Protesters from the organization Just Stop Oil briefly caused a disruption during the opening morning of the second Ashes Test, resulting in a delay at Lord’s. England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow carried one of the protesters off the field, while England captain Ben Stokes intervened to stop another protester. The disturbance occurred when two individuals entered the field, attempting to spread orange powder. Groundstaff swiftly cleared the powder, allowing the game to resume after a short pause.
During the incident, players remained vigilant in safeguarding the pitch. The Metropolitan Police reported making three arrests following the protest. Guy Lavender, the chief executive of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns Lord’s, strongly condemned the demonstration. He emphasized that such actions not only put the demonstrators themselves at risk but also displayed a complete disregard for the spectators who pay to attend events, not just at Lord’s but also at sporting venues nationwide.
A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil expressed their concern, stating that while cricket holds a significant place in national heritage, it is essential to address the deteriorating state of the cricketing world and its impact on human living conditions. They called for cricket enthusiasts and those who recognize the severity of the situation to take to the streets and demand action.
The environmental campaign group, Just Stop Oil, has previously disrupted other sporting events this year, including the rugby union Premiership final and the World Snooker Championship. The group advocates for a halt on all new oil, gas, and coal projects, urging the government to address climate change.
In light of such disruptions, security measures have been heightened during major cricket matches. Cricket’s reliance on pitch conditions and its unique characteristics make it more vulnerable to potential damage and disruption caused by protesters gaining access to the field. Earlier this month, England’s team bus was briefly delayed by demonstrators before a Test against Ireland at Lord’s. During the World Test Championship final at The Oval, the International Cricket Council even prepared a reserve pitch as a precautionary measure.
The incident during Wednesday’s match occurred when the game had just begun, and the protesters entered the field from the Lord’s Grandstand. The players initially confronted them, and security staff from the venue and the England and Wales Cricket Board quickly intervened. Bairstow received cheers from the crowd as he escorted one protester from the center to the boundary, while Stokes and Australia’s David Warner prevented the other protester from approaching the pitch.
Bairstow subsequently left the field to change his shirt and wicketkeeping gloves due to the presence of orange powder on the square and outfield, which had adhered to his kit. A spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed gratitude that play resumed promptly and commended the security staff, as well as the quick response from Jonny Bairstow and other England players.
The orange powder was swiftly cleared from the field by diligent groundstaff, ensuring minimal disruption to the game.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Test disruption
What caused the disruption during the England v Australia Test at Lord’s?
Protesters from the organization Just Stop Oil disrupted the Test by entering the field and spreading orange powder.
How did the players and officials handle the disruption?
England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow carried one protester off the field, while England captain Ben Stokes intervened to stop another protester. Security staff from the venue and the England and Wales Cricket Board also tackled the protesters.
Was the game significantly affected by the disruption?
The game was temporarily delayed while the orange powder was cleared from the field. However, after a short pause, the game resumed and continued.
Did the authorities take any action against the protesters?
The Metropolitan Police reported making three arrests following the protest. The authorities are likely to address the incident according to the relevant laws and regulations.
What is Just Stop Oil advocating for?
Just Stop Oil is an environmental campaign group calling for the government to halt all new oil, gas, and coal projects. They aim to address climate change and promote sustainable energy alternatives.
Have the Just Stop Oil protesters disrupted other events before?
Yes, the group has previously disrupted other sporting events this year, including the rugby union Premiership final and the World Snooker Championship. They have been actively using protests as a means to draw attention to their cause.