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England vs India: Pitch invader wearing India Test jersey walks casually at Lord's, raises security concern

London, Aug 14: A local pitch invader casually walked into the ground on Day three of the second Test between England and India at Lord's which left the Indian cricket team alarmed. With the bio-secure bubble already in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the incident should be considered as a major security lapse.

The incident happened when the players were walking into the middle to resume play in the post-lunch session. A man walked on the pitch donning the Indian Test whites and began ordering field changes. The invader had 'Jarvo 69' printed on his jersey and the television cameras caught him walking alongside Indian cricketers.

The security personnel at the ground realised the person wasn't a part of the Indian side asked him to walk off the field to which he showed the Indian jersey and team logo. Later, the security persons escorted him outside the field.

The entire incident looked comical for pitch invasions are pretty common but given the strict COVID-19 protocols in place and the bio bubble guidelines it was a serious matter.

Former England cricketer Michael Atherton was heard laughing in the commentary box on Sky Sports, and said: "Some random chap in whites had made his way into the middle with the Indian players, and he stood there as if he was about to take part in the Test match."

Earlier in the day, a bottle cork was hurled at India's first innings' centurion KL Rahul from the spectators stand during the pre-lunch session. Rahul, who scored a sublime 129 in the first innings, was seen with an object that looked like a champagne bottle cork during the 69th over, bowled by Mohammed Shami. It was after the fourth delivery of Shami's over that Rahul, who was fielding near the boundary ropes, was targeted.

The Indian skipper Virat Kohli wasn't pleased with the incident and instructed Rahul to throw it outside. The game was briefly halted as Indian players were seen talking to umpires Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth.

It couldn't be confirmed whether this was just about an informal way of drawing the umpire's attention or a formal complaint.

Earlier this year, the Indian team faced racist taunts during their tour of Australia where Mohammed Siraj was abused and that led to the eviction of spectators from the Sydney Cricket Ground during New Year's Eve.

In fact, the Indian team had lodged an official complaint with match referee David Boon back then, who had given them an option to walk out.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Story first published: Saturday, August 14, 2021, 21:13 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 14, 2021