Edgbaston chaos as hundreds of boozed-up students storm the pitch

Hundreds of boozed-up students storm the pitch at a T20 cricket match at Edgbaston, after 2,000 sat together and flouted social distancing at event promising ‘free flowing pints, pumping tunes and silly sixes’ – and all now face a lifetime ban

  • Students at an event called ‘INVADES’ stormed the pitch after a Twenty20 cricket match at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Thursday night
  • Chaos erupted when hundreds spilled on the pitch after conclusion of Vitality Blast match between Birmingham Bears and Derbyshire Falcons
  • Students from four universities went to the match which was called ‘Invades Edgbaston: The Bears T20 Summer Party’
  • They were promised ‘exclusive drinks deals’ and ‘free-flowing pints’
  • Social distancing went out the window in the Hollies Stand as the 2,000 at the event bunched together
  • Warwickshire described the scenes as ‘disgraceful’ and said they wouldn’t work with the events promoter again  

Hundreds of boozed-up students flouted Covid rules and invaded the pitch as a Twenty20 cricket fixture at Edgbaston in Birmingham turned into chaos.

The ‘disgraceful’ scenes marred the match between Birmingham Bears and Derbyshire Falcons on Thursday night as an event featuring students from four universities called ‘Invades Edgbaston’ got out of hand.

An advert for the event promised ‘free flowing pints, pumping tunes and silly sixes’ as students, many in fancy dress, took over Edgbaston’s Hollies Stand with no regard for social distancing rules.

Hundreds of students invaded the pitch at Edgbaston after a Twenty20 cricket match on Thursday night having flouted social distancing rules on an organised student trip to the game

2,000 students from several universities were at the game as part of an event called ‘Invades’

An advertisement for the Invades student event at Edgbaston on Thursday evening 

The student night out at the cricket promised ‘free flowing pints, pumping tunes and exclusive drinks deals’ 

When the match finished, hundreds left the stand and ran over the pitch as the players scrambled to get back to the pavilion.

While nobody was hurt in the scenes, the students’ behaviour could cause repercussions as sport in general attempts to ramp up crowd numbers as Covid-19 restrictions are gradually relaxed.

17,000 spectators watched the recent England versus New Zealand Test match at Edgbaston with the match forming one of the Government’s sport pilot events.

The scenes on Thursday night left Warwickshire horrified at a time when Covid-19 cases nationally are on the rise again because of the delta variant.

Over 13,000 new Covid cases were recorded in the Birmingham area in the latest released figures. 

‘The behaviour of a small number of students after the match finished was disgraceful,’ Warwickshire chief executive Stuart Cain told ESPNcricinfo.

‘The organiser behind their attendance was well aware of social distancing requirements and these were communicated to everybody who bought a ticket. 

‘They were then enforced as best as possible on the evening by stewards who worked incredibly hard to manage their behaviour.

‘Messages were repeatedly broadcast over the PA system and screens, and pitch invaders ejected. They will receive a life ban if identified.

‘With society having spent the last 15 months managing then pandemic, to see a small number of people behaving in this way is heart-breaking.

‘We apologise to the majority of spectators who respected social distancing measures. I will not let this company or crowd come to Edgbaston again.’

The Fixr website sold tickets for the ‘Invades Edgbaston – The Bears T20 Summer Day Party’ to students from Birmingham University, Warwick University, Harper Adams University and Worcester University.

Fans in fancy dress during the recent England versus New Zealand Test match at Edgbaston

Fans form a beer snake from empty pint glasses during the recent Test match at Edgbaston

A description of the event read: ‘Let us just set the scene, it [sic] Thursday the 24th June, life has been unlocked.’

It added: ‘INVADES has an exclusive stand for the event which is only accessible for our customers. This area is unreserved seating so you will be able to sit with your group wherever you wish.’

It seems many of the 2,000 students present in the crowd of 6,000 at Edgbaston took this too literally with a huge group stood together with minimal social distancing visible on pictures of the Hollies Stand. Capacity was restricted to 25 per cent in line with current guidelines.

There had been a number of pitch invaders during the game but the large group at the end of the match will cause concern about security arrangements. It took five minutes to disperse them.

Derbyshire won the Vitality Blast North Group fixture by five wickets, chasing down a target of 168 with five balls remaining.  

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