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Disappointed to hear reports of racist abuse at Edgbaston, says Ben Stokes

London, July 7, 2022- Reacting to alleged racial abuse suffered by Indian fans during the fifth rescheduled Test against India, England captain Ben Stokes has condemned the incident, saying it is really disappointing to hear reports of racist abuse at Edgbaston.

Stokes said that he wants a party atmosphere in the stands when India play England in the white ball series of the tour.

“Amazing week on the pitch but really disappointed to hear reports of racist abuse at Edgbaston. Absolutely no place for it in the game. Hope all the fans at the white-ball series have a brilliant time and create a party atmosphere. That’s what cricket’s about!!” he wrote on Twitter.

The second T20I between England and India, which is set to be played at Edgbaston on Saturday, will be monitored by “undercover football crowd-style spotters”, after Warwickshire County Cricket Club on Thursday unveiled a series of new measures to combat the instances of racist abuse.

After the incident, chief executive at Edgbaston, Stuart Cain, forced to issue a public apology on behalf of Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Edgbaston Stadium after several Indian supporters were reportedly racially abused on the fourth day of the rescheduled fifth Test between India and England on Monday.

Cain had said he was “gutted” by reports of racist abuse and is “working hard” to make the stadium a safe place.

A report in the Guardian said on Tuesday that an inquiry will be launched into allegations of racist abuse aimed at spectators of the “visiting side”, who were “literally in tears”.

England won the rescheduled fifth Test against India after chasing down 378 before lunch on the final day, of which 259 were scored on the fourth afternoon and evening. However, that passage of play was marred by reports of racial insults from a section of the crowd.

The racial insults issues during the Edgbaston Test were initially highlighted on Twitter by Azeem Rafiq, the former Yorkshire cricketer, which subsequently led to a criminal investigation by West Midlands Police.  (Agency)

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