Australia OK security after players bottled

Birmingham: Cricket Australia voiced confidence in the security for Tuesday’s second Twenty20 clash with Pakistan here after their players were bottled at the end of the first.

A CA spokesman said one player was nearly hit Monday while another prevented a team-mate from being struck by stopping one of the plastic bottle missiles.

Pakistan beat Australia by 23 runs to win the first Twenty20 international of the two-match series at Edgbaston in Birmingham, central England.

The two sides play again at Warwickshire’s home ground in the second match.

Last year’s terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore made Pakistan a ‘no-go’ area for international cricket and they have been forced to play their home matches abroad.

Pakistan will play Australia in a two-Test series starting at Lord’s in London next week. The second Test will be played at Headingley in Leeds, northern England, from July 21.

London, Leeds and Birmingham all have strong Pakistani communities. Monday’s match was played out amid a din of horns and chants from flag-waving Pakistan supporters among the 13,000-strong crowd.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is heading security at the Edgbaston internationals.

“Some plastic bottles were thrown at the end of the game,” a CA spokesman told Britain’s domestic Press Association news agency.

“One of them nearly hit an Australia player and another player stopped a bottle from hitting another player with his hand.

“That is why we conducted the post-match host broadcaster’s interviews in the outfield.

“We have a co-operative and collaborative relationship with the ECB security consultant Reg Dickason, who worked for Cricket Australia for a number of years.

“Naturally we will continue to work with him and we have every confidence in him and the local security agencies ahead of tonight’s match.”

Australia captain Michael Clarke did not make an official complaint to match officials or security after Monday’s Twenty20.

The post-match interviews were shifted in from the perimeter and away from the fans.

An ECB spokesman said changes would be made for conducting the on-field interviews at Tuesday’s match following the incidents which had detracted from an otherwise good-natured atmosphere Monday.

“It was a very healthy crowd of around 13,000 people who were predominantly very well-behaved,” he said.

“They were lively and made a noisy atmosphere but apart from the unfortunate incident they were well-behaved and it is a shame to detract from that.

“There are a couple of operational issues to change regarding the player interviews after the game and we will work on that.”

Bureau Report


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