Undercover spotters to combat racism in Edgbaston T20I

Birmingham: Warwickshire will deploy ‘undercover spotters’ in second T20 between India and England at Edgbaston in the wake of allegations of racist behaviour in the crowd during the fifth Test this week, the county announced on Thursday.
Several Indian supporters alleged incidents of racial abuse charge from other fans on the sidelines of the rescheduled fifth Test here that England won by seven wickets to draw the series 2-2.
“Undercover football crowd-style spotters will be placed throughout the stadium to listen out for abusive behaviour and report it for immediate action,” the club said in a statement.
Warwickshire, whose headquarters are at Edgbaston, has also announced a slew of measures to curb racial abuse.
The other measures include, an increased police presence at games to handle incidents swiftly, raising racial awareness through the Edgbaston mobile app, attaching QR code stickers on every seat in the Eric Hollies Stand linking people to the app, promoting zero-tolerance messages on the back of stewards’ hi-visibility jackets, and encouraging the fans entering the Eric Hollies Stand to wear zero-tolerance wristbands.
The club also said it will continue to publicly denounce any racist behaviour, and anyone found guilty of committing hate crime will be banned from Edgbaston and the ECB will extend the ban to all cricket grounds under its jurisdiction.
Warwickshire chief executive Stuart Cain said the club needs to work harder to take responsibility for ensuring “everyone feels safe and welcome when watching the game.”
“Nearly 100,000 people watched one of the most exciting Test matches in recent history earlier this week,” Cain said.
“But we cannot hide from the mindless racist abuse experienced by some fans following India in the Eric Hollies Stad,” he added.
“These unacceptable actions by a small number of people have overshadowed a superb sporting contest, and those responsible do not deserve to be part of the cricket family.” —PTI
India take on England in a three-match T20 series that gets underway at Southampton later Thursday.

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