they can do that quickly, but they have to do something like that because Asian teams are going to come here quite often."Meanwhile England's deputising skipper Alec Stewart, who took the unprecedented step of conceding Sunday's match against Pakistan for fears of further disturbances, denied he was avoiding Lord Condon's anti-corruption unit to discuss his alleged involvement in match-fixing.The reputation of Stewart has been under heavy scrutiny since Indian bookmaker Mukesh Gupta claimed the England wicket-keeper had received money in return for information on England's tour of India in 1993.Stewart said on Monday he was willing to co-operate with the ACU to clear his name once and for all."If he (Condon) wants to see me, I will go to see him, I have no problems at all with that," said Stewart."Let's clear it up, it was November that the allegations first broke. Let's get it sorted."

AFP
Copyright AFP 2001

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