Police have opened a criminal investigation into allegations of racist abuse among the crowd on day four of the postponed fifth Test between England and India at Edgbaston.
“Any form of abuse is not acceptable in life or in sport,” Cain said. “So I am angry that people think this is acceptable at an international cricket event and I apologize for the distress this has caused.
“I spoke to those who raised the issue on social media, the stewards who run the Eric Hollies stand and the police. There was a good atmosphere for five days involving over 100,000 English and Indian fans, but when this issue was brought to the attention of the stewards, they could not determine where the alleged abuse originated, so the stewards and police monitored the area until after the game.
“However, we are actively supporting police action in the alleged cases of abuse and have provided them with CCTV footage and other information which has led them to open a criminal investigation.”
Anyone with information has been urged to contact police on their national crime reporting number, 101, and Cain urged fans to download the Edgbaston app allowing people to report abuse anonymously directly to the courtroom. ground control, which can then alert the stewards and the police.
“There was a separate incident reported through the app yesterday which was dealt with in less than ten minutes and led to the ejection of three fans,” he said. “For Saturday’s Vitality IT20 v India, we will be writing to all fans to remind them of our zero tolerance approach to abuse… everyone should feel safe and welcome at Edgbaston, and we will continue to work hard to live up to that expectation.”
Army Bharat, the Indian team’s official supporters group, said on Twitter that they would work with Edgbaston officials to share feedback from fans on their experiences, adding: “Sad to say that many of our members have suffered racist abuse from a very small minority of individuals… Thank you to the England supporters who supported us.”
On Monday evening, Edgbaston’s official Twitter account said in response to one of Rafiq’s tweets: “We are so sorry to read this and in no way condone this behavior. [sic]. We will investigate this as soon as possible.”
The ECB also said in a statement: “We are very concerned about reports of racist abuse during today’s Test match. We are in contact with colleagues at Edgbaston who will investigate. There is no There is no place for racism in cricket. Edgbaston has worked hard to create a safe and inclusive working environment.”