Criminal investigation launched into racist abuse at Edgbaston England test match

A criminal investigation has been launched into racist and abusive behaviour at the Birmingham Test Match.

Edgbaston Cricket Ground was the scene of racist abuse
Edgbaston Cricket Ground was the scene of racist abuse

There were ugly scenes at Edgbaston Cricket Ground during the deciding match of the England and India series on Monday.

Images and footage of fans being abusive have been circulating on social media.

West Midlands Police tweeted: "We’ve launched a criminal investigation into reports of racist, abusive behaviour at the test match in #Birmingham yesterday.

"We’re liaising with Edgbaston officials to understand what’s happened and encourage anyone who heard racist language or gestures used to get in touch."

The force added: "We’re aware of images circulating on social media showing an alleged offender. We’re making enquiries to identify the person and would urge him to come forward and speak to us.

"Anyone with info can message us on Live Chat via our website or call 101. Please quote 20-613293-22."

The racist abuse occurred in The Hollies Stand which has a reputation for raucous fans but those in attendance was disgusted what they saw.

Cricket fan Lucy replied to the police to say she was near the incidents the police are investigating.

She said: "Me and my friends witnessed this horrific behaviour in the Hollies stand."

Stuart Cain, chief executive at Edgbaston, said: “I’m gutted by these reports as we’re working hard to make Edgbaston a safe, welcoming environment for all.

“Having seen the initial tweets, I’ve spoken personally to the gentleman who raised them and we’re now speaking to the stewards in this area to establish what happened.

“Nobody should be subject to any form of abuse at Edgbaston. So, once we’ve got all the facts, we will make sure this issue is addressed swiftly.”

Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq retweeted a thread detailing some of the alleged incidents along with the comment: “Disappointing to read.”

His evidence to a parliamentary select committee last year sparked an investigation into his claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire which resulted in ECB charges and major reforms.

England won the fifth and final Test match of the India series to level the score at 2-2 on Tuesday after unbeaten centuries from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow.

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