Indian journalists accuse Lord~~s steward of assault

Published: Monday, July 29, 2002, 2:07 [IST]
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London: A group of journalists, including well-known television commentator Harsha Bhogle, covering India's first Test against England at Lord's said Sunday a steward had 'heckled and physically assaulted' them as they left the ground the night before. The four journalists, all Indian, issued a statement claiming the steward had been 'drunk' and that his supervisor had done nothing to stop the incident which took place on Saturday night at approximately 2025 GMT. It allegedly culminated with a steward telling Bhogle that his behaviour would have led to him "being beaten with sticks" if he was in India. The statement alleged the steward physically manhandled one of the journalists before slamming a gate on Bhogle. Bhogle, who commentates for ESPN Star Sports and is known to cricket followers around the world, later said, "Being rude is not a corporate prerogative.All the other grounds in England are so friendly." Iain Wilton, the head of communications for Lord's owners Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) head of communications Iain Wilton said, "We can confirm we received a letter of complaint from ESPN Star Sports earlier this afternoon (Sunday). "We've since had two high level meetings with senior ESPN personnel and an investigation has already begun. All those involved have been asked or are being asked to make statements. "We are checking our CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras to see whether the events were recorded. If so, the footage should help to clarify a couple of issues which are currently the subject of some confusion." Lord's stewards have a notorious reputation for officiousness. India batting great Sunil Gavaskar was once refused re-admission to Lord's and was so angered he resigned his membership of MCC.

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