EXCLUSIVE: Players from England and Australia get extra security in Edgbaston for the first Ashes Test to prevent the game from being attacked by eco-protesters
- The Ashes kicks off this Friday and is expected to be a hard-fought series
- The ECB has held talks with the police and their security will be on site
- In recent months, protesters have targeted various sporting events
The England and Australia players will be given extra security in Edgbaston this week to prevent the first Ashes Test from being targeted by protesters.
The ECB has held talks with West Midlands Police in recent days, who have advised both teams on safe route planning and agreed to send additional officers to the scene to provide guidance against field intruders.
ECB security personnel will also be present in Edgbaston after the players’ coach was held up two weeks ago by Just Stop Oil protesters on their way to Lord’s on the first day of the one-off Test against Ireland. While the game itself was not disrupted, the environmental protest was the latest in a long string of incidents at major sporting events this summer.
The Gallagher Premiership rugby final at Twickenham last month was interrupted when two men wearing Just Stop Oil T-shirts threw orange paint powder onto the pitch during the Saracens v Sale match, while play at the World Snooker Championship was halted in April after a man threw orange dye through the Crucible theater and a woman tried to glue herself to her table.
In addition, both the Grand National and Epsom Derby suffered disruptions from members of the Animal Rising pressure group, leading to multiple arrests.
Extra security will be given to the England and Australia players at Edgbaston this week
In recent months, several sporting events have been targeted by Just Stop Oil protesters
The Grand National and Epsom Derby, meanwhile, were disrupted by animal rights protesters
The ECB and Warwickshire CCC will also make it clear that any intruders from the field will be suspended and may face prosecution.
England matches have been targeted by pitch invaders in the recent past, with YouTube prankster Daniel Jarvis receiving a suspended sentence last year after pleading guilty to aggravated fouls in England’s test match against India at the Oval in September.
By contrast, the World Test Championship between Australia and India at the Oval last week passed off without incident, despite the showpiece being linked with ICC sponsors by Aramco, a Saudi Arabian oil company.
The ICC is said to have worked closely with the Metropolitan Police to carry out a reinforced security operation, details of which have been passed on to the ECB and Cricket Australia.
The ECB has also threatened bans and possible prosecution of potential pitch intruders