Police have launched an investigation after claims Indian fans were racially abused during the national cricket team’s Test match against England.
Edgbaston officials and the ECB are investigating claims on social media that Indian fans were racially abused on day four of the fifth Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Monday.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police told Sky Sports News: “We have launched a criminal investigation into reports of racist, abusive behavior at yesterday’s test match in Birmingham.
“We are liaising with Edgbaston officials to understand what happened and would encourage anyone who hears any racist language or gestures, or has footage that can help, to get in touch.
“We are aware of images circulating on social media showing the alleged offender. We are making inquiries to identify the person and are appealing for them to come forward and speak to us.”
Officials have vowed to look into claims of racist abuse on social media after they were highlighted by former Yorkshire cricketer Azim Rafique.
Rafiq reviewed a thread detailing some of the incidents with the comment “Frustrating to read”.
Reacting to the allegations, Edgbaston’s official Twitter account said: “We are incredibly sorry to read this and we do not condone this behavior. We will look into it as soon as possible.”
Last year, Rafiq’s testimony before a parliamentary select committee sparked an investigation into his claims of institutional racism in Yorkshire, leading to ECB charges and ultimately major reforms.
Edgbaston CEO Stuart Kane said: “I am outraged by these reports as we work hard to make Edgbaston a safe, welcoming environment for everyone.
“Having seen the first tweets, I have personally spoken to the gentleman who posted them and we are now speaking to stewards in the area to find out what happened.
“No one should be subjected to any form of abuse at Edgbaston. So once we have all the facts, we will make sure this matter is resolved quickly.”
It came as England staged a superb fightback that put them in a good position to complete a remarkable series salvage victory on Tuesday.
Set 378 to win, England reached their target of 119 before the end of play on the fourth day with seven wickets in hand.
It followed an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 150 between Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, who resumed play this morning on 76 and 72 not out respectively.
Anyone with information about allegations of racist violence is asked to contact police via Live Chat via the force’s website or by calling 101 and quoting crime number 20-613293-22.
Police investigate ‘racial abuse of India fans’ during England Test at Edgbaston UK News
SourcePolice investigate ‘racial abuse of India fans’ during England Test at Edgbaston UK News