Warwickshire apologise for 'disgraceful' pitch invasion

Warwickshire have apologised to members for the “disgraceful” scenes which marred Thursday’s T20 Blast encounter between Birmingham Bears and Derbyshire.

A general view of play under the floodlights
A general view of play under the floodlights

Several hundred spectators, the vast majority of them students, invaded the Edgbaston pitch at the end of the game, following several incursions by individuals during Derbyshire’s innings.

The students were there as part of a promotion event - rather unfortunately titled Invades - which promised “free flowing pints” and “exclusive drinks deals”.

In an email to members, Warwickshire chief executive Stuart Cain apologised for the incident and confirmed the club had opened a full review into the evening.

He said: “The behaviour of a small number of students after the match finished was disgraceful.

“With society having spent the last 15 months managing the pandemic, to see a small number of people behaving in this way is heartbreaking.”

Cain praised the efforts of the club’s stewards, who were eventually overwhelmed by the number of pitch invaders. Anyone found to have entered the playing surface will be issued with a lifetime ban from Edgbaston. The club has also vowed not to work with the Invades promotional company again.

Though the invasion was not malicious, the timing could hardly have been worse for Warwickshire, with next month’s one-day international between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston having only recently been selected as part of a government pilot scheme for the return of fans to sporting venues.

The precise capacity for the July 13 match has not been confirmed and there will be concern Thursday night’s events may impact those plans.

The Bears are back in action at Edgbaston on Saturday when they host Durham (2.30pm start).

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